Coinbase’s ambivalence concerning what chain will call “Bitcoin” after the upcoming Segwit2X fork made waves in the Bitcoin community, which again showed how sharp the disagreement is over the contentious hard fork. Litecoin’s Charlie Lee accused the company of making the “hardfork even more uncertain and confusing.”
As JustCryptoNews.com recently reported, Coinbase sent an email to all customers detailing the company's position on the two upcoming Bitcoin forks: Bitcoin Segwit2x and Bitcoin Gold. In that email, the San Fransisco-based company clearly stated that after Segwit2X hard forks, which will occur around November 16, they will continue referring the current bitcoin blockchain as "Bitcoin". This position was already published on Coinbase’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section:
“Following the fork, we will continue referring to the current bitcoin blockchain as Bitcoin with the symbol ‘BTC’,” the FAQ explained and continued :“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.”
The clarification that caused uproar
Despite the initial clear position, that current Bitcoin chain will be referred as “the bitcoin” with the symbol “BTC”, Coinbase opted to edit the FAQ page to add a new “clarification”. But that changed the overall meaning as you see:
“[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 made a sharp u-turn, because it’s completely different to state that “Bitcoin” will be “the fork with most accumulated difficulty.”
The news was not welcomed by those who where obviously happy with the initial Coinbase’s announcement, mostly opponents of the Segwit2x fork. Marek Palatinus, CEO of Satoshi Labs and Slush Pool founder, promptly replied that “hash power does not determine what Bitcoin is and you know that”
Hash power does not determine what is Bitcoin, and you know that.— slush 🌴🟩 (@slush) October 25, 2017
Some Twitter users responded reminding Slush his past support of Bitcoin XT and Classic but Palatinus replied that he changed his opinion because he has now a better understanding of bitcoin scaling.
Moreover, as expected, the Bitcoin reddit forum was quickly filled with Bitcoin Core hardcore fans telling people to get their bitcoins out of Coinbase.
Shapeshift CEO Erik Voorhees chose to reply on Reddit accusing those fans that they “crucified” exchanges such as Coinbase that “are simply letting the market decide ‘what is Bitcoin,’ and, they are following the Bitcoin white paper”.
Charlie Lee, founder of Litecoin, wrote his opinion that all “Coinbase is saying is that if the community really thinks B2X is Bitcoin, it will be reflected in the marketcap and hashrate.”
I believe what Coinbase is saying is that if the community really thinks B2X is Bitcoin, it will be reflected in the marketcap and hashrate. https://t.co/PKcTSi8HzJ— Charlie Lee (@SatoshiLite) October 25, 2017
Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong, tried to clarify things saying that his company tries to remain neutral and let the market decide. He also apologized for their initial post “was not as clear as it could have been about what happens *after* the fork. Then he stated that “determining when the chains are "stable" is a judgement call. Market cap, community support, etc would all factor in.”
But Charlie Lee was not satisfied by Armstrong’s clarification attempt. He replied to Coinbase’s CEO saying that the clarification contradicts their previous blog post and made the hardfork “even more uncertain and confusing!”