Bitcoin’s Satoshi Nakamoto Predicted The BCH Fork Drama In A Forum Post Eight Years Ago
Some see hard forks as a problem with crypto. Others see hard forks as one of the best features of crypto. One thing that’s certain, however, is that Satoshi Nakamoto predicted hard forks like the ongoing BCH fork long before they started to occur.
Satoshi Nakamoto first mentioned the possibility of bitcoin forks in 2010. Eight years on, we’re seeing the first true hashwar for bitcoin as the two sides of Bitcoin Cash (ABC and SV) do battle.
As spotted by Mati Greenspan, Senior Market Analyst at eToro, Satoshi wrote a forum post eight years ago outlining the consequences and mechanisms of a fork.
On June 17, 2010, bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto replied to a post titled, “Transactions and Scripts: DUP HASH160 … EQUALVERIFY CHECKSIG.”
Here’s what Satoshi had to say in response to the thread:
“If someone was getting ready to fork a second version, I would have to air a lot of disclaimers about the risks of using a minority version. This is a design where the majority version wins if there’s any disagreement, and that can be pretty ugly for the minority version and I’d rather not go into it, and I don’t have to as long as there’s only one version.”
Satoshi is explaining how a fork would occur. There would be two sides that cannot agree on the rules for bitcoin. This would lead to a split after a certain implementation date. From that date forward, miners would vote with their hashpower. A majority of miners would back the majority version, while a minority would back the minority version. The majority would reign supreme, while the minority version would become irrelevant.
Satoshi doesn’t specifically explain what would happen to the minority version because he’d “rather not go into it.” However, what happens to the minority version is that tokens mined on that chain become useless. Wallet providers and exchanges vote with their code, the market votes with its feet, and the minority version gets left behind.
This appears to be the case with the Bitcoin Cash hashwar. One version is going to reign supreme while all of the mining work on the other chain will be wasted. Today, 24 hours after the hashwar started, it looks like BCH ABC is going to reign supreme – but who knows what the future holds.
Satoshi’s forum post was greeted with optimism by some and skepticism by others:
“How long have you been working on this design Satoshi? It seems very well thought out, not the kind of thing you just sit down and code up without doing a lot of brainstorming and discussion on it first,” writes one Satoshi fan.
Others were more skeptical.
“Good idea or not, SOMEBODY will try to mess up the network (or co-opt it for their own use) sooner or later. They'll either hack the existing code or write their own version, and will be a menace to the network.”
Satoshi responded to both of these commenters. He responded to the first comment by stating that he had been working on bitcoin since 2007. He responded to the second comment by mentioning transaction fees.
“I know, most developers don’t like their software forked, but I have real technical reasons in this case,” concludes Satoshi as the reasoning behind the bitcoin forking mechanism.
Meanwhile, crypto prices are rallying across the board today after reaching a one-year low earlier this week. Could we have reached the bottom of the bear market amidst all of this BCH hashwar controversy? Or is there still more pain to be felt?