Ethereum, a network still in its infancy which was introduced on July 30, 2015, is already dealing with a major conflict amongst its community as a result of a hard fork which was implemented without the full consensus of the community.
Even worse, the hard fork was executed to benefit a certain party of the Ethereum community, not the network as a whole.
Bitcoin and scaling dilemma
Bitcoin Core developers and the Blockstream team have constantly received heavy criticism over the past few years from the Bitcoin community for their inability to reach consensus on the everlasting blocksize debate.
Eventually, as the Bitcoin network and its underlying technologies matured, a number of sophisticated proposals emerged, such as Segregated Witness and the Lightning network, to scale the network in a more cautious manner.
In contempt of the Bitcoin core developer team’s practical approaches of dealing with the expanding blocksize, many members of the community, including startups and entrepreneurs, have called for an execution of hard fork to instantaneously enlarge the Bitcoin block size.
Yet, the Bitcoin Core developers remained devoted in the development of various scaling technologies and proposals to optimize the Bitcoin network with minimum effect to the protocol and users.
As Edan Yago, CEO of Epiphyte Corporation, notes the developers’ innovative approaches in dealing with the network’s scaling dilemma allowed Bitcoin to survive for over 7 years, without any significant fork or chain split.
Ethereum hard fork and and its impact on Bitcoin network
Granted, the proposals and suggestions to launch a hard fork on the Bitcoin network could be justified, since they may serve the network an appropriate purpose. The issue with a hard fork is, the unforecasted and unpredictable result it will bring to the network.
The Bitcoin Core developers, who have proven to be skeptical, philosophical, and confident with their technical knowledge of the network, are aware of both the negative impact a small block size could bring to the Bitcoin industry and the unpredictable nature of a hard fork.
If executed poorly, a hard fork could possibly put pressure on the Bitcoin network itself, which could potentially lead to its demise. This very reason is the motivation of Bitcoin Core developers of building various scaling technologies which could optimize the network without imposing any negative impact to it.
Bitcoin enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, including Stephen Pair, BitPay co-founder and CEO, and security engineer Stephen Cole told the community that the Bitcoin Core developers deserve credit for their approach to the blocksize debate, and their daring mentality.
Attributes I cherish in the #bitcoin community— Stephen Cole (@sthenc) July 25, 2016
- risk averse
- security conscious
- evidence- & test-driven