Major startups, companies, service providers, exchanges and wallet platforms within the Bitcoin industry have unanimously rejected Bitcoin Unlimited as both a hard fork solution and as a bitcoin software. Most recently Coins.ph, the largest bitcoin service provider and exchange in the Philippines, and Bitsquare, the decentralized digital currency exchange rejected Bitcoin Unlimited, describing the software as a contentious hard fork solution.
A few weeks ago, Bitcoin Unlimited experienced a significant gain in hashrate support, primarily due to the allocation of hash power toward Bitcoin Unlimited from miners and mining pools based in China. The world’s largest mining pool Antpool announced its full support of Bitcoin Unlimited and other small miners including Chandler Guo, who announced that they intend to support Bitcoin Unlimited despite the criticism of the industry and market.
The increasing support for Bitcoin Unlimited provided the software development team with an opportunity to surpass Bitcoin Core’s Segregated Witness (Segwit) in terms of hashrate support, and essentially launch a 51 percent attack on the Bitcoin network to activate the Bitcoin Unlimited software. However, multiple bug exploitations and the latest closed source update initiated by the Bitcoin Unlimited team ultimately drove supporters away from the project.
Coins.ph’s View of Bitcoin Unlimited and Contentious Hard Forks
A hard fork can be secure and efficiently executed with consensus among users, miners and businesses. As laid out by ZCash CEO Zooko Wilcox, a safe hard fork must maintain a persistent branch of the blockchain and prevent a schism of the community.
Relative to the chart provided by Wilcox above, Bitcoin Unlimited is a contentious hard fork because it leads to both a schism of the community and a separate branch of the blockchain. In other words, the activation or execution of Bitcoin Unlimited will lead to a split chain which will most likely lead to devastating economic and technical issues for Bitcoin businesses and users.
In consideration of the contentious nature of the Bitcoin Unlimited software, the Coins.ph development team reaffirmed that the firm does not support BU regardless of the hash power support it gained in the past few weeks.
The Coins.ph development team announced:
“At present, Coins.ph supports a single version of Bitcoin, which is Bitcoin Core (BTC). We do not have a strong opinion for or against any of the proposed updates to the Bitcoin protocol. However, similar to others in the industry, we consider any hard fork which is rolled out without industry-wide consensus, and therefore splits the network, to be an altcoin, not Bitcoin itself. This is irrespective of how much hash power the forked coin may have.”
Bitsquare’s Strong Opposition to Bitcoin Unlimited
Manfred Karrer, the founder of Bitsquare, strongly emphasized his opposition to the proposal of Bitcoin Unlimited. Karrer went as far to describe it as a reckless and irresponsible behavior of an “out-of-control power cartel.”
Succinctly, Karrer believes the Bitcoin Unlimited development team’s persistent threat to launch a 51 percent attack against the Bitcoin network is nothing but a political attack on the currency stemming from an egotistic intent.
“Bitsquare is in clear opposition to BU and I personally consider it not only as a reckless and irresponsible behavior of an out-of-control power cartel but as a political attack on Bitcoin. In the rather unlikely event that they really start a hard fork and the even more unlikely event that they would succeed to take over the Bitcoin network and destroy the current version I would either move the main currency to what will be the follower project of the current Bitcoin Core development branch or move to another Altcoin like Monero.”
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