Why Bitcoin Unlimited will win this hardfork. And what Core's 2 options are.
Bitcoin's difficulty retarget time is 2016 blocks. With normal hashrate, these 2016 blocks are mined on average every 2 weeks. Let's assume that Bitcoin Unlimited miners decide to mine the first greater-than-1-MB-block with 75% hashrate on their side. This would mean the smaller Core chain would have 25% hashrate at the time of the fork. This also means that the normal 2 week difficulty retarget period will now take 4 times as long for the Core chain (8 weeks) to mine all 2016 blocks until the new difficulty retarget. This means that once the fork occurs, the lesser hashrate Core chain will immediately be non-viable during the 2016 block difficulty retarget period. The Core chain will have extremely slow confirmation times (like a block getting solved every 40 minutes and exponentially worse fees than they already are experiencing, due to 4x fewer blocks being mined). I personally think this will be the final nail in the coffin of that chain. There are 2 approaches to this problem for Core:
OPTION 1: Continue to mine on the Core chain for 2 months, with drastically poor network performance (even slower transactions and even higher fees).
OPTION 2: Core hardforks and forces a difficulty recalculation to occur immediately after BU forks. Would Core actually do this? "Hard forks are dangerous" has been their motto and only defense thus far, so they'd have to eat crow on this one. But actually I see it as the only chance they have to maintain any sort of a chain at all.
If they do make it this far (either by OPTION 1 or OPTION 2 above), there is another interesting ramification which would take place: Since the difficulty on the Core chain will be reasonable again (again, after OPTION 1 or OPTION 2 above), the Core hashrate that remained would more than likely be on board with Segwit. So the Core chain would at last have basically 100% Segwit support. Segwit would then finally activate on the Core chain.
Before any difficulty adjustments happen: If Bitcoin Cash gets 12.5% of the hashing power it will have the same capacity as current Bitcoin. If if takes 11.1% of the total hashing power then it will have the same capacity as post-fork, pre-retarget, pre-segwit Bitcoin.
Less than 100 blocks to go before Bitcoin Cash difficulty retarget -- expect profitability to double. Retarget is at 479808. What will miners do?
A chain death spiral for Bitcoin Legacy is not entirely out of the question. If miners defect in droves.. it can happen. I know it may be premature for me to say that. For all we know tomorrow everything resets, but it's a real possibility. And I am a bit saddened, actually that it might occur. Interesting times, indeed.
[uncensored-r/Bitcoin] As predicted, with BTC difficulty retarget, the bcash pump has activated.
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