Bitcoin Cash: ABC and Unlimited announce roadmap for 2018
The developer teams of Bitcoin Cash met in London. The two most important of these, ABC and Unlimited, have now presented their roadmaps for the medium-term future. In them you will find exciting, but possibly also daring ideas.
Seven development teams have recently gathered in London to discuss the future of Bitcoin Cash: Bitcoin ABC, Bitcrust, Bitprim, Bitcoin Unlimited, ElectrumX, nChain and Parity. That sounds like more than it is, but illustrates the claim of Bitcoin Cash to be a joint project of different teams.
"We're all excited about a shared vision - that Bitcoin Cash is massively scaled to become a fast, low-cost, global electronic peer-to-peer cash," reports Bitcoin Unlimited on the website.
However, the leading team is Bitcoin ABC, which has so far prevailed in protocol changes. Accordingly, the roadmap recently presented by ABC for the "medium term future" is likely to be the most important. First, ABC is also committed to the vision presented by Unlimited: "Our top priority for Bitcoin Cash is to further improve it as a great money. We want to make it more reliable and scalable, with low fees and ready for rapid growth. It should 'just work', without complications or circumstances. It should be ready for world-wide application by mainstream users, and provide a solid foundation on which businesses can rely. "
Specifically, this means that ABC is planning a hardfork twice next year - the roadmap calls it "Protocol Upgrades": May 15 and November 15. The code for this should be available three months before the Hardfork.
For the next upgrade ABC plans the following features:
The blocksize limit is to be further increased and eventually converted to an "adaptive blocksize limit" similar to what Bitcoin Unlimited already has.
Next is to set up a canonical order of transactions, which is probably good for scalability, as it would allow features like Graphene.
In addition, ABC plans to further improve the Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm,
and reactivate some disabled opcodes.
The so-called " opcodes " are script commands for processing Bitcoin transactions. For security reasons, Satoshi has disabled some of the commands even in the early days of Bitcoin. In order to explore the features enabled by them, ABC would like to switch the codes back on carefully.
The roadmap of Bitcoin Unlimited is similar - and a bit further. The developers already announce that they support the half-yearly upgrade by Hardforks.
In addition to increasing blocksize, Bitcoin Unlimited also wants to increase capacity by lowering block intervals to 1, 2, or 2.5 minutes. At the same time this should improve the user experience as transactions are confirmed faster.
The team is also in charge of activating old opcodes,
but also proposes to implement new opcodes, such as OP_GROUP and OP_DATASIGVERIFY, which should allow "representative tokens and binary contracts".
Like ABC, BU plans to introduce a new address format in the spring to prevent future confusion resulting from someone sending Bitcoin Cash to a Bitcoin address.
In addition, BU wants to explore whether "Bobtail" can reduce the variance of the block intervals and improve much, such as the resistance to double spends.
BU also wants to check the canonical order of transactions with the aim of possibly introducing Graphene.
The roadmaps that come together here are dedicated and take up various ideas that are currently circulating around the scalability of Bitcoin. Graphene and Bobtail were recently introduced at the Scaling Bitcoin Workshop in Stanford, you can see the videos of the presentations of these technologies here , I do not know much about it myself.
With the idea to shorten the block intervals, I am a bit uncertain. On the one hand, it would certainly make sense, but on the other hand it is somehow Bitcoin that there is only one block every 10 minutes.
The activation of old and the introduction of new opcodes could be an exciting project that could help Bitcoin Cash to compete with Ethereum in some areas. Tokens created with OP_Group might work roughly as well as ERC20 tokens and, unlike Colored Coins, be directly verified by miners. However, it should be noted here that good, thorough testing will be essential, as new scripts always mean that there are new attacks.
Whether the developers will succeed in implementing this medium-term roadmap, one will have to see. It's at least a start to Bitcoin Cash, going its own way, more than "Bitcoin with bigger but empty blocks".