The ambiguous usage of the word “User” seems to me a large part of the problem. The vast majority of bitcoin users don’t run a node and have no idea that any of this is going on. I think a cleaner distinction is four groups:

1 — pro-UASF (in deeds, not in rhetoric)
2 — anti-UASF (in deeds, not in rhetoric)
3 — neutral 
4 — unaware / underestimating risks / just words (this includes many people wearing hats)

I read this article assuming you mean (1) by “Users” and that most miners fall into (2). Exchanges would probably be “neutral” (3) in the sense that they’ll want to protect themselves and their users — mostly (4) — against replay attacks and such.

In order to be (1) requires skin in the game as you pointed out in an earlier post. It could mean selling non-UASF coins to impact the price (however impractical), or if you run a custodial wallet refusing to honor that chain, or if you’re an OTC trader refusing to buy coins from miners. Despite a long list of people and companies that “Prefer” BIP 148, I have not seen many go this far and I did ask a few.

Most miners are part of (2) as you pointed out, but so is any merchant or e.g. localbitcoins trader who accepts bitcoin on the non-UASF chain, since they’re accepting wipe-out risk, no matter how small. Unforuntately most actual bitcoin Users are completely oblivious to this risk, and so they fall under (4). Which is why I think the U in UASF is highly misleading.


I’m not talking about holding, I’m talking about sending and receiving it.

You’re assuming that there will always be people running BIP 148 nodes. Why would this be the case in a scenario where the economic majority doesn’t follow? The longer the economic majority waits to accept a reorg the more economic losses they would have to bear. It’s not obvious to me why they woud do that, in a scenario where BIP 148 remains a minority.

Do you believe the risk to users is low because you believe the odds of this scenario are low? Or is there some other mechanism that guarantees BIP 148 coins will have at least the same value in the long run as the other chain?

You haven’t explained how you intend to communicate to users that they need to upgrade to the BIP 148 client before August 1. If you believe the BIP 148 chain will utlimately win regardless of initial hash power, then users who don’t upgrade stand to lose their bitcoin.

How can the risk for both BIP 148 nodes and non-BIP 148 possibly both be low?


Since BIP148 is a soft fork, once it gathers sufficient hashpower the entire network will converge on it as the longest valid chain

In a non-controversial softfork, where e.g. 10% of miners “forget” to upgrade, you’ll end up with 1 in 10 blocks getting orphaned at random. Non-upgraded miners will follow each reorg, dillegently applying their hash power despite having lost a block.

As a regular bitcoin user, whether your node supports the soft-fork or not, you’ll never be on the wrong chain for more than a few blocks. Conventional wisdom seems to be that 6 confirmations is plenty.

BIP148 is controversial which will lead to a non-random pattern. If more than>50% of the miners decide to resist it — e.g. because they don’t believe it has economic majority support — the chains may diverge for many blocks. How many? A dispute could drag on for weeks if not months, especially if it leads to a war of attrition.

This puts regular bitcoin users in a very serious predicament. They need to decide immedidately which chain to follow, and stand to lose a lot of money if they make the wrong choice. The conventional wisdom of 6 confirmations no longer holds. That needs to be communicated to every single bitcoin user on the planet, and I’ve not seen any credible plans to do that. Even if it can be communicated, not all commerce can afford waiting that long.

I think that in order to avoid “logistical nightmares” you need either overwhelming miner support or overwhelming economic majority support.