Bitcoin market shakes in front of the hard fork possibility. We have sorted out a few expert comments to help you calm down.
Hard fork means splitting the network by two concurrent pools of currency. It's been almost two weeks the Bitcoin market is shaking in front of the possibility of a hard fork in the nearest future.
Some say it's inevitable, some are more than skeptical.
And the rest of us just don't know what to expect, since all our crypto-money are about to either disappear or somehow divide between two concurrent networks and overall currencies. The only thing is clear — if the fork is to happen, it's going to be a big thing for the market, which has also split up by fork supporters and adversaries. Read through eight experts' opinions and decide on which side are you at.
Where hard fork debates started… again
All Bitcoin transactions are divided on blocks, which are processed by a "miner" — hardware device or a set of devices that solve complicated equations to make the transaction happen. An association of large mining facilities is usually called a "mining pool" and the bigger the pool, the more influence it has on the whole network.
Bitcoin network technical limitations, like block size limitation by the 1MB, make it easier for miners to verify and process transactions. However, in the meantime, smaller blocks create a queue of transactions that wait for approval. The significant part of community thinks that increasing default block size will help the network process each transaction faster and therefore eliminate the queue.
Being short, Bitcoin Unlimited — the world’s largest bitcoin mining pool has escalated overdue scaling debates, because they claim to have a solution:
- Allow each bitcoin node ('miner') to set the blocksize by itself
- Allow each miner to determine the total amount of blocks he can process
- Establish the signaling system to let nodes inform the network of the desired block size
Other important things: they've decided to turn open-source Bitcoin Core code into the close one.
LTB interview with Bitcoin Unlimited developer Andrew Stone: how it works, how to use it,… https://t.co/bNQmS6wjzW pic.twitter.com/XddntJE6gZ— Bitcoin Unlimited (@btc_unlimited) January 26, 2016
The other side of the conflict puts their stacks on Segregated Witness — a soft fork solution that is claimed to both solve the blocksize question and defend the existing Bitcoin network from malleability attacks. Therefore, they are totally against the measures presented by the Bitcoin Unlimited. Let's see why.
Experts speaking on Bitcoin hard fork possibility and outcomes
The blockchain is a network. It's decentralised. There's no one to decide whether the hard fork worth it, but users and large market players. Each approach could win the competition, if to be supported by the majority of users. Of course, in such circumstances enthusiasts, adopters and investors from both sides of the dispute couldn't resist expressing their own attitude to the hard fork necessity.
One of the famous Bitcoin investors and Bitcoin Unlimited supporters Roger Ver talks about the consequences of using full blocks. He specifically criticized the "intentional fee policy" that Bitcoin Core supports.
The damage caused by Core's intentional fee market via full blocks has already likely damaged Bitcoin's market cap by billions of dollars.— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) March 19, 2017
He also adds that altcoins (cryptocurrencies other than BTC) are quietly taking the market and the community should keep its eyes open.
Altcoins have been outperforming Bitcoin recently because full blocks lead to high fees & slow confirmations, creating a bad user experience pic.twitter.com/Vz0KmgDmAu— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) March 14, 2017
From BTC side Pixelmatic's CEO Samson Mow parries with a warning to the community:
Worst thing you can do in this debate is say "we've no choice but to follow the longest chain." It's the valid chain that matters! #bitcoin— Samson Mow (@Excellion) March 22, 2017
And another thought from Samson:
Next worst thing you can do is take a neutral position. Consensus is meant to be enforced by us all. We're ALL supposed to be full nodes.— Samson Mow (@Excellion) March 22, 2017
Speaker and security engineer Andreas Antonoopoulos shared Vinny Lingham article "Fork on the Road" that highlights possible negative outcomes:
“A Fork in the Road” by @VinnyLingham https://t.co/2neVBF1Q1Z— Andreas (@aantonop) March 16, 2017
Cryptography consultant Peter Todd believes that the whole BTU infrastructure and code aren't ready to the hard fork, and also casts some shades on their close-source coding approach.
A: Unlimited nodes are all down right now anyway so even if they're "fixing other exploits" there's no reason to do a closed source release.— Peter Todd (@petertoddbtc) March 22, 2017
He adds then:
A2: Failing to PGP-sign releases is stupid regardless of the circumstances; just teaches users to let their guard down.— Peter Todd (@petertoddbtc) March 22, 2017
In his turn, Brian Kelly, the author of the "The Bitcoin Big Bang" and early adopter doubts in the hard fork success, if it's to happen soon.
the optics of a hard fork would be horrible for the entire ecosystem— Brian Kelly (@BKBrianKelly) March 17, 2017
Bloq founder Jeff Garzik also warns that hard fork will take more time and more mutual agreements than everyone expect.
Wallets and libs are not adequately prepared for a hard fork, much less an abrupt hard fork. #bitcoin— Jeff Garzik (@jgarzik) March 18, 2017
Safe HF takes more than just nodes.
User Whale Panda is on the same side of the barricade, but notices that after all, Bitmain co-founder Jian Wu supports Bitcoin Unlimited and he usually knows what he's doing.
Amidst all the #BitcoinUnlimited screwups: let's not forget @JihanWu, who went all in on BU: https://t.co/QVOaJZJVUe pic.twitter.com/ZcQu83c4WO— WhalePanda (@WhalePanda) March 22, 2017
BitcoinFoundation.org founder Charlie Shrem who calmed down his followers with an information from China.
There will be no #Bitcoin hard fork unless #BitcoinUnlimited gets 80% hashrate. Verified with largest Chinese miners this morning.— Charlie Shrem (@CharlieShrem) March 17, 2017
As you can see from Tweets, experts are really doubtful in hard fork success. As we try to prepare for outcomes, more panic is involved and Bitcoin price follows — currency rates get boosted or decreased with each controversial statement.
At least the community didn't lost its sense of humour, despite debates are reaching the boiling point at the moment.
#BU in Mandarin is 不, which means "NO"/"DO NOT" 😂 #Bitcoin #不 $BTC— Damian Mee 🌏 (@meeDamian) March 22, 2017
All over the place:
pic.twitter.com/fOzF0PTffq— Nick Szabo (@NickSzabo4) March 22, 2017
Meanwhile, a big exchangers group including Bitfinex, Bitstamp, Coinfloor, Bitso and other platforms issued a contingency plan, where BTU is described as an altcoin.
The statement warns community — we're going to support Bitcoin Core. Considering recent attacks on Bitcoin Unlimited nodes and discovered vulnerabilities, they should prove to have a built-in two-way replay protection. In other words — consistently working BTU account comes first and the hard fork later.
We recently published our own statement regarding the hard fork issue, please take a minute to read.
What happens next?
The situation continues to evolve turning Twitter into the battlefield. The project that gets 80% hash rates (the sum of values in ongoing operations i.e. utilization) will be able to change the Bitcoin history. And only the time will tell us what lies ahead.
Do you know any other interesting opinions we can mention? Feel free to share in the comment section and through social media.