The global network of computer operators who today help power the bitcoin cash cryptocurrency are beginning to signal that they may take differing paths ahead of a technical update scheduled for Thursday.
indicates that bitcoin cash mining pools, collectives of individuals and companies providing computer power to the cryptocurrency, the world's fourth most valuable, are indicating they will run a version of the software called Bitcoin SV, an alternative to the Bitcoin ABC software most widely used by the network today.
In fact, early signs suggest Bitcoin SV may control some 76.39 percent of the network's current mining power.
While it's too early to tell if this many computers will actually update their software, causing the bitcoin cash network to split, the strong rhetoric employed by those backing the upstart Bitcoin SV software, including Craig Wright, the Australian cryptographer who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, suggests this is a possibility.
Amidst this dialogue, SV’s hash power advantage is up from 73.62 percent just a day ago. In particular, CoinGeek, the platform owned by Wright supporter Calvin Ayre, jumped from controlling about 30.6 percent of the overall hash power to 41 percent.
In contrast, okminer and Mempool both lost a significant portion of the hash power, falling from 7.64 percent and 6.25 percent respectively to 3.47 percent each.
Meanwhile, mining pools supporting the Bitcoin ABC implementation spearheaded by Roger Ver have made gains of their own. In particular, Bitcoin.com, Antpool and BTC.com now control 8.33, 4.86 and 6.25 percent of the total hash power respectively. Antpool and BTC.com are controlled by bitcoin cash supporter and hardware giant Bitmain.
As of yesterday, both of Bitmain’s pools only controlled 2.78 percent of the power each, while Ver’s website had 6.25 percent.
While several mining pools have firmly declared support for one party or another, a number have yet to publicly express which network they might help secure. The most prominent of these is ViaBTC, which controlled 7.64 percent of the network total yesterday, though its relative power dropped to 2.08 percent by 14:00 UTC Tuesday.
Another pool, Northern Bitcoin, likewise has yet to commit to a particular implementation, though chief technology officer Moritz Jäger told Forbes that his pool switched from bitcoin to bitcoin cash to be among "the decision makers on the upcoming fork.”
Still, while Bitcoin SV seems to have a clear advantage in hash power, traders seem more confident about Bitcoin ABC.
BCHABC, a trading pair being offered in advance at some exchange, is still trading at a higher price than markets for SV, though its lead has shrunk slightly. At press time, pre-fork trading of the token hovered around $391 (priced in the USDC stablecoin), down from $415 just 24 hours ago.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.