The possibility of a split of the Bitcoin network into two incompatible currency networks is worrying some bitcoin holders, but Mastering Bitcoin author Andreas Antonopoulos thinks such a scenario is “extremely unlikely” to play out. In his view, Bitcoin is inherently resistant against contentious hard forks.
During an appearance on a panel at Blockchain Africa Conference 2017, Antonopoulos was asked for his thoughts on the possibility of a hard fork in Bitcoin, likely in reference to increased support for Bitcoin Unlimited among miners.
“I think it’s extremely unlikely that we’re going to see a fork in Bitcoin,” Antonopoulos initially responded. “It would be very strongly resisted by the entire community because it’s a very different situation from, for example, Ethereum, and I don’t think you’re going to see that. There might be attempts to do it. Any miner who attempts to do that is going to very quickly learn a very painful lesson about what the economic majority means.”
Antonopoulos referenced Ethereum because that cryptocurrency network experienced a contentious split in 2016 after part of the community decided not to go along with an attempted hard fork to bail out those who lost funds due to a buggy financial application, known as The DAO, which was built on top of the platform. There is now Ethereum and Ethereum Classic, with the latter being the network using the blockchain that did not implement a bailout.
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