Bitcoin Cash Difficulty Algorithm Debate Heats Up With Fears of Another Chain Split

With a touch more than three months left until the next Bitcoin Cash upgrade, crypto proponents have been witnessing a new quarrel rise after last year’s contentious Infrastructure Funding Proposal (IFP). This time around, the tensions derive from the Difficulty Algorithm Adjustment (DAA) discussion which is a conversation about replacing the network’s current DAA.

Every six months the BCH community plans for an upgrade and this coming November, a number of users are concerned about another chain split. There is a lot of infighting within the community at present and among BCH developers as well. The story allegedly derives from the DAA discussion, but there has been tension ever since the last quarrel over the IFP.

A Difficulty Algorithm Adjustment (DAA) is basically an algorithm that adjusts the mining difficulty parameter. Bitcoin (BTC) adjusts the mining difficulty parameter every 2016 blocks, but on August 1, 2017, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) added an Emergency Difficulty Adjustment (EDA) algorithm that ran alongside the DAA. In November 2017, the DAA was changed on the BCH chain to adjust the mining difficulty parameter after every block. It also leverages a moving window of the last 144 blocks in order to calculate difficulty.

During the last year and a half, people have been complaining about the DAA as people believe it can be gamed. In the last year, the DAA subject has come up often and just recently the conversation has become more contentious. Recently, software developer Jonathan Toomim introduced a DAA concept called Aserti3-2d and the specification is available on Gitlab. The BCHN full node team has the code hosted on the “Bitcoin Cash upgrade specifications” page.

On July 23, 2020, Bitcoin ABC developer Amaury Séchet announced the DAA called Grasberg via the Bitcoin ABC blog website. Following the release, Toomim published an article on the blog that argues against Grasberg. The engineer also described how members of the development teams…

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