What to expect from the next Bitcoin Cash protocol upgrade

On November 15, shortly after noon, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) will upgrade the network's consensus rules. Once the upgrade is locked, the next block will apply a minimum of push data to the script and the OP_Checkmultisig and OP_Checkmultisigverify opcodes will be upgraded to accept Schnorr signatures.

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Code delivered

Next Friday, Bitcoin Cash supporters will watch the BCH channel update the current consensus ruleset to add two new features. The developers have been discussing the upgrade for months and explained in detail at their meetings how the changes apply to the BCH roadmap. Since August 1, 2017, BCH developers have produced a significant number of protocol developments unique to BCH. For example, BCH engineers increased the block size to 32 MB, allowing for a much larger throughput than a 1 MB block.

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In September 2018, BCH exceeded BTC's daily transaction count by processing millions of transactions in a single day. Bitcoin Cash programmers have re-enabled the old Satoshi opcodes, allowing for a variety of transactions, compilers and other decision-based functions. The added transaction codes allow the implementation of OP_Checkdatasig which can be used to calculate the hash within a transaction to validate the signatures in an automated way. Bitcoin Cash developers have also increased the size of the network's default data carrier to 220 bytes.

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The two new upgrades arriving at Bitcoin Cash on November 15, 2019. If you are a minor or are using a full node, be sure to upgrade your Bitcoin ABC client, Bitcoin Unlimited, BCHD, Flowee or Bitcoin Verde before Friday.

The BCH engineers did not stop there and at block 582680, the block chain was improved by adding the basic fundamentals of the Schnorr signature protocol. The previous upgrade to Schnorr functionality saw the implementation of Canonical Transaction Ordering, also known as CTOR. With CTOR, the BCH chain can basically work with blocks as a set, as opposed to ordering lists because the process is done canonically. According to Coin Dance statistics, BCH developers have added 20 different components to the protocol, 20 more are under development, 15 features are under discussion and two new properties are pending activation. The two added components implemented in the BCH blockchain consist of a finalized malleability vector (imposition of minimal push data in the script) and a Schnorr signature support for OP_Checkmultisig and OP_Checkmultisigverify.

Two new rule set changes

The first change will reduce the vectors of malleability on the network by applying the Minimaldata rule. "This removes the last BIP 62 malleability vector and means that most transactions on the Bitcoin Cash network (including all P2PKH transactions) will now be non-malleable," says the November 15 upgrade documentation. While bitcoin transactions are signed, the signatures do not include all hashed data and it is possible that the nodes pervert the transaction by invalidating the hash.

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Read about the Minimaldata rule here.

There are different forms of malleability vectors in scriptSig and signatures, and in 2014, BIP62 was introduced to handle problems. In recent years, many types of solutions have been attempted to cope with third-party malleability vectors. After upgrading the network next Friday, the majority of bitcoin cash transactions will not be malleable and the Minimaldata rule enforced should also strengthen the Simplified Payments Audit (SPV) customers.

The second feature added to the BCH chain is OP_Checkmultisig support (check) to complete the first iteration of Schnorr signatures. "This upgrade extends this support to OP_Checkmultisig. After this upgrade, all signature verification operations will support Schnorr signatures, "reads the upgrade documentation.

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Check Schnorr support for OP_Checkmultisig (Verify) here.

The new feature will allow more complex mechanisms to perform multi-signature transactions that will benefit from the Schnorr mechanism. "Aggregated Schnorr signatures (with OP_Checksig) are a way to create multiple signatures, but they have different technical properties than the Bitcoin multisig, so they are not an instant replacement for them," says the specification note. of November 15th. The summary adds:

In addition, it is also desirable that existing parts can be spent with Schnorr signatures. Many portfolios and parts based on OP_Checkmultisig exist and we want to be able to take advantage of Schnorr signatures.

Upgrade nodes and where to look

Bitcoin Cash fans are excited about the next upgrade and network participants are gearing up for changes on a regular basis. Ordinary users will have nothing to do until changes to the network take effect. Miners and node operators are however encouraged to download and run the latest version of a BCH client that supports November 15 rule changes.

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Watch the countdown of the Bitcoin Cash network upgrade here.

Currently, Bitcoin ABC, Bitcoin Unlimited, BCHD, Flowee and Bitcoin Verde are all ready to accept the new rules and, at the time of writing, 68% of all publicly available BCH nodes are showing support for upgrade . Every day, fans and promoters who do not operate or operate a node can simply watch the upgrade online using a data site such as Coin Dance or Fork Monitor. On November 15, the two websites will inform Internet users of the exact date on which the consensus changes will be implemented.

For more information on the November 15 Bitcoin Cash upgrade, you can read the specs on Github.

What do you think of the upcoming Bitcoin Cash upgrade scheduled for November 15? Tell us what you think about this topic in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Twitter, Github, Dance Corner, Wiki Commons and Pixabay.


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Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is a financial journalist who lives in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He is passionate about bitcoin, open source code and decentralized applications. Redman has written thousands of articles for news.Bitcoin.com about the disruptive protocols that are emerging today.

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