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03.08.2020 - The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network will have an upgrade in November 2020. One outstanding issue is the need for improvement of the Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm (DAA). The well tested "aserti3-2d" proposal made by Jonathan Toomim solves the DAA issues in an elegant manner. Jonathan Toomim has provided extensive simulation data and code, and these have been peer reviewed by multiple Bitcoin Cash node implementations as well as outside experts. Jonathan Toomim has also written and submitted the aserti3-2d code to Bitcoin ABC, and had public and private discussions with them regarding it.
Shortly after the proposal by Jonathan Toomim, Amaury Séchet created and committed Bitcoin ABC to a new DAA proposal called Grasberg. Unlike aserti3-2d algorithm, the Grasberg algorithm has not gone through peer review by most of the Bitcoin Cash node implementations nor has Bitcoin ABC provided more than cursory data to support it. Furthermore, the Grasberg algorithm changes the block time from 10 minutes to a variable number more than 11 minutes. The newly introduced slow blocks have never been requested by anyone in the past and they will cause a worse user experience for all users. Confirmations will take longer. Smart contracts depending on the long term standard of 10 minute blocks will be broken. All infrastructure that needs to be aware of DAA will have to validate against a complicated set of rules. Stakeholders in general will have increased doubt that other fundamental aspects of Bitcoin Cash may face arbitrary changes in the future. At the highest level, the slow blocks introduced by Grasberg algorithm reduce the profitability of Bitcoin Cash miners and the security of the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.
We are a group of BCH centric companies and entrepreneurs that have come together to release a joint statement concerning the DAA. We stand together in strong preference of Jonathan Toomim's well evidenced and focused aserti3-2d proposal. We firmly oppose Amaury Séchet's suboptimal and disruptive Grasberg proposal.
We support an open, inclusive and professional development environment in Bitcoin Cash. Recently, Bitcoin ABC has proposed to implement a technical change to the difficulty adjustment algorithm. Not only do we object to the unfounded introduction of historical drift correction, which is not widely accepted as a real problem, but we disapprove of the way Bitcoin ABC proposed this change. The proposal was not representative of the core values we and others expect and uphold in the Bitcoin Cash space.
Further, there are specific technical issues that arise from the introduction of historical drift correction. Specifically, blocks can no longer be used to count time within transactions created before the proposed change, should the change be implemented. This breaks several assumptions used by Cryptophyl and partners in the development of new products for Bitcoin Cash and has a catastrophic effect on our product roadmap.
John Nieri, President of General Protocols
General Protocols strongly opposes the Grasberg proposal because it introduces unnecessary uncertainty about future protocol changes and slow, complex 11+ minute blocks. The slow blocks are a backwards incompatible change that we estimate will cost us over $50k of direct costs due to mandatory contract and infrastructure modification, and delay time to market by at least one month.
On the other hand, the aserti3-2d proposal is focused, solves the urgent problems at hand and has been investigated extensively to confirm that it does not introduce any new problems.
General Protocols Blog
This article forms part of the General Protocols Blog, a collection of cross-platform links showcasing our team's community activity, Bitcoin Cash projects, UTXO development, and general crypto musings.