Vitalik Buterin, the founder and de-facto head of the Ethereum cryptocurrency and its community clarified the upcoming Constantinople hard-fork will not split the coin in two- but rather will replace the chain with an upgraded one, and suggested that crypto en masse should adopt a lexical change to make things clearer.
The Constantinople ‘fork’ is set to be released in October of this year, and unlike last year’s dramatic Bitcoin Cash fiasco (http://www.chepicap.com/en/news/5441/-hash-wars-or-ego-wars-ran-neuner-talks-to-roger-ver-and-craig-wright.html ) which escalated from a ‘hard-fork’ to a ‘hash war,’ Constantinople is a planned and uncontroversial network change.
IMO the Ethereum community should consider adopting @zcashco's terminology of calling things like Constantinople "network upgrades" and reserve "fork" for splits that leave 2+ viable chains. Too many people asking me lately where they can dump their non-Constantinople coins...— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) January 10, 2019
Vitalik apparently has gotten a number of comments and queries from people who believe that the Constantinople will follow BCH’s trajectory, leaving two competing chains afterwards, one with the Constantinople upgrade and one without.
In response, Vitalik proposes adopting the terminology from zCash, who Buterin has already praised in the past (http://www.chepicap.com/en/news/2866/vitalik-buterin-thinks-zcash-is-cool.html ). zCash has referred to a similar change of their blockchain as a ‘network upgrade,’ which does indeed feel closer to a description of whats happening with Ethereum later this year.
Yes! Thank you Vitalik. I've been saying this to people all week.— Mati Greenspan (@MatiGreenspan) January 10, 2019
Calling them upgrades rather than forks will vastly reduce confusion, especially among newcomers.
It will also reduce the number of scams out there who try to take advantage of said confusion. https://t.co/ldIWBzySaU
Mati Greenspan of eToro agreed with him, noting that reducing confusion among crypto announcement might also help root out scammers, who could potentially goad misinformed ETH holders to ‘dump’ some of their Ethereum tokens into their wallets, thinking they wouldn’t be functional.
Of course, crypto being the kind of community it is, there was a fair bit of criticism to the notion with many commentators seeing any change to the vocabulary surrounding crypto as anathema to the vision of Bitcoin, with some going as far as insinuating that Vitalik himself was a ‘scammer.’
A fork is a fork. A split is a split. An upgrade can be a fork or not, which can result in a split or not. A split can be caused by a fork, but also a non-fork upgrade, and also a non-upgrade event.— Francis Pouliot 🐂₿ (@francispouliot_) January 10, 2019
The vocabulary is perfectly fine as is.
Either way, linguistic change is hard to enforce, and it will likely come organically from the community which uses crypto, so as crypto becomes mainstream not only will vocabulary changes be extremely hard to enforce or stop, but they will likely come in unexpected ways as the technology and culture advances.