On Feb. 14, a group of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) developers sat down and discussed the featured items for the scheduled upgrade this coming May. According to the programmers, two specific features will be ready for the upgrade: Schnorr signatures and Segwit recovery. The developers also detailed that certain features like nullfail and the 100-byte transaction size will not be ready for the May hard fork.
Two New Features Make the Cut for the Upcoming Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork
On Valentine’s Day, cryptocurrency developers Mark Lundeberg, Antony Zegers, Amaury Séchet, Jason B. Cox, Andrea Suisani, and Matias Garcia discussed the upcoming May upgrade with the meeting’s host David Allen. The fourth meeting was published to Youtube so BCH participants can listen in on what’s going on with development. At the moment the developers say that two improvements are ready for the May upgrade while a few others will have to wait until the next fork.
“Schnorr signatures and Segwit recovery will be ready for the May upgrade,” the video explains. “Other items such as nullfail, minimal data push, and amending the 100-byte transaction size limit will not be ready for this upgrade.”
The team of developers also discussed the testing and planning for the upgrades prior to the hard fork commitment. Examples include setting up a common source for shared information, deciding on common parameters, the concept of a persistent node with mining pool, and other test plans.
“There are a number of items that we had looked at over the last few months that were in consideration for the May hard fork — So far it looks like only a couple of the upgrade features will make it, like Schnorr,” explains developer Jason B. Cox. “That [feature] is looking pretty good so far and it’s gotten a lot of code review. There’s the Segwit recovery which I believe is also going to make it.”
“Yeah I don’t think there are going to be any more items added, but Schnorr has like one patch to go to make it work,” Bitcoin ABC’s lead developer Amaury Séchet replied to Cox.
Mark Lundeberg further explained the Segwit recovery feature, seeing how it wasn’t discussed during the last meeting and not many people know what it is, in comparison with the Schnorr feature. Lundeberg detailed that there is a specifications page up now up at the Bitcoin Cash repository which explains and shows the code to the Segwit recovery concept. Essentially, when BCH is sent to a Segwit address it can no longer be accepted on the BCH chain due to the clean stack rule. Lundeberg explains this feature will make Segwit addresses exempt from the clean stack rule and the coins will be recoverable.
Schnorr Likely to Be Added to the Bitcoin Cash Chain First
At the moment, the two new features are “frozen” into the BCH protocol so developers can begin experimenting on the testnet. Overall, the BCH programmers seem confident in the two featured upgrades for May and it seems Schnorr signatures may be implemented on BCH well before BTC developers get to it. However, Bitcoin Core developers are currently in the midst of working on Schnorr signatures as well and Blockstream just published a new standard for multi-signature transactions called MU-Sig. The protocol purportedly helps bolster the Schnorr implementation. In fact, Core developer Greg Maxwell boasted about the new MU-Sig protocol on the r/btc forum and made some dubious claims.
“Sounds like Bitcoin ABC is rushing ahead to deploy our signature scheme proposal (bip-schnorr),” Maxwell stated.
However, many BCH supporters didn’t care for Maxwell’s trolling commentary and explained that he and Blockstream developers “did not invent the Schnorr concept.” Mark Lundeberg said that he was aware of the MU-Sig protocol and explained that “BCH can use this too — it’s something purely on the wallet side; the nodes continue to verify the Schnorr Signatures the exact same way regardless.”
Overall, BCH enthusiasts on Reddit and social media seem positive about the upcoming upgrades and many supporters wholeheartedly believe that Schnorr will be implemented before the BTC camp plans to upgrade.
What do you think about the two features locked in for the scheduled BCH hard fork this May? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Youtube, and Bitcoin.com
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Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written thousands of articles for news.Bitcoin.com about the disruptive protocols emerging today.