Bitcoin Cash Developers on “Nakamoto Consensus” : btc

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the upcoming November upgrade and the “hash-war”. This was brought up in the recent Bitcoin Cash developer Q&A.

I recommend anyone interested in the future of Bitcoin Cash to watch the whole interview, but in case you dont have the time I have time stamped a link to the part about Nakamoto Consensus HERE

The question being asked in the Q&A is:

“Why did Bitcoin ABC argue against using Nakamoto consensus as the governance model for BCH in the upcoming fork at the Bangkok meeting?”

To which Johnathan Toomim promptly answers:

“Because it doesn’t work! Nakamoto Consensus would work for a soft fork but not a hard fork. You cant use a hash war to resolve this issue!

If you have different hard forking rule sets you are going to have a persistent chain split no matter what the hash rate distribution is.

whether or not we are willing to use Nakamoto consensus to resolve issues is not the issue right here. what the issue is, is that it is technically impossible.”

Toomim’s answer is quickly followed by Amaury Sachet:

“If you have an incompatible chain set you get a permanent chain split no matter what. Also I think that Nakamoto Consensus is probably quite misunderstood. People would do well to actually re-read the whitepaper on that front.

What the Nakamoto consensus describes generally is gonna be miners starting to enforce different rule sets and everybody is going to reorg into the longest chain. This is to decide among changes that are compatible with each other. Because if they are not compatible with each other nobody is going to reorg into any chain, and what you get is two chains. Nakamoto consensus can not resolve that!”

Toomim follows with the final comment:

“Nakamoto Consensus in the whitepaper is about determining which of several valid history’s of transaction ordering is the true canonical ordering and which transactions are approved and confirmed and which ones are not. It is not for determining which rule sets!

The only decision Nakamoto Consensus is allowed to make, is on which of the various types of blocks or block contents (that would be valid according to the rule set) is the true history.”

The implementations have incompatible rule sets just as BTC and BCH have. Nakamoto Consensus is possible for changes that are compatible (softforks) but not in the event of a hard fork. What I suspect we may see is an attempt of a 51% attack cleverly disguised as a “hash-war”.

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