December 6, 2022

Does DeFi Make Ethereum Unforkable? Here Are The Facts

4 min read

This is a fascinating thought experiment. Is the present Ethereum unforkable? Do all the Decentralized Finance items and instruments constructed on top of it make an Ethereum fork an instrument of the past? Also, in the uncommon case of a difficult fork, do the backers of the stablecoins DeFi depends upon hold too much power? A staple of decentralization, a fork is among the instruments with which to acquire consensus. Likewise, “by developing a new fork, a minority coalition can efficiently withdraw from the majority.

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Let’s examine Haseeb Qureshi and Leland Lee’s “Ethereum is now unforkable, thanks to DeFi,” and after that you can all choose for yourself if they have a case or not. However initially …

What Is A Hard Fork, Exactly?

Both Ethereum Classic and Bitcoin Cash originated after a difficult fork. When the community of developers behind a decentralized task comes to a deadlock, this severe measure comes into play. For a definition, let’s quote Investopedia:

A difficult fork is when nodes of the latest version of a blockchain no longer accept the older version(s) of the blockchain; which produces a permanent divergence from the previous version of the blockchain.

The essential attributes of a hard fork are:

  • A tough fork describes a transformation to the protocol of a blockchain network that successfully results in two branches, one that follows the previous procedure and one that follows the brand-new variation.

  • In a tough fork, holders of tokens in the original blockchain will be granted tokens in the new fork as well, however miners should select which blockchain to continue validating.

An unforkable decentralized task would need another tool to make transformations.

ETHUSD price chart - TradingView

 ETH rate chart for 08/14/2021 on Bitfinex|Source: ETH/USD on Do Stablecoins Hold Too Much Power Over DeFi

The tough fork that developed Ethereum Classic was on July 30th, 2015. Decentralized Finance wasn ´ t even an idea. Nowadays, the Ethereum blockchain hosts numerous DeFi jobs. Where are those tasks going to go if the chain breaks in 2? Could the developers preserve 2 variations? And, more significantly, would they wish to? All of those ideas enter into play in the authors’ case for Ethereum being efficiently unforkable.

However, their most compelling point issues stablecoins. Despite the fact that it’s imaginable that some of the other tasks might keep two variations, one in each blockchain, when it comes to stablecoins this is merely not possible. In the idea experiment, the authors utilize CENTRE’s USDC.

USDC is a system of record for dollar-backed IOUs. Only one system of record can represent the real liabilities of CENTRE, therefore the USDC journal is successfully useless on the other chain.

And take into account that “USDC represents 99% of all fiat-backed stablecoins locked in DeFi applications.” There are other stablecoins that might take its location, but, “given how deeply entangled everything is, it’s extremely challenging to extricate it quickly and safely.” These are active financial instruments we’re discussing, each private case with its own qualities and specifications. It’s not unreasonable to hypothesize that:

DeFi operators would have no choice however to side with CENTRE and toss all of their weight behind the USDC-blessed fork, no matter where community viewpoint came down.

The incentives are indisputable, “all of DeFi is required to move together.

So, Does DeFi Make Ethereum Unforkable?

According to the authors’ case, DeFi operators would be required to leave the minority chain. Everything would be broken there. There would be little to no liquidity. The majority of them would try to sell brand-new coins created, however, would there be a demand for them?

All central stablecoins are now worthless. Tether, USDC, TUSD, PAX, all gone. Most operators freeze the agreements, making the tokens now untransferable and unredeemable. For smaller stablecoins, no one even bothers.

The minority chain would be born dead, “There’s no one to even trouble reconstructing for. Does that make Ethereum efficiently unforkable? Inspect the initial short article for specific examples with real-life jobs.

Unlike Bitcoin, whose journal is easy enough that forks are functionally airdrops, ETH’s ecosystem is extremely intricate. Due to the fact that its applications are linked with unforkable elements, the whole system is rendered unforkable. Any minority fork is destined obscurity.

Of course, the unforkable conundrum is also present in all of the smart-contracts-enabled blockchains that build directly over the first layer. Nevertheless, given that Ethereum is the greatest and the one that hosts the most projects, let’s keep the discussion there.

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What do you all believe? Do the authors make an engaging case or are they missing out on something? Is Ethereum unforkable? Is a tough fork absolutely required for a decentralized job’s governance? Or can those tasks keep trucking regardless?

All extremely intriguing concerns. The next phase of the decentralized Internet project guarantees non-stop action and drama.

Included Image by Remi Moebs on Unsplash - Charts by TradingView