November 09, 2017
By Christine Masters - November 09, 2017 (cryptovest.com)
Officially, the November hard fork was called off. Unofficially, a rogue blockchain has been announced by self-presented miner group BitPico.
The Bitcoin hash rate has been dwindling - and the account of BitPico has shown up, claiming ownership. In a Microsoft Cloud message, BitPico stated that a hard fork is coming anyway, despite the cancellation from the project's leaders sent days ago.
In a categorical tone, BitPico wrote:
"We are carrying out the fork regardless as everything is set in motion. Backing down the difficulty right now is a strategy. Wonder why 30% network hash-rate disappeared? It’s ours; the miners that will continue what is set in motion... A handful of humans cannot stop what they have no control over..."
The Bitcoin hash rate has bucked the trend, expecting a record downward adjustment in difficulty in just a few days. This means that after the hard fork, the new blockchain created would operate at a low difficulty for at least 2016 blocks.
But the recently created BitPico account, presumably for a group of miners, claimed a much lower hashing power in an earlier notice. Theories on the behavior of BitPico ranged from mere trolling to an attempt to manipulate the B2X futures markets. B2X futures dropped dramatically after the fork cancellation, losing more than 80% of their valur.
The Bitcoin difficulty will probably adjust downward by 30%, an unseen correction after the difficulty rose rapidly in the past months.
US-based exchange Coinbase will be monitoring the proposal for a rogue hard fork, but so far abstains from a statement:
Bitcoin enthusiast and founder of Civig Vinny Lingham also noted the potential rogue hard fork:
At the moment, no one is certain if BitPico is a real entity that in fact commands the missing hashing power and slowed down the Bitcoin blockchain. The entity is related to a low-activity GitHub repository, and some believe the move is merely a distraction tactic.
But since forking Bitcoin is easy, it is not impossible that an actual SegWit2X coin would be created. This time, however, it would not be able to strangle the Bitcoin chain.
The other hypothesis would be that the lowered hashing power would flow into Bitcoin Cash, which will soon have a smoother difficulty adjustment algorithm.
The official cancelation of the SegWit2X hard fork for the foreseeable future managed to calm down the markets and caused a rally in altcoin prices.