Following the hard fork in the Ethereum blockchain earlier this year, developers involved in the Bitcoin Core project are coming up with a plan to deal with the possibility of a hard fork in Bitcoin. But with the Bitcoin network much larger and more disparate than Ethereum, could such an event happen with Bitcoin anyway?
A Hard Fork
A hard fork is when a blockchain splits in to two based upon a fundamental change in rules governing the system. In the case of Ethereum, the hard fork that was initiated was the result of a hack in TheDAO, a smart contract that had some bad code with which to exploit. This exploit allowed the hacker to siphon off tens of millions of dollars worth of digital currency. A hard fork was used to roll back those illicit transactions and return the stolen funds to their rightful owners. (For more, see: Ethereum Reaches Consensus to Hard Fork, Fixing DAO Hack)
A hard fork in Bitcoin seems to be much less likely. First, the size of the Bitcoin network is much larger in terms of mining power, even though there are approximatetely the same