The amber testnet will be hard forked to apply the XHedge upgrade

We are happy to announce that a new version of smartBCH (v0.4.2) is ready and the amber testnet will be hard forked at the height of 3088100 (next Monday), based on this version. We name this hard fork “XHedge”, to highlight its most important feature: BCH holders can elect validators through the XHedge smart contract.

After this hard fork, The voting power from miners (PoW) and the voting power from BCH holders (PoS) will both be 50%. For PoS voting, BCH holders can stake BCH into the XHedge smart contract to mint a pair of Lever NFT and Hedge NFT. The Lever NFT is used to elect validators for smartBCH and its voting power is proportional to the accumulated coin-days. And Hedge NFT can be used to endorse the value of stable coins. We hope in the future one or more DeFi projects can finally bring us stable coins with Hedge NFTs are the deposit reserve.

Another important feature is that validators can use an optimized scheme to adjust the minimum gas price together, and the adjustable range will be larger than the current version. Now on the smartBCH network, any validator can adjust the minimum gas price, and when the validators’ options are different, there will be a chaos of meaningless rising and falling.

Users will also find the VRF verifying capability and the new mempool design useful. SEP109 adds a precompile smart contract to verify VRF (verifiable random function) hash results, in a gas-efficient way. The new mempool will allow accounts to send new transactions into successive blocks, while the current version only accepts transactions from the same user in every other block.

There are also many new customized RPC endpoints, speed optimizations, and robustness enhancement. But the sha-gate function will not be included in this upgrade. We will implement sha-gate in the next few months and apply it after Bitcoin Cash main chain’s 2022 May hard fork.

We hope the upgraded amber testnet will bring a better experience to users and developers. And when the new features are tested thoroughly on the amber testnet, we will soon apply the XHedge upgrade to the smartBCH mainnet.

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