The bitcoin cash (BCH) community has recently been divided by disagreements over which technological upgrades should be implemented to the cryptocurrency’s network. As a result, its November 15 hard fork threatens to split the BCH chain, and businesses have started to weight in.
Part of the community supports the BCH version promoted by the Bitcoin ABC development team, the one that originally forked the Bitcoin blockchain In August of last year, creating BCH. Another part supports the BCH client released by nChain, linked to Craig Wright, and mining pool operator CoinGeek.
Through announcements made this week Binance, Bitcoin.com, and Coinbase have influenced the cryptocurrency’s price. Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, announced it was going to “support the upcoming bitcoin cash hard fork.” While the exchange’s statement itself seems vague, it points to the bitocincashorg GitHub repository, which is used by the ABC client.
Bitcoin.com, the popular website owned by BCH proponent Roger Ver, has also revealed it’ll support the ABC client with its mining pool, wallet, block explorer, and other services. These two announcements helped BCH jump roughly 10% when they were made, taking it from about $425 to $460.
Soon after, Coinbase revealed it was going to support the “published roadmap from bitcoincash.org.” This means the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange is supporting the ABC client as well.
In its statement, Coinbase noted that it will “pause sends and receives” to ensure users can use the cryptocurrency when it meets its security standards. It added it’s set to let its customers access funds from either chain.
We will update our customers throughout the upgrade process and about the outcome of the fork once the network reaches consensus. In the unlikely event that multiple viable chains persist after the fork, Coinbase will ensure that customers have access to their funds on each chain.
Historically, cryptocurrencies have surged ahead of planned hard forks, as investors buy them to have access to potentially airdropped tokens. Last year, when the bitcoin blockchain was forked, those who held BTC were airdropped BCH at a 1:1 ratio.
Coinbase’s announcement helped BCH surge and, according to CryptoCompare data, it’s now up over 25% this week. It’s currently trading at $534 after rising 12.8% in the last 24-hour period.
If major businesses keep on siding with the Bitcoin ABC client, some analysts believe the network’s disruption may not be too big, Some have pointed out, however, that large hashrate losses can be dangerous for the cryptocurrency’s chain.
Moreover, it’s estimated that cryptocurrency mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain has over one million BCH in its wallets. If the company devices to dump the tokens from one chain, their price can easily crash. Earlier this year, the BCH blockchain hard forked to raise its block size to 32 MB and to add/reactivate Bitcoin script operation codes.