Bitcoin Cash Difficulty Volatile Ahead of Nov. 15 Hard Fork

An upcoming planned hard fork in Bitcoin Cash (BCH) will impose relatively simple technical changes to its consensus mechanism that will not split the chain, despite some turbulent undercurrents in the coin’s community regarding issues which have recently become difficult to ignore. Disloyalty and perhaps manipulation among miners, or just the possibility of such, has refocused the conversation ahead of the Nov. 15 fork. 

These issues have gone unaddressed in the “planned hard fork” coming tomorrow, a term which has been politicized to mean community strife and a chain split — but in this case, is something rather benign. 

The minor upgrades are compatible with all miners and should enhance basic functionality for users across the chain — something that’s hard to disagree with. The only echo of dissent is heard by those who believe the recent anomalies indicate that BCH is in need of more serious repair. 

Problems in both the Bitcoin (BTC) or Bitcoin Cash communities are still intertwined, years after their separation. The similarity of BCH and BTC blockchains for mining and the ease with which miners switch between them are two of the biggest issues plaguing both chains in terms of providing the best conditions for payment. 

This issue is still present even as BCH itself is set for a new iteration termed Bitcoin ABC. The community is still arguably neglecting a potentially flawed Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm (DAA), updated in a widely-criticized proposal made by BCH influencers two years ago, which may be signaling to miners that the control they’ve enjoyed so far isn’t soon to be reined in.

The story so far

Bitcoin Cash has had quite a history despite its relatively short lifespan. On Aug. 1, 2017, it split from BTC via a hard fork, with one of the main reasons being a disagreement over how to adjust mining difficulty, how to best scale, and other fundamental ideas. 

Both cryptocurrencies use proof-of-work (PoW) to sign new blocks of transactions, and for healthy networks, they each target a block appearance time of as low as 10 minutes on average