For the rank outsider, the entire landscape of cryptocurrencies can be summed up with just one of them - Bitcoin. It's understandable considering the kind of dominance that it holds over the market as a whole. But this is the descriptive equivalent of judging the size of an iceberg by what's peeking out from the surface.
As you start to dive into it with greater intent, you realize that there's more than just one Bitcoin out there. You get your hard forks such as Bitcoin Cash, Gold and Litecoin (technically). But, as previously discussed in the guide we published on Bitcoin Cash, a literal battle over the trajectory of the project resulted in the creation of two other kinds of cryptocurrencies.
These, of course, are Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC. As of right now, we've only seen a couple of news reports on this 'hash war' as it took place, information on what exactly separate these two digital assets is relatively scarce unless you know where to look.
Fortunately, this IS one of the places that you can look for some insight.
So let's look a little bit back into one of the previous paragraphs. More specifically, when we use the phrase 'hash war.' And that's absolutely no understatement: this disagreement resulted in the loss of millions of dollars as the two sides battled over which variant could accrue the highest hashing rate.
Was there logic to this battle? Well, technically yes. The idea being that the blockchain protocol that proved itself more capable of processing the most blocks would prove the more viable concept of the two.
As a result, millions were lost in depreciating value, lost days in work time and investor interest. So why? What triggered this literal battle? It was actually kicked off because of a disagreement over how to 'reform' Bitcoin Cash. And here is where battle lines got drawn.
This segment of BCH argued that there was no real need for radically changing the general structure of Cash. Specifically, this group did believe that there did need to be modifications, however.
These included increasing the average block size, thereby increasing scalability and transaction speed, while also taking the time to reduce payment costs. The block size argument is actually where it gets its name 'ABC,' which stands for Adjustable Blocksize Cap).
Some of the more prominent names within this group include the Bitcoin Cash booster Roger Ver and the co-founder of one of the larger cryptocurrency mining outfits - Bitmain - Jihan Wu.
Currently, Bitcoin ABC is undertaking the developments necessary in order to provide a permanent solution for lower transaction fees (fractional Satoshis).
These developers also get referred to as 'the reformers' for their more drastic approach to improving Bitcoin Cash by bringing it closer to what was conceived of as 'Satoshis Vision,' which would end up sticking as far as names go.
So what is it that SV wanted to do? Increase the size of blocks, for starters. But it's the extent that they had in mind that made it so radical. Core developers of the SV team sought to crank up block size to its maximum; taking it from its original 32mb to 128mb, scaling up the volume of transactions it could process.
Along with this maximizing of block size, the SV team wanted to set limits to the amount of functionality that smart contracts had within the network.
While ABC consisted of names like Ver and Wu, Bitcoin SV was headed up by the controversial Dr Craig Wright, who had previously made headlines for his claims of being the 'real' Satoshi Nakamoto.
It's been roughly 2 years since this hard split between these two took place, and since then, ABC and SV have enjoyed their own victories. For ABC, it won the continued patronage of cryptocurrency exchanges like Bittrex, Kraken and others. This is mainly because it's proven stronger at accumulating more blocks with its proof of work solution.
Since then, ABC has been merged together with BCH on these exchange listings.
Bitcoin SV, meanwhile, didn't get such good treatment by crypto exchanges. Binance, however, which played the virtual Switzerland in this conflict, took the time to make sure that both of these protocols would be listed on the platform.
Even with the aftermath of this hashing war, there does appear to be some prominent animosity between the two sides. As best exemplified by Calvin Ayre, who still brazenly identifies as a SV supporter.
“Bitcoin SV is the original Bitcoin not the original Bitcoin Cash.”