Examining Bitmain’s Press Release

Not unlike the Cuban Missile Crisis

Bitmain’s Protection Plan

Bitmain’s PR release begins with a justification for why they would be hard forking. The main thing you need to know is that they want to add wipeout and replay protection.

Activation Time

The actual details of their plan don’t begin until the section shown here:

Large Blocks

Limited Sigops

Unlimited Blocks in the Future?

Replay Protection

Conditional Release

  • Bitmain will mine the hard fork privately for at least 3 days
  • If UASF looks weak, Bitmain will give up all the privately mined blocks and leave everything alone.
  • If UASF looks strong, Bitmain will release the privately mined blocks, invite other miners to join them and trigger the hard fork.

Commitment

Future Upgrades

For the rest of the press release, Bitmain has announced that these features would be added:

  • Segwit (with different weighing)
  • Extension Blocks
  • Rootstock Sidechain
  • SPV service built into full nodes
  • Bitcoin-NG
  • Lumino
  • Weak blocks

What this means for you

If you’ve been watching this debate closely, you know that August 1 is a major date on the horizon and you should be very careful about transacting afterwards. We now know August 4 is the earliest possible date of a usable hard fork.

Conclusion

Bitmain’s press release is what you would call in game theory a “credible threat”. They certainly have the mining power and cash on hand to commit to this project. As most of the hard fork ideas come from Bitcoin Unlimited, they also have software ready, however you may feel about its reliability. They are also addressing real problems with a soft fork like replay and wipeout protection.

  • I’ve edited this article as the minimum block size only applies to the forking block.

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Jimmy Song

Jimmy Song

Bitcoin Educator, Developer and Entrepreneur. Book: https://amzn.to/2RSlnTb PGP Fingerprint: C1D7 97BE 7D10 5291 228C D70C FAA6 17E3 2679 E455