How to update your Bitcoin Cash node software, check it’s running smoothly on the testnet, and more.

The next Bitcoin Cash network upgrade is scheduled to take place on November 15, at approximately 12:00 UTC. After the upgrade, alternative node software will become incompatible with the Bitcoin Cash network so, unfortunately, a chain split is possible. 

This guide explains how technical teams can make sure their node is upgrade-ready, protecting exchanges, wallets, and other businesses from the risks associated with chain wipeout in the event of a chain split, and block reorganization in the event of no chain split.

Before we begin, you can find the technical specification for the upgrade here!

1. Download compatible software

Bitcoin ABC 0.22.0, and all later versions of the software, are compatible with the Bitcoin Cash network upgrade:

Note: Any node software that doesn’t include the new coinbase rule will become incompatible with Bitcoin Cash after the upgrade. This includes all versions of alternative node software, such as Bitcoin Unlimited and BCHN, and versions of Bitcoin ABC 0.21.13 or older.

2. Deploy the software

If you already run Bitcoin ABC software, version 0.22.x can typically be used as a drop-in replacement. For non-mining nodes, no special configuration is needed for the upgrade to activate properly.

However, if you haven’t been upgrading your node software regularly, breaking changes may affect you. Before upgrading, carefully check the release notes for each version ahead of the version that you currently have deployed.

3. Test your node

We know how important it is for the network upgrade to go smoothly for businesses. That’s why we’ve created additional testing infrastructure so you can spot any problems and fix them before the real upgrade takes place on November 15. 

A special upgrade-activation testnet treats every day like a network upgrade day, activating a test upgrade at a set time so you can check your node still works the way it should. You can then track the testnet on our upgrade activation explorer

Essential information for mining pool operators

Note: this section is NOT optional for operators of mining pool software. 

So that you can continue to follow the upgraded Bitcoin Cash network on November 15, mining pools must be configured for the new coinbase rule as follows:

  • The coinbase needs to pay 8% of the block reward in a single output to the following Bitcoin Cash address: bitcoincash:pqnqv9lt7e5vjyp0w88zf2af0l92l8rxdgnlxww9j9

  • For pools that only support legacy BCH addresses, the equivalent legacy address is: 35A4uDKb6p9AFu7w1R4sDhiFfevSBv4uLq

  • You can find the specification for the new coinbase rule here. The rule will be enforced once the upgrade activates

It’s important to make sure that your pool generates valid coinbases according to the above rules when the upgrade activates. Otherwise, your pool will find invalid blocks.

Since all mining pool software is different, we can’t provide an exhaustive guide for implementing the new coinbase rule. That’s why we strongly recommend you test your software on the upgrade activation testnet before the upgrade takes place, to make sure everything is running smoothly. 

Having trouble?

If you’re struggling to upgrade your node successfully, raise a ticket and one of our software engineers will be happy to help.