BitMEX Research analyzes Bitcoin client implementations and announces its own client

According to the analysis, Bitcoin Core, the leading software client of the Bitcoin network, has three main types of competition:

  1. Competition between chains, where competing software clients have a different set of consensus rules to the implementations the users currently run. Running these competing implementation can split coins into two chains in certain circumstances.
  2. Competition between independent implementations where competing software clients reimplement Bitcoin without using the code from Bitcoin Core. These implementations will often use a new coding language to try to capture some advantages other languages may have. These implementations also carry the risk of chain splits if there are conflicting consensus rules.
  3. Other competing software projects where competing software clients neither change the consensus rules nor re-implements the codebase. These implementations are created via a software fork of the current implementation and do not carry the risk of chain splits as they only make non-consensus changes.

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BitMEX Research goes on to explain the ongoing debate over competing consensus rules and competing independent implementations. According to BitMEX Research:

  1. Competing consensus rules encourage the network to be flexible and adaptable. However, competition could risk and damage the stability of a network through conflicting consensus changes.
  2. Competing independent implementations can protect a network from unexpected consensus bugs but leaves the network exposed to other types of bugs that could cause a majority of the network to shut down.

BitMEX Research concludes their post by announcing that the research arm is launching a new Bitcoin client called Bitcoin BitMEX Research. Bitcoin BitMEX Research is a software fork of Bitcoin Core and does not change Bitcoin's consensus rules. (Source: BitMEX)