Was anyone around last year? You know, when the Ethereum network decided to hard-fork? It was one of the most chaotic events in virtual currency history that grew into one of the largest hacks in virtual currency history and the split into two networks, both of which exist today. Ethereum and the original Ethereum, Ethereum Classic.
Well now bitcoin developers, miners, and industry folks are discussing doing something similar and the market reaction has resulted in the $200 drop. China couldn't take it down, regulation couldn't take it down, and not even the EFT rejection could take it down .... but a hard fork? Merely the mention of this makes people cringe.
Simply put, a hard fork could potentially destroy bitcoins current value of which could take a year or longer to recover, if ever.
Then the big question is going to be, which chain is bitcoin? The original? Or the new chain?
Generally speaking the longest chain would be recognized as bitcoin but purists would lean towards the original chain as bitcoin. You may well end up with a bitcoin classic (see below).
Over 20 exchanges have already put a plan in place to handle this. It won't be "bitcoin classic", rather it will be called "bitcoin unlimited" and be listed as BTU and XBU (bitcoin will remain BTC and XBT) on major exchange platforms.
The group released a conbined statement saying:
As exchanges, we have a responsibility to maintain orderly markets that trade continuously 24/7/365. It is incumbent upon us to support a coherent, orderly, and industry-wide approach to preparing for and responding to a contentious hardfork. In the case of a Bitcoin hard fork, we cannot suspend operations and wait for a winner to emerge.
Then of course there's other concerns about when a hard fork hits, if transactions are all going to be routing through the second chain as well among other things.
Bitcoin dropped as low as $944 before rebounding back over $1000 and now sits at $1009.73, if you are in a position to buy, this may be a perfect opportunity, many took advantage of the mid $900's on early Saturday.
Get on it!