The implementation of a hard fork in the Bitcoin network would be possible and the core developers are already thinking about it.
Even if a hard fork is not imminent at the moment, the Bitcoin core developers are investigating how such a scenario could look like.
The proactive step taken by the developers shows how responsible the team, which initially consisted only of volunteer developers, is towards its sponsors and stakeholders.
Bitcoin is probably the best-known digital currency today. Founded by an unknown “developer” known as Satoshi Nakamoto, today many people believe that Bitcoin can fundamentally change the behaviour and habits of today’s society.
The Bitcoin Core development team is aware of their responsibility for such a project and therefore approaches it with great care and respect.
This is the first time that the core developers are approaching the idea of a Hard Fork. Previously, this idea caused a lot of excitement within the Blocksize debate. Not least because such an undertaking would divide the network and involve great risks.
Bitcoin loophole long-term developer Matt Corallo said in an interview with CoinDesk:
“So far nobody has managed to successfully implement a Bitcoin loophole Hard-Fork. A certain number of Bitcoin loophole developers believe that we should at least be prepared for a possible hard fork”.
How important the preparations are we were able to experience very closely with the recent example of the Ethereum Blockchain. Unfortunately, the implementation of a Hard-Fork went very wrong here.
After one of the largest Ethereum projects was the victim of a gigantic theft, the developers rescued the stolen Ether assets of thousands of investors by resorting to Hard-Fork. This was the only way to undo the DAO theft and split the network.
With Hard-Fork, all miners, dealers and users were encouraged to update their nodes. Those who did an update were now users of the new blockchain. All those who decided not to update stayed on the old blockchain.
Two Ethereum blockchains remained: Ethereum Classc and Ethereum. Both blockchains claim the title of the “original” until today.
The scaling of Bitcoin
In the past, the issue of Bitcoin scaling has been the subject of much discussion. The implementation of a hard fork in the Bitcoin protocol was not the only solution.
Unlike hard forks, soft forks are backwards compatible and they correct themselves. Here only a small part of the miners have to carry out an update. Old nodes then also see the new nodes as valid and recognize their validity in the network. But also on this topic there are many different opinions.
One of the best known Soft Fork methods is Segregated Wittness – a solution originally developed to prevent transaction falsifications.
Since the first announcement of SegWit in December last year, the blocksize debate has subsided a little. Not least because great progress has already been made in the further development of the network.
“Six months ago the network was still in a raw state and the network was very slow. We’ve made improvements almost everywhere and that makes a big difference to many people back then,” Corallo says.
A hard fork is not necessary at the moment to cope with scaling. The Bitcoin Core developers have managed to optimize the network through the Fast Internet Bitcoin Relay Network (FIBRE) and Mempool size limitation.