vrypan — panayotis vryonis
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Clear 27°C — Kifisia, Greece — #ethereum #crypto

Can ETH be forked?

Can ETH be hard forked? (I'm interested to hear thoughts on this) πŸ§΅πŸ‘‡ 1/8 // @vrypanβ†’

Blockchain forking is often considered a threat, but it is also a mechanism that can be used agains censorship, a malicious attack, or to explore different technical paths. It is a degree of freedom that users, developers, miners/validators can exercise. 2/8 // @vrypan→

Ex: BCH was created as a way to explore different cultural and technical approaches to the BTC block size limit. ETH was forked in its early days as a defence against an attack. There are various cultural and political debates behind these forks, but the option was there. 3/8 // @vrypan→

In both of these cases, users were left with two versions of the coin and it was up to the market/community to decide how much each one was actually worth. 4/8 // @vrypan→

But could we fork ETH today if we decided to do so? I think not and the reason (there are probably others too) is that the ETH blockchain contains value that is not denominated in $ETH. 5/8 // @vrypan→

Take for example stablecoins. You can fork the USDC contract, but $USDC would have zero value in one of the forks if not supported by CENTRE. The whole DeFi ecosystem would crash if even one major stable coin went to zero in one of the forks. 6/8 // @vrypan→

Does this mean that in order to exercise the freedom to fork, we would have to ask for permission from stablecoins, DeFi protocols, NFT marketplaces and other stakeholders? Is this good or bad? 7/8 // @vrypan→

The possible scenarios are not easy to predict. What would happen to a stablecoin's value if they announced that they will not support an upcoming fork? What if one of them decided against the other? Could this be used by an actor to block an upgrade they don't like? 8/8 // @vrypan→

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