On March 2, the developers behind the Bitcoin Cash node project announced plans for the team’s upgrades for May and beyond. The programmers emphasized that whether or not the IFP is voted on, it will also proceed by the longest chain. Bitcoin Cash nodes will also implement two new features planned for an upgrade in May, and plans to evaluate improvements to the Bitcoin Cash Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm (DAA).
Bitcoin Cash Node Updates Community Plans to Upgrade Two Features and Follow the Longest Chain
On Monday, the BCH community announced the first Bitcoin Cash node project, with the first update explaining the project’s intentions and goals after the May 2020 BCH upgrade. The team emphasized that for the May 15 upgrade, the full-node implementation aims to provide “a secure and professional node that will follow the longest chain neutrally without increasing the risk of chain splits.”
The software engineer also explained that the Bitcoin Cash Node (BCN) will help with two new upgraded features that are scheduled to roll out in May. Just like the Bitcoin ABC version, the opcode OP_Reversebytes and the Sigcheck specification will be added. However, as news.Bitcoin.com has detailed in a previous article, IFP is not included in the new BCN codebase. According to Coin.dance, 0.3% of blocks mined so far have voted in favor of IFP, and out of the current 2016 blocks, 1,344 blocks (67%) require the IFP protocol to be locked. BCN engineers believe that the main purpose of their full node project is to provide a safe way for BCH miners to opt out of IFP.
BCN project developers wrote on the blog read.cash: "Our nodes are constructed to safely follow the longest chain during the upgrade, by accepting blocks regardless of whether they vote for IFP or not, clients do not include any BIP9-based or voting-like rule activation. Reorganization protection is still included and configured with the same defaults as the ABC client."
The BCN post further states: We intend not to make any consensus-required changes in May, but instead focus on reducing bugs and improving performance, stability, and user-friendliness. We may release an optional minor release with such enhancements by May.
An upcoming AMA session to further research and improve the Bitcoin Cash DAA
In addition, the announcement published by BCN explained that the BCN team has many “experienced blockchain professionals, including software developers with many years of experience, who are dedicated to providing C++ node software.” Freetrader, the lead developer of BCN, this week Four will be hosting an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit's forum R/BTC. The team says it will continue to maintain the project, and a blog post on read.cash highlights that the BCN team created a continuous integration (CI) pipeline. BCN developers will focus on certain elements of the BCH codebase, including up-to-date project user documentation, completing the missing autocomplete specification (also known as "rolling checkpoints"), creating the development process, identifying existing features in software testing There are gaps, as well as monitoring the backend of the Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin ABC projects.
The announcement also concerns the “organization [and] project manager” of the BCN project. BCN developers are working on completing Bitcoin Cash-related research as engineers will look at things like UTXO/UtreeXO commitments, Merklix tree usage, and evaluating adaptive block size algorithms, etc.
The team also plans to research and improve the BCH Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm (DAA), which has recently been a hot topic among BCH proponents. On Feb. 29, independent BCH developer and miner Jonathan Toomim published a post and video about the DAA issue, titled “BCH Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm Broken — Here’s How To Fix It.” This post and some other concerns about DAAs have sparked widespread debate within the BCH community over the past few weeks. At some point, DDAA makes the blocking interval longer and faster than usual. Some miners who switched from BCH to BTC are allegedly taking DAA by lowering the difficulty, making mining BCH profitable again. The BCN project plans to study current problems and hopefully create a DAA solution for the BCH network.
Updated details for full node developers: We are beginning an evaluation to improve the Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm (DAA) to reduce the variance of block confirmation times, and a lot of research has been done in this area. We will not be changing the DAA validation rules in May. However, we hope to actively research improvements that may be needed, as long as BCH's hashrate is relatively low compared to BTC.
BCN project updates are posted on r/btc and the thread has generated a lot of discussion. Electron Cash developer Jonald Fyookball responded to the r/btc post and told the team that he doesn’t think the BCN project should have “the lead programmer as the lead maintainer.” He added: "The lead maintainer should be a very neutral person, and the lead developer should be someone like Mark Lundeberg who is more capable than anyone else on the team."
BCN lead developer Freetrader responded to Fyookball's criticism. Freetrader replied: "The role names are actually still a bit volatile at this stage, and while I retain some power, I spend most of my time as a maintainer. I find that more natural code ownership depends on who is doing what work (and I'd expect at least two people to be working on large feature changesets, but that's not feasible right now, it's a way to the future)."
Responsible editor; zl