May the fork be with you: Hash Wars gives Bitcoin Cash battle a Star Wars twist

A movie-themed data site will be tracking the battle for Bitcoin Cash. And sorry, but we couldn’t resist that headline. 

Yesterday, we reported on the potential for a so-called ‘Hash War’ brewing behind the scenes of the upcoming Bitcoin Cash hard fork – which is due today at around 5pm GMT.

Well, someone has jumped on the idea and created a somewhat irreverent, but no-doubt handy, data analytics site to track the computing power being thrown at the network by the rival sides in the battle for BCH hearts and minds – and they’ve given it a Star Wars twist.

Say hello to Hash Wars.

The site features a handy countdown clock to the proposed update, currently due to happen at around 4.40pm GMT this afternoon (15th Nov, 2018), along with the ticker showing the futures pricing of the two main players – Bitcoin ABC (BCH) and Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV) – taken from the Poloniex Exchange.

The main bar graph shows the number of Bitcoin Cash Nodes running the respective implementations of the Bitcoin Cash protocol – using data provided by BlockChair. We’re not saying the creators of the site have a bias, but they appear to have made Bitcoin ABC the heroes of their adaptation, casting that team as the Rebel Alliance. The ‘compromise’ implementation, Bitcoin Unlimited, that allows miners to chose the protocol they wish to follow is currently in second place in the node count, while the ‘Imperial Forces’ of Craig White and Calvin Ayre’s Bitcoin SV are currently in 4th place.

Node, nor political, support isn’t the only issue, however. While these software implementations of different protocols within the ecosystem say a lot about the philosophical leanings of the community, and ABC appears to be ahead in the battle for hearts and minds, the mining power that Bitcoin SV appears to have at its disposal still offers it a range of options for potentially achieving its stated aim of putting Bitcoin ABC out of business and controlling the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.

Should any of these potential attacks come to fruition in a potential Hash War, you can expect to see one side’s node count eventually wither away, as supporters slowly give up and drift away – either to another protocol, or to another cryptocurrency altogether. With SV as the most likely ‘aggressor’ in all of this (it justifies its actions as a central feature of the way Satoshi Nakamoto designed Bitcoin protocol), any drop in the number of nodes running Bitcoin ABC will be quickly interpreted as SV asserting control.

While that all may sound like a depressing prospect – and an unseemly war over control of a supposedly decentralised network does have a certain pathos to it, you may think – at least it provides a fascinating insight into the workings of blockchain systems, and the philosophy underpinning them. And the music’s good, right?

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