With the Bitcoin Cash(BCH)hard fork 7 days away, the two opposing camps—Bitcoin ABC and nChain—are moving forward with their plans.
Bitmain, the world’s biggest maker of cryptocurrency hardware and the loyal proponent of Bitcoin ABC, is expediting the deployment of roughly 90,000 Antminer S9 miners in China’s far-western region of Xinjiang, to gain upper hand in the upcoming ‘computing power war’, local news outlet DeepChain reported on Wednesday.
Yu Hao, a mining farm operator in Xinjiang, told DeepChain that Bitmain’s Antpool has talked to nearly all mining farms in the region since late October, and convinced them to host nearly 90,000 S9 miners.
“ AntPool requested that a single mining farm should host over 5,000 machines,” said Yu. But in fact, only a few mining farms can satisfy their demand.
In autumn, coal-abundant regions such as Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia have been home to crypto mining rigs because hydropower stations in southwest China are unable to supply enough energy for large mining pools.
As a major holder of BCH, Bitmain’s initiative is seen as a preparation for the looming BCH hard fork.
“Half of its marketing staff have gone to Xinjiang to talk with local mining operators about deploying equipment,” source familiar with the matter said. But the Beijing-based mining conglomerate refused to comment on this issue.
BCH Hard Fork Looms
Different from BCH’s regular network maintenance hard forks twice a year, the upcoming hard fork which is scheduled for November 15 is much more contentious.
Bitcoin ABC, an influential BCH client, seeks to remove topological transaction order constraint and to enforce the canonical order of transactions which is expected to significantly improve the scalability performance of the BCH blockchain.
Craig S. Wright, the self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto (creator of Bitcoin)and his nChain, on the other side of the debate, have spoken out vehemently against Bitcoin ABC’s proposed upgrade. Denying the partnership, Wright released the altered version of BCH protocols known as Bitcoin-SV (BSV) which highlights a 128MB block size for the network.
Given that Wright’s version will not be compatible with the previous proposal, the Nov 15 upgrade is likely to result in the split of Bitcoin Cash into two separate chains and cryptocurrencies.
As for now, Bitcoin ABC has garnered support from many large mining pools such as BTC.com, AntPool, Btc.top, ViaBTC and Bitcoin.com, accounting for nearly 40% of the total BCH hash power, while BSV is backed up by CoinGeek (the largest BCH mining pool), BMG and SBI.
As two leading crypto exchanges—Binance and Coinbase— support the hard fork, crypto speculators rush to buy BCH these days in a bid to receive the free BSV assets at a 1:1 ration after the hard fork. The buying spree added a whopping 40% to BCH’s price, surging to $635 on November 7, up from lows of $424 last week. BCH is traded at $594 at the press time, according to coinmarket cap.
Some miners in China said they would start mining BSV on November 10 because the warm-up can reduce the difficulty of mining.
*Edited based on an article from 8btc.