A History of Bitcoin Hard Forks – Bitcoin Magazine


Listen to the episode here:

In this episode of “Bitcoin, Explained,” hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss a recent blog post by Jameson Lopp titled “Has bitcoin ever hard forked?

Hard forks are generally defined as bitcoin protocol upgrades that remove or relax the rules, making these types of upgrades backwards incompatible. Van Wirdum and Provoost explain, however, that in his blog post, Lopp claims that this definition is not very precise and suggests that the term should only apply if the rule change was actually used. Additionally, hard forks can be categorized into explicit hard forks, where the rule change was an intentional hard fork, and implicit hard forks, where the rule change was not originally intended to be a hard fork but turned out to be a Anyway.

In the second half of the podcast, van Wirdum and Provoost break down the seven hard forks in Bitcoin history that Lopp was able to find and discuss, five of which have never been used (and therefore should arguably not be considered at all like hard forks), one of them was explicit and another was implicit.

To end the episode, van Wirdum and Provoost briefly discuss the “hard fork wishlist” of future hard forks that need to happen in order to fix a time value bug, and what kind of philosophy around deploying hard forks might make sense for bitcoin in terms of adding additional aspects to a needed change in code.


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