Should hard forks exist?

That was one of the big questions raised during the War of Words Forum, a roundtable discussion at the Bitkan-hosted 2017 Shape the Future Blockchain Global Summit in Hong Kong.

Among the speakers at the forum was Dr. Craig Wright, chief scientist of nChain, who expressed a slightly different view on hard forks. At its core—no pun intended—Bitcoin is a voting system, and hard forks are basically the cryptocurrency’s consensus method, he said.

“When you consider what Bitcoin is about, it’s not users voting on the size of blocks. Users don’t care, they shouldn’t care. Exchanges don’t care, they shouldn’t care. You want your transaction safely included in a block. As an exchange you want your exchange to send your transaction and it to be included. There’s only one way for blocks to include transactions, that’s miners incorporate them,” Wright said.

August 1, 2017 was a momentous day for the Bitcoin community, because it was the day that Bitcoin Cash was created. Bitcoin Cash was the product of the hard fork, after a group of miners who have lost confidence in the SegWit2X proposal decided to take the matters into their own hands and split off from the main Bitcoin blockchain.

Despite being a new coin in the market, Bitcoin Cash has been forging ahead since the split and receiving support from members of the community, who believe that the cryptocurrency fulfills Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision of true, decentralized, peer-to-peer electronic cash with more efficient transaction capacity.

“Bitcoin is a voting system. It is a way of also transferring money and to do that, it has to be people risking the game. That’s people who invest, people who risk their own money, not like proof of stake, not where it’s once and then forever more you own those coins and forever more you can change the rules, everyday it’s competition,” Wright said. “Bitcoin is about free speech, not forcing people to listen to you because you have no right to make another person listen to you, and you equally have no right to take away their right to listen. That’s what Bitcoin is about.”