Coinbase Plans to Call the Fork With the Most Accumulated Difficulty “Bitcoin”

On October 23, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the exchange Coinbase revealing its plans to name the pending Segwit2x fork tokens, if the Bitcoin blockchain happens to fork again this November. After the company’s first announcement, the following day Coinbase director of communications, David Farmer, wrote a clarification concerning how the firm will choose each chain’s name.

Also read: Bitcoin Accessibility From a Blind Person’s Perspective

Coinbase Edits The Company’s Segwit2x Labeling Position

Coinbase Plans to Call the Fork With the Most Accumulated Difficulty "Bitcoin" The bitcoin network may fork in a few weeks on or around November 16 at block height 494784. Many bitcoin-based businesses have been revealing their plans for the upcoming Segwit2x fork, detailing how they will handle a possible split, and how they will determine the name of each token. The San Francisco-based company Coinbase is a business everyone is watching closely, because it has millions of users and processes a lot of bitcoin transactions. On October 23, the exchange revealed how it would proceed with the blockchain labeling, on its frequently asked questions (FAQ) section.

“Following the fork, we will continue referring to the current bitcoin blockchain as Bitcoin with the symbol ‘BTC’,” explains Coinbase. “We will refer to the new blockchain resulting from the fork as Bitcoin2x with the symbol ‘B2X’. If the Segwit2x change is accepted by most users, we may choose to rename these blockchains at a later date.”

However, the FAQ section has since been edited, and there is a new clarification written. Now the company’s Segwit2x guidelines explain the labeling a touch differently as the FAQ states;    

[EDIT] At the time of the fork, the existing chain will be called Bitcoin and the Segwit2x for will be called Bitcoin2x. Ultimately, we will call the fork with the most accumulated difficulty Bitcoin. We will wait for a period of time after the fork, before finalizing the naming.

Coinbase: ‘We Are Going to Call the Chain With the Most Accumulated Difficulty Bitcoin’

Additionally, Coinbase executive David Farmer further explains the company’s position.

“In our prior blog post we indicated that at the time of the fork, the existing chain will be called Bitcoin and the Segwit2x fork will be called Bitcoin2x,” explains Farmer. “However, some customers asked us to clarify what will happen after the fork — We are going to call the chain with the most accumulated difficulty Bitcoin.”

In the blog post that particular sentence concerning hashrate is written in bold, and Farmer goes on to say that Coinbase will make the naming a priority once each chain is stable. Farmer also states the exchange will even consider factors like market capitalization and community support before determining the token’s labels and ticker.  

“It’s important for us to keep a neutral position in any fork,” Farmer emphasizes.

We believe that letting the market decide is the best way to ensure that Bitcoin remains a fair and open platform.

The Second Announcement Riles Up the Bitcoin ‘Community’

Coinbase Plans to Call the Fork With the Most Accumulated Difficulty "Bitcoin" Of course, the news came as a surprise to those who were pleased with the decision Coinbase made the day before. After Coinbase announced they would call the chain with the most accumulated difficulty “Bitcoin,” the announcement caused an uproar from those who are against the Segwit2x fork. For instance, the CEO of Satoshi Labs and Slush Pool founder, Marek Palatinus tweeted to Coinbase after the second announcement stating;

Hash power does not determine what is Bitcoin, and you know that.

On the Reddit forum /r/bitcoin, the Coinbase threads were filled with rage and angst against the San Francisco exchange’s decision. Shapeshift CEO Erik Voorhees responded to criticisms from forum participants who were blatantly telling people they should get their BTC out of Coinbase right away.

“Coinbase, Xapo, and Gemini (as well as others who haven’t formally announced the same) are simply letting the market decide “what is Bitcoin,” and, they are following the Bitcoin white paper — For this, /r/bitcoin crucifies them,” Voorhees explains.

Overall it’s safe to say that the second notification from Coinbase shocked a few people who read the prior announcement. Moreover, the statement made by Voorhees is true that Coinbase is not the only company who says it will follow the chain with the most accumulated proof of work difficulty. However, there are also other businesses who have stated they will not support any software’s consensus rules except for Core’s, and many of those believe miners are the root of all evil.

What do you think about the second announcement from Coinbase? Do you believe the fork with the most accumulated difficulty is Bitcoin? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoin.com, and Coinbase.


News.Bitcoin.com opinions and editorials are vital reading. Experience more of them here. At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even look up the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.