Proposal for template "Network Upgrade Notice" to increase network reputation and reduce fallout of misunderstandings


When communicating about upgrades of the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network, it is important to remember that BCH intends to serve everyone in the world. The quality of communication should align with that high bar, especially on upgrades that get more attention such as network rules or consensus rules. Without a central authority, achieving that high quality communication requires some care.

The main benefits are increased reputation as a reliable network, and on the flipside, reduction of fallout from miscommunication and misunderstandings, especially on dangerous topics such as the difference between an upgrade and a split, which has affected users in the past. It should also reduce the overall coordination cost which has been significant in the past.

Desirable Properties of the Template

  • Widely discussed to remove rough edges and discover common language
  • Easy for a publisher to include complete, accurate and appropriate information
  • Easy for a publisher to adapt to their audience
  • Unencumbered by restrictive copyright, open source, and therefore available to all for usage, improvement and adaptation
  • All language should be neutral-to-positive, business-like and fact based. Individual announcements using the template can adjust the level of excitement, promotion, story-telling, etc. as they see fit.

Key Outcomes of Template Usage in Publications

  • BCH reputation for stability increases as the world sees similar high quality information from multiple sources, across multiple upgrades
  • Stakeholders such as merchants, holders, traders, exchanges, pools, etc. are confident about what they need to do, if anything
  • Overall effort for communication can be expected to be lower when there is at least one high quality, low contention template.

Next steps

  1. I will propose an outline for a template below and improve it based on discussion in this thread.
  2. Creation of actual content templates for various cases past and future can come next. BCR may be an appropriate starting place for those though eventually I think they need to end up in a repository (not necessarily the same one every time) or perhaps a separate article.

Template Outline

Common overview and reference

Start with simple, straightforward, easy to digest reference material for everyone, especially media.

  • title including some shared name that can be repeated in various media
  • non-technical description of the upgrade and key benefits to various audiences
  • what to expect on upgrade day (especially re: not a split)
  • simple schedule leading up to the upgrade


Actions or links to them for various stakeholders.

  • users/holders/traders - basically just look forward to enjoying the benefits and not having problems
  • technical users such as operations, developers - upgrade considerations, timing


Technical details or links to them. Keep this at the end so it doesn’t cause non-technical audience to stop reading.

  • link to spec
  • description of type of upgrade (maybe with a link to relationship between hard fork, soft fork, split, …)

So we get better PR, finally?

I am all in for this initiative.

Right now the world does not know what is happening in BCH, regarding software and our PR/comunication is terrible.

I will support any effort that can make this better.


Maybe take the format of a press release and add an “About Bitcoin Cash” section along with about sections for key organizations mentioned in the release? This way, we give press background info and people to get quotes from.

It is a bit unclear how you see this being used.

A single announcement that is shared/posted on different medias in which the different implementations make some statement and share versions that are upgrade compatible and sign the information?
An announcement that every implementation makes separately with their own information about their clients?
Something else?

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This is probably a good call. It may need to diverge from typical press release format due to our particular situation with a mix a network announcement (where the announcer does not unilaterally represent the network), and an app/service announcement (where the announcer does unilaterally represent the app/service).

I’ll collect some feedback and try a v2.

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Sorry about that. There are a number of individuals and organizations who would have reason to publish something about the network upgrade. In some cases, it may just be about the upgrade itself (e.g. a full node project or maybe a news site). In other cases, it would be about the upgrade in the context of the benefits it brings to the announcer’s users (e.g. a wallet or app).

This template should provide a solid reference for the network upgrade part of any announcement. It can be used verbatim or modified to fit needs. I will collect feedback for a while and then make sure to clarify this in the description and in the template itself.

It is not intended to be a central public statement for everyone to point to. That’s a road we have worked hard to avoid and I’d prefer we not go there now.

I did not intend it to be a signed message, but it could be used that way.

For the May 2022 Upgrade, I took the liberty of making a smaller / simplified version that I would be happy to see people use:

It’s smaller because I couldn’t get all the information (link to final spec, for example, is not available yet).

Feel free to use, or not use, as you see fit. If you want to update / change things, that’s fine - please communicate with others who could use the template if you do so we can make it consistent.


I like the message about the forthcoming upgrade in @Jonathan_Silverblood 's template.

Have suggested in another channel that BIP69 (non-consensus privacy enhancement) could be added.

The “Humble Ox” name does not appeal to me all that much (*), I would propose leaving it out of the official communique for now and having some sort of community involvement to pick a name (a naming contest maybe?). There ought to be enough time ahead of May 2022.

(*) mainly because the ox has a reputation (among humans) for being a strong but fairly docile, subservient do-what-you’re-told animal etc. whereas Bitcoin Cash is equally strong but building on a spirit of independence, virility and virality, smarts instead of brute force etc.


Jonathan’s post is great. I agree with @freetrader’s comments. Three ways it might be improved:

  1. Press-release-ify so that it is in a familiar format
  2. Unsure but… one very specific issue in the past was uncertainty and concern about “is there a split?” and “is this a hard fork” (because unfortunately Blockstream and others have established in public image that hard fork = split). This addresses the split question in a way that I’m not sure is appropriate but maybe it is. However it doesn’t clarify (even in a technical section) about upgrade, hard fork, soft fork, split.
  3. Some minor grammar-type nits.

Is there anyone who can help with #1?

@freetrader what should be said about BIP69? Do you want to propose additional text?

@Jonathan_Silverblood how should I make suggestions for nits?


what should be said about BIP69? Do you want to propose additional text?

I quote from this post by @Griffith :

BIP69 eliminates the ability to fingerprint a wallet via intput/output ordering for commonly used transaction formats by deterministically sorting the inputs and outputs lexicographically.

So maybe we can add something like this to the second paragraph (after the “The upgrade will also provide …” sentence):

“Several wallets are also implementing the optional BIP69 to increase transaction privacy for the upgrade.”

(above wording may be awkward, I’m just trying to get the gist of the message across)

And under the section “What do you need to do to prepare?”, add a point for it

“- Wallet developers should consider implementing BIP69 and enabling it by default to increase privacy”

Finally, add a ‘Technical’ bullet but mark it ‘optional’:

All of these are just suggestions, and I would be happy if even one of them got in.
I think it could make a difference in raising awareness esp. if many nodes are going to communicate this same message.


Sorry for this low-effort praise, but I wanted to say it: You guys rock.

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A number of good communications going out today. Documenting those as starting points for future communications.

(will track more as I get them)

Thanks to Jonathan Silverblood, Jason Dreyzehner and all others who inspired and pushed for announcement by projects of their commitment to the May upgrade.
Special thanks to @bitjson for letting BCHN re-use a lot of his blog post wording for our own announcement.