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Debate Series 7: On the definition of Bitcoin during a contentious hard fork

BitDevs NYC
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Nov 15 7:00PM - 9:00PM

If you can't make it to the main event please join us at Live Bait around 9:30PM. Thanks to our sponsors Chaincode Labs (check out their residency program) for food and refreshments. Space is limited


The popularity of UTXO snapshot forks has increased greatly following the Bitcoin Cash hard fork. UTXO snapshot forks are caused by backwards incompatible modifications to consensus rules that preserve coin ownership. Traditionally, when clients modify consensus rules coin ownership is not preserved and the token is rebranded. However, in the context of a contentious hard fork, the question of which rule set is labeled Bitcoin remains.


We will explore this question and related subject matter. Here are some questions to prompt debate. Feel free to post others in the comments section below:

1) Should hashpower dictate naming (e.g. rules with majority hashrate preserves name)?


2) If the original ruleset has minority hashpower, is attacked, and has to change POW, which is the real Bitcoin?


3) Is there a measurable threshold to determine if the original ruleset has been completely abandoned for the new chain?

4) What responsibilities do custodial institutions have to their customers during contentious hard forks? For example, if a customer loses funds because they are sending funds between services that have different names for Bitcoin, who should be held accountable?


5) Should services that manage people's private keys be obligated to give users access to every UTXO snapshot fork? Is there some minimum threshold of value or requirement for replay protection?

6) If a contentious hard fork proposal does not implement replay protection, does that factor into naming?


7) Should futures market play any role in naming conventions?

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