BitMEX Launches Fork Monitoring Tool Ahead of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Upgrade

BitMEX has released a network monitoring website that will initially focus on the upcoming Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork.

The research arm of Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency derivatives platform BitMEX, BitMEX Research, has launched a new network monitoring tool for Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

The company said in a blog post on Monday that the platform, available at ForkMonitor.info, is “useful for monitoring the situation during network upgrades (softforks or hardforks)”. BitMEX further described the tool as “potentially useful in helping to detect unintentional consensus bugs,” such as CVE-2018-17144, which was discovered back in September.

The ForkMonitor website, which was created in collaboration with Bitcoin enthusiast and software developer Sjors Provoost, is connected to five Bitcoin nodes and eight Bitcoin Cash nodes. BitMEX explained that the tool is now primarily geared towards BCH due to the network’s upcoming hard fork scheduled for November 15.

The upgrade event may lead to a code split of Bitcoin Cash due to a difference in consensus between Amaury Séchet’s Bitcoin ABC and Craig Wright’s nChain. According to Wright, the changes proposed by ABC would not fit the protocol’s original vision, prompting nChain to release its own full node BCH client, called Bitcoin SV. As noted by BitMEX, there could also be a third implementation that follows the original consensus rules.

“While it appears that the economic majority will support Bitcoin ABC’s hardfork, there is significant uncertainty over how each client will behave and which chains they will follow. Therefore, BitMEX Research has sponsored this new website which has launched before the hardfork is due to occur. This will hopefully provide useful information to some stakeholders, as the events get underway next week,” BitMEx’s statement read.

The company noted, however, that the BCH focus is temporary. “After the Bitcoin Cash hardfork is complete, the website’s intention is to move some of the focus over to Bitcoin,” BitMEx explained. It added that the plan is to run more versions of Bitcoin Core, as well as independent implementations such as Bcoin, BTCD and Libbitcoin.

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