For most people, one of the biggest benefits of Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies is that they are decentralized and can’t be manipulated by governments. While this is certainly a big perk, that doesn’t mean that manipulation doesn’t go on. After the recent fiasco of SegWit2x being planned for months, then canceled less than a week before the fork was supposed to occur, many people are asking whether or not this was just a form of ‘decentralized’ manipulation.
Why Was it Stopped?
The vast majority of people in the crypto-world were caught off guard when the announcement came out that the SegWit2x fork was being canceled. People immediately began reacting in a variety of ways, and as we saw in the days following, many of them started selling off their Bitcoins. This caused huge swings for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, and many of the alt-coins that are out there. Now that things are slowly starting to settle down, it is important to ask the question about why the 2x fork was actually stopped.
The simple answer was that there just wasn’t a consensus. Whenever a significant update like this takes place, it causes a fork, which essentially creates a new currency (this is how Bitcoin Gold and Bitcoin Cash were created). The more of these forks that occur, the harder it is for anybody to ‘control’ how things are done. Many of the ‘big players’ in the Bitcoin world wanted to push forward with the change, but they couldn’t bring on enough of the miners and exchanges.
Many people, however, are wondering if the major players in Bitcoin knew from the beginning that they wouldn’t have full support, but pushed forward anyway. While it is impossible to prove, one has to assume that the decision makers adjusted their Bitcoin and other crypto-holdings prior to announcing that 2x was canceled. They could have made a huge amount of money off of this move, which could have been their goal all along.
Is it Really Decentralized?
Sure, accusing the big players of this type of manipulation may seem like some type of conspiracy theory, but would you really put it past them? Those in power are always willing to manipulate things to their own advantage, why do people think it will be different with Bitcoin. Reports suggest that it really came down to just 8 people who decided to cancel the 2x fork. With that few people holding that much control, can we really call Bitcoin decentralized?
This event likely won’t mean the death of Bitcoin, but it is certainly raising concerns in the minds of many people. Those who want true decentralization may be looking to move to one of the many other crypto-currencies that are truly independent of this type of manipulation.