Buterin Defends Hard Forks, Adding Heat to Bitcoin Scaling Debate

Vitalik Buterin has joined Vinny Lingham in the hard fork vs. soft fork Bitcoin debate.

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Buterin Defends Hard Forks, Adding Heat to Bitcoin Scaling Debate

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has summarized the implications of soft and hard forks amid growing tensions surrounding Bitcoin’s future.

“...There is an essential difference between hard forks and soft forks: hard forks are opt-in, whereas soft forks allow users no “opting” at all,” he wrote earlier this week.

The Bitcoin price was under downward pressure Friday as the community awaits Chinese regulatory announcements and indecisiveness over SegWit and Bitcoin Unlimited continues.

After Unlimited succumbed to a bug earlier in the week, rhetoric between the opposing sides became even harsher.

On the technical side, however, Buterin was frank about the praise and criticism leveled at the technology each represents. SegWit is a soft fork, while Unlimited is a hard fork.

“Proponents of hard forks are often derided as trying to effect a ‘hostile takeover’ of a network and “force” users to go along with them. Additionally, the risk of chain splits is often used to bill hard forks as ‘unsafe,’” he said.

“It is my personal viewpoint that these criticisms are wrong and furthermore in many cases completely backwards.”

Within Bitcoin, meanwhile, commentator Vinny Lingham also published thoughts on the forking solution Wednesday, taking a different tone to Buterin.

“If we all just breathe out and put aside our differences and emotions (even just for a while), let’s accept that doing a hard fork right now is NOT in the best interest of Bitcoin and let’s please just adopt Segwit,” he wrote.