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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Fork Fallout? A Bitcoin Split Could Become a Legal Mess

Fork Fallout? A Bitcoin Split Could Become a Legal Mess

Should the bitcoin network suddenly split into rival networks, those negatively impacted in a shake-up may be unable to turn to courts for recourse.

In conversation with CoinDesk, legal experts discussed the more notable claims that have emerged amidst escalating discussions about a potential bitcoin hard fork, a process by which a portion of the network could migrate to new software, possibly creating two separate blockchains – and two bitcoin tokens – in the process.

In recent days, bitcoin's miners and developers have shown an increasing determination to back separate visions for the technology's path forward, in the process claiming that certain actions taken by the other party could result in legal consequences.

On one side, miners have put forth the idea they could sue developers for changes to bitcoin's consensus algorithm, should it result in their inability to operate profitably. On the other hand, developers have implied miners could face repercussions should they act aggressively, or maliciously, to disrupt one of the two resulting blockchains.

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