Ahead of the hard fork planned by Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network in November, the Bitcoin ABC development team published a timeline detailing steps that programmers should take before the event. However, the Bitcoin Cash team did not elaborate on what kind of features can be expected from the upgrade.
A hard fork is essentially a change in protocol which would make transactions that were previously invalid, valid. To achieve this, all nodes must upgrade to the latest version of the blockchain as nodes running previous versions will no longer be able to carry out transactions in the upgraded blockchain.
To ensure enough time for all participants to review the changes in code, Bitcoin ABC is aiming to complete the code by August 15. Any changes proposed after this deadline will be recommended for the hard fork scheduled in May 2019.
Once the code is completed, testing on Testnet – an alternative Bitcoin block chain used for testing – will begin.
By October 15, after two months of testing and debugging, the official release for version 0.18 will be launched, giving node operators about 30 days to upgrade their blockchain software in time for the hard fork.
Bitcoin Cash hard forks so far
Bitcoin Cash itself was launched as a result of a hard fork in August last year, when it split from the original Bitcoin (BTC) chain as a separate digital currency. Bitcoin Cash is the fourth most valuable digital currency, with a market capitalization of $12.04 billion.
Post the split of Bitcoin into two separate digital currencies in August last year, the Bitcoin Cash community has conducted two successful hard forks. The fork launched in November upgraded the network’s Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm (DAA) while the fork in May increased the current block size fourfold to 32MB in one of the largest block size increases in blockchain history.
As of 1145 GMT on Tuesday, Bitcoin Cash slid 7.9 percent against the U.S. dollar, trading at $693.36. According to Smartereum, the crypto coin is expected to trade at $6,700 by the end of this year while the five-year forecast is around $24,600.
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