Today Bitmain release a blog post about their plans how to deal with a UASF fork. Here is another good summary of Jimmay Song: https://medium.com/@jimmysong/examining-bitmains-press-release-6b47b0646f15
This announcement of Bitmain is great news for Bitcoin as it removes a lot of uncertainty and give a lot of support for the UASF side. So Bitmain has become the biggest supporters for UASF by making it easier for those who would have preferred a more cautious and conservative approach (supporters of BIP149 like me) to get a more clear position.
Why? Because the hard-fork which will very likely happen and the included features like 8 MB blocks (or even unlimited block size) as well as the heavily Bitcoin Unlimited influenced road map is a very drastic divergence from the current version of Bitcoin. Not to talk about the unhealthy influence of a monopolistic ASIC and mining company who have proofed many times how damaging they are for Bitcoin (ASICBOOST, Antbleed, empty blocks, blocking SegWit,…).
As it is a hard fork it is also much more clear which of both coins (if both should survive) will be considered the real Bitcoin and which one the Altcoin. Theoretically the unchanged Bitcoin chain might be a valid alternative as well (and the real Bitcoin), but it can be assumed it will not get sufficient support to survive and would be vulnerable to the wipe-out risk as well as replay attacks.
So that reduces the choices to 2 options: – Bitmain Coin (Hardfork with 8MB blocks and BU road map) – UASF Bitcoin (original Bitcoin with enforced SegWit activation)
Should be an easy choice for most readers. SegWit itself has an overwhelming support. Only the way and strategy how to activate it was not supported so widely. That is now out of question as not supporting UASF means to support Bitmain. You cannot be neutral or passive.
There is another important factor. The hard fork will require software updates much more extensive than the UASF version bit change. Beside risks, that will mean that all agnostic, neutral and passive users or companies will likely go with UASF as he least disruptive, expensive and risky option. Same is true for SPV wallets. BitcoinJ which is used for Bitsquare has a check for the block size and will reject the Bitmain chain. So we have less troubles with a potential mess of mixed chains.
Thought there are still many other open problems and risks. We can expect that Bitmain will use its hash power to attack the UASF chain if they feel need for that. This might lead to all kind of unpleasant situations like long confirmation times, unclear amount of confirmations to be considered safe, very volatile tx fees and more. It is also not clear which forms of attacks can occur and how to protect users from those (e.g. Bitmain could silently mine on UASF and then make huge re-orgs, invalidating a lot of blocks and if the Fiat/Altcoin side has been settled it would lead to a BTC buyer who has lost his BTC. For an exchange that means undefined and uncontrollable risks (also on the legal side). Beside the risks there would be likely a huge effort for support and arbitration which would kick us back with our road map.
For all those reasons we need to halt trading on Bitsquare by revoking the 2 arbitrator nodes (both are run by me). Users cannot take an offer or create an offer if there is no arbitrator available.
But no worry we have an exit strategy!
With the next release we will support multiple base currencies. So the user can choose which base currency or market he or she wants to use. Currently it is only Bitcoin, then it will be Bitcoin, Litecoin and Doge. Dash is planned as well but requires more effort. Namecoin still has not P2SH but will added as soon that is implemented. All the other interesting coins which are very different to Bitcoin cannot be added soon as it requires a lot of development effort, but it is planned for the future to extend it to those as well. We started with those which caused the least effort and Litecoin has sufficient liquidity and hash power to be considered a realistic alternative.
By using another coin as base currency Bitsquare is not dependent on what is going on the Bitcoin block chain anymore and all the problems which might arise from the fork sceanrios are out of system, similar to the banking system or other altcoins. The selection of Bitcoin will be possible but arbitrator will only start to register once the situation is settled and can be considered safe again. Might be in 1 week, might be in 3 months, who knows…
So people can trade both the UASF Bitcoin and the BitMainCoin against LTC or DOGE in Bitsquare. The traders are responsible for themselves how to deal with any possible risk and problems when sending the Bitcoin. It is just another altcoin and the selected base currency (LTC or DOGE) is the currency which provides the security by utilizing features like MultiSig. Bitsquare does not know anything about the Bitcoin network in such a case.
There is the question how to name those competing chains. I would suggest to keep the ticker BTC for the UASF Bitcoin and use the UASF in brackets as post fix to make it more explicit (e.g. BTC -Bitcoin (UASF). For the Bitmain coin I would suggest either BMC or BUC (Bitcoin Unlimited Coin). Be assured the selection for the ticker BUC has nothing to do with the many bugs the Bitcoin Unlimited devs have produced in the past. 😉
Ready now to add the UASF prefix to the Bitsquare twitter handle. Thanks Bitmain for making the situation more easy.