Bigger blocks, shorter block times: those are the biggest takeaways from the mid-term roadmaps released this week by Bitcoin Cash developers.
Bigger Blocks & Shorter Intervals
Recently, representatives from a variety of Bitcoin Cash software development teams met in London to discuss their vision for the future of the cryptocurrency now that it has successfully established itself as a market heavyweight. This week, several of those teams have released roadmaps detailing their mid-term development priorities.
Chief among these priorities is a continued commitment to on-chain scaling. This is not surprising, given that Bitcoin Cash forked away from Bitcoin after it activated SegWit, a protocol upgrade that paved the way for off-chain scaling through the lightning network and other second-layer technologies.
But while on-chain scaling is a shared vision, teams do not necessarily approach it from the same angle. Bitcoin ABC, for instance, intends to work toward further increasing its software client’s default block size from its present 8MB limit as a step toward ultimately integrating an adaptive block size limit.
The Bitcoin Unlimited client, on the other hand, already provides nodes and miners with the ability to configure the block size limit up to 32MB. Consequently, this team’s developers intend to explore the ramifications of decreasing the inter-block time to from its current target of 10 minutes to a new target range of one to two-and-a-half minutes. If this idea is implemented, mining rewards will be rebalanced to account for the increased number of blocks.
Both teams also plan to experiment with the Graphene protocol, a scaling solution originally created by a group of developers that included Gavin Andresen.
Colored Coins & a New Address Format
Though front-and-center, scaling was not the only topic to appear in these new roadmaps. Both Unlimited and ABC also intend to begin restoring software op-codes that were disabled shortly after Bitcoin’s launch in 2009. The restoration of these opcodes will reopen the door to future developments such as Colored Coins — Bitcoin’s version of ERC20 tokens — and binary contracts.
Finally, both Unlimited and ABC plan to work toward implementing a new Bitcoin Cash address format that will make it difficult for users to accidentally send BCH to BTC addresses, and vice versa. This has been a significant problem since Bitcoin Cash’s launch, and millions of dollars worth of coins have likely been lost due to user error and the similar address structure.