In a recent interview for CNBC, Roger Ver revealed that he intends to meet with a group of Bangkok-based Bitcoin Cash miners to discuss issues that involve the risk of chain splitting. Although he said that it is “very, very unlikely” that two Bitcoin Cash chains would run side by side for long, he believes that the meeting is necessary to determine the future of the crypto asset he holds near and dear to his heart.
Bitcoin Cash — The Backstory
In August 2017, Bitcoin Cash was forked from the main Bitcoin blockchain and supported by a group of cryptocurrency insiders that include Roger Ver, Craig Wright, and Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu. Their foremost criticism of Bitcoin included the increasingly popular idea that high fees and network congestion were acceptable.
They stated that this position made Bitcoin unusable as a currency, an opinion that is supported by the fact that retailers are increasingly abandoning Bitcoin itself as a form of payment. Roger Ver himself said that he had largely gotten out of Bitcoin out of concern about what this would eventually do to the value:
“99% of my cryptocurrency holdings were in Bitcoin, and it was when I saw these people talk[ing] about how high fees are a good thing, that inspired me to diversify into a bunch of other cryptocurrencies at the time, I did that.”
However, an upgrade proposed by the team behind the BitcoinABC client created a rift with Roger Ver and Craig Wright on one side and Jihan Wu on the other. The upgrade involved an opcode known as OP_CHECKDATASIG, which would allow the validation of messages from outside the blockchain. This will theoretically enable the use of oracles and cross-chain atomic contracts. The proposed upgrade will also introduce canonical transaction ordering, which will allow for future scaling.
Jihan Wu and Bitmain are on the side that does not support this proposed upgrade, which is planned as part of a Bitcoin Cash upgrade scheduled for November. To complicate the issue, Bitmain’s financials indicate that it controls one million Bitcoin Cash. Its two mining pools also control 18% of the hashrate devoted to BCH.
Roger Ver Hopeful for Resolution
Roger Ver has indicated that Wu will be part of the planned meeting in an attempt to find a resolution. Considering Bitmain’s heavy investments in Bitcoin Cash, Ver is well aware that Wu has an incentive to avoid being on the wrong side of a split chain:
“He’s going to do an IPO. Their financials have come out they own a lot of Bitcoin Cash, certainly they have an economic incentive to get this resolved. … If they can come to some kind of agreement and say we are going to have one Bitcoin Cash, that would be helpful.”
Will there be an actual agreement? Considering some of the stubborn personalities in the cryptocurrency world, this may not happen in a single meeting or at all. Basically, stay tuned for further updates regarding any agreement (or not) that may come out of this meeting.