On Bitcoin Cash Fork Eve, Craig Wright Holds The Keys

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On Bitcoin Cash Fork Eve, Craig Wright Holds The Keys

By Ian Demartino - min read
Updated 22 May 2020

The Bitcoin Cash Hash war is about to come to an end, for good or ill. Right now, it looks like Craig Wright is in the lead.

Unless something changes soon, Craig Wright and his allies seem to control most of the hashing power and will dictate the rules after the Bitcoin Cash fork tomorrow.

It is unclear what will happen then. Bitcoin Cash may remain as one coin, under the control of Wright and his allies, or it may split in two, with a minority going to the ABC fork.

Previously, the pools associated with Wright’s Bitcoin Cash client Bitcoin SV, didn’t appear to have enough hashing power to control the majority chain after a fork, but that has changed in recent days and Wright and associated pools now control over 65% of the hashing power on Bitcoin Cash.

The only hope for Jihan Wu, Roger Ver and other supporters of BitcoinABC is that something changes quickly. Wu holds significant hashing power in the form of Bitmain, the world’s largest supplier of Bitcoin mining equipment. Bitmain also mines both Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin in a pool. They could theoretically bring some of the hashing power from their Bitcoin pool. That would require Bitmain to compensate miners for the lost bitcoin. Since mining on the Bitcoin network is 21% more profitable than mining on the Bitcoin Cash network, it would cost Bitmain a lot to do so.

The Ver controlled Bitcoin.com could also pull some hashing power from their Bitcoin pool and add it to their Bitcoin Cash pool, but again that will cost money. In fact, Bitcoin.com has already promised to do just that, but it is unclear if that will be legal or if they will lose total hashing power because of angry customers.

And so the man who claimed to be Satoshi, plagiarized academic papers, lies about his yacht, thinks a 56k modem could download a 32mb block in less than 10 minutes and runs a patent troll company, will be in control of Bitcoin Cash unless some people with deep pockets step up.

And you have to hand it to him. It is an amazing reversal of fortune. Just a week ago, it seemed like his fork was doomed to fail. That Bitcoin Cash would be rid of its most toxic leader. Instead, it looks like he will be the leader of the majority fork of Bitcoin Cash, and may just control it all, fullstop. This is especially shocking considering that most of the big companies in the Bitcoin Cash space have either stayed neutral or declared their support for BitcoinABC.

Ultimately, no one knows what will happen next. Just as Wright held his hashing power in reserve, his opponents may be doing the same now.

I’m not a believer in Bitcoin Cash. The only BCH I have held is the BCH I got during the split, which I eventually sold. But this fight has nevertheless been entertaining to watch. And it stands as an example of what happens when too few people hold too much power in a cryptocurrency. Wright claimed to be Satoshi and most of the prominent Bitcoin Cash supporters backed his claim. Now that he has gone off the reservation, they have been unable to take back that granted credibility. Some people believe Wright is the real Satoshi and will therefore follow him off a cliff. They don’t care what Issac Newton says about gravity and they don’t care about what developers say about Wright’s proposals.

With Wright promising to attack and destroy any chain that isn’t his, he is showcasing the danger of such centralization. If one man can create his own rules and force them onto others, then Bitcoin Cash isn’t decentralized at all. Craig Wright and Coingeek owner Calvin Ayre might be cutting off their nose to spite their face. All they will prove is that Bitcoin Cash is insecure and their hashing power will ultimately go down after miners realize their pools are no longer profitable.

To succeed, they need to succeed totally. They need to leave no doubt that BitcoinSV is the only Bitcoin Cash chain. And they have to leave any offshoots alone to live or die on their own. Otherwise, Bitcoin Cash is on the fast track to a painful death.

But maybe that is exactly how he wants it. If he can’t be king of Crypto, perhaps Wright will be happy as king of the ashes.