Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Sees Miners ‘Waste’ Money on 14 Invalid Blocks


Bitcoin Cash (BCH) miners appear to have wasted money mining 14 blocks on the wrong chain after the altcoin underwent a hard fork

According to data from monitoring resource Fork Monitor on Nov. 15, Bitcoin Cash, which itself forked off from Bitcoin (BTC) in 2017, successfully split in two once again on Friday.

BitMEX: Miners are “wasting resources”

Despite being broadly cleaner than its previous hard fork attempts, it soon became apparent that a large section of miners had not upgraded to the new chain. 

In total, miners spent resources mining 14 empty blocks on a chain that the majority of the Bitcoin Cash network already considered invalid and rejected.

BitMEX Research, the analytics arm of trading platform BitMEX which owns Fork Monitor, commented during the hard fork:

“The original rules chain has no transactions (other than the coinbases) due to the transaction replay protection measure Non upgraded Bitcoin Cash miners appear to be wasting resources.” 

At press time, just 77% of Bitcoin Cash nodes were compatible and using the latest consensus rules, statistics from Coin Dance show. 

Theoretically, those miners could have missed out on block rewards worth 12.5 BCH ($3,337) per block or a total of 175 BCH ($584,062). In reality, however, it is almost mathematically impossible that the same miner would unlock the block reward for so many blocks in a row.

Bitcoin Cash price fails to react

Nodes can be left behind during hard forks for various reasons, often due to accidentally forgetting to upgrade before the block set to trigger the hard fork. 

The inefficiency nonetheless piled publicity on Bitcoin Cash and major proponent Roger Ver. Ver, in particular, has become a highly controversial figure in cryptocurrency due to his arguably unsuccessful campaign to plant BCH as a superior alternative to BTC. 

Pro-Bitcoin figures took Ver’s allies to task on social media. These included Olivier Janssens, who previously argued that a node “doesn’t matter” in a decentralized peer-to-peer network and that removing Bitcoin’s block size cap was, therefore, essential to avoid hostile takeovers.

The hard fork meanwhile failed to lift the poor performance of BCH/USD, which has shed around 3.2% in the 24 hours since the hard fork. At $267, the altcoin remains 93% down versus its all-time high of $3,920 achieved in December 2017.

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