Bitcoin re-org debate continues: CZ "would have failed spectacularly"

08 May, 2019
by David Robb
Bitcoin re-org debate continues: CZ would have failed spectacularly

After the Binance hack saw around 7000 worth of BTC lost, the exchange's CEO Changpeng 'CZ' Zhao mentioned the possibility of doing a re-organization of the Bitcoin blockchain in order to recoup the funds. Debate is still continuing in the community regarding this idea, which was widely rejected.

CZ eventually decided that they wouldn't pursue the re-org option as it could have had a seriously negative impact on the reputation of the blockchain, and claimed that he had never really wanted to do it anyway. Others in the community were shocked that the idea had even been considered, labelling a rollback of a supposedly immutable record 'heresy'. 

Influential Bitcoin Core developer Jimmy Song has kept up the debate on Twitter, claiming that he would have preferred the re-org went ahead, only to see how badly it would have failed. He believes this failure would have eventually strengthened the reputation of BTC, going some way towards disproving claims that power on the network is centralized in the hands of a few miners.

Many people agreed with Song's provocative take, and reiterated their surprise at CZ's proposal. They seemed to believe that it indicated a lack of technical understanding on the part of the Binance head.

However, the idea of reorganizing a blockchain did have some defenders. One observer took issue with Novogratz's comparison of the BTC re-org to Ethereum's post-DAO hardfork, drawing a distinction between a double spend "that doesn't break protocol rules" with a "contentious political schism". Another Twitter user also claimed that a re-org would not be fundamentally against the basic rules of Bitcoin, if miners were to come to a consensus and go ahead with it.

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