What would happen if some minority of mining hash power and maybe a merchant or exchange decided to stay with, or move to, different consensus rules than everybody else?
Would there be two different flavors of Bitcoin? Would it cause massive disruptions to the Bitcoin economy? Would your coins be safe?
(spoiler alert if you’re in a hurry: no, no, and yes)
I’ll start with the assumption that there is a supermajority (two-thirds or more– comfortably over 50%) that wants one set of consensus rules, and a minority that wants another set of consensus rules. This analysis doesn’t work if there is an even split in opinion about the rules. I’m also assuming that there is a supermajority of both hash power and transaction creators (the ‘economic majority’) on the same side; the analysis is different if miners and exchanges/merchants/users disagree about what the rules should be.
So, if there
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