While a bitcoin hard fork isn’t imminent, its developers have begun to research how the complex technical change could be enacted, if needed.
The proactive steps illustrate the new responsibility Bitcoin Core, the network’s mostly volunteer developer group, has taken on as the protocol has grown from the pet project of its mystery creator to a broad network of consumers, businesses and stakeholders.
As bitcoin remains the most widely used blockchain platform (one that many people see as having the greatest potential to change the way society transacts), this responsibility, the bitcoin developers argue, should be treated with caution and respect.
In this light, there has been a renewed emphasis within Bitcoin Core to explore how it could implement a hard fork, a type of protocol change that has proved a lightning rod for controversy during bitcoin’s ongoing scaling debate and resulted in schisms in other blockchain networks.
Long-time Bitcoin Core developer Matt Corallo told CoinDesk:
“No one has pulled off a hard fork on a working system swimmingly with a clean system coming out on the other side. A number of people working on Bitcoin Core think we should have an idea of how [a hard fork] should look.”
The importance of