The biggest bitcoin payments processor, BitPay, with some 100,000 merchants or more, has stated they are to follow the longest chain with the most accumulated difficulty if a chain-split occurs on or around November 16th.
“While most miners signaled their support of this protocol change, not all support it,” the company said in a press release earlier today before adding:
“If miners are divided over this change, there is a significant risk of a chain split. If that occurs, BitPay’s services will follow the chain with the most accumulated difficulty.”
They won’t support the minority chain beyond allowing withdrawals, with BitPay remaining almost the sole company that continues to provide bitcoin only services.
However, they are not without competition. One of the more interesting one is Coinify, which recently received an award. Like BitPay, they allow merchants to accept btc, plus 15 other cryptocurrencies.
That includes ethereum and bitcoin cash as far as we are aware, plus some other digital currencies. We recently asked them for some stats and data, but have received no response. So it isn’t very clear just how big the processor is.
They too are to follow the longest chain, or as they call it in this case the chain with the most hash power. In a press release, the start-up says:
“We shall continue supporting the most popular chain (the chain that will have the most hash power) and we will continue calling this chain Bitcoin (BTC).
Shall the event result in 2 chains, we will call the minority chain (the one with less hash power) a new name, depending on the size of the block it uses (BC1 or BC2).”
A consensus thus appears to be forming among businesses which have seemingly decided to use the objective definition of bitcoin. That being the longest chain with the most proof of work that of course starts with the January 3rd genesis block.
Some have criticized it by hypothesizing that if miners for some reason decided to increase the 21 million limit, then that would not be bitcoin.
But that what if hypothetical ignores the question of whether such event would come to pass. Something that seems to be quite unlikely.
However, not all are following the longest chain. Bitfinex, which has a business relationship of sorts with Blockstream, has said they are sticking with 1x regardless of hash level support. Presumably that is if 1x manages to be operational at all.
A new btc trading platform, eToro, has likewise stated “eToro will refer to the Bitcoin Core coin as BTC and the newly created coin as Bitcoin2X (B2X).”
Defining bitcoin by just one of its clients is an interesting, and very much highly centralized approach considering just one individual, the maintainer, decides what goes into Bitcoin Core.
Which means we can easily envision him, or perhaps in the future her, deciding to merge an increase of the 21 million limit or whatever they please since there would hardly be much direct monetary incentive/market feedback, with the devs so being volunteers for some and employees of for profit, potentially bitcoin competing, companies, for others.
eToro, however, doesn’t have much weight since they provide fictional trading of bitcoin without holding or passing the actual asset. Making it thus just numbers on the screen.
Which means they would have little say in the event of a chain split since actual sold and bought real assets would probably determine market price and so on.
But beyond these small exceptions, the rest appear to be on the same page. However, there are two exchanges that are yet to state their position. Kraken and BitStamp.
Kraken has, or at least has appeared to be, generally neutral, while BitStamp, so being a regulated exchange, might have little choice, but to use an objective definition.
If they can come up with an objective alternative to the longest chain, that would be very interesting. Otherwise, it does seem the case, although there are still two weeks to go, but currently it does seem the case that there is a consensus of sorts, at least among miners and exchanges.
If that continues to be the situation in two weeks, then bitcoin might actually upgrade, and perhaps fairly smoothly. Thus finally ending the blocksize debate, perhaps.