Soft forks are probably worse than hard forks, since it is hard for a client to reject a soft fork (indeed, that is the point of soft forks). The only way to do so is either to gain 51% of the hash power, or to do a hard fork rejecting it.

How can you make an altcoin resilient to soft forking (or only allow certain types of soft forks)? I think doing this is in general might be impossible, but making it harder would be good. Having no soft fork policy built into the coins philosophy would help, but probably isn't good enough.

1 Answer 1


You can't prevent miners from enforcing more rules than the rest of the network is. However, to actually turn that into a soft fork, a significant portion of the network also needs to start enforcing it.

However, the only way a softfork can affect users of the system in a negative way is by disallowing certain transactions that used to be useful. That problem is nothing more than the inherent censorship rights a majority of miners have over the system. The solution to that problem is not trying to prevent enforcement of rules (which is not possible; miners can do it even without announcing it), but by improving the privacy of the system. If miners cannot see what transactions are doing, they cannot selectively block.

  • Although privacy prevents a black list, it doesn't prevent a white list. Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 12:47
  • Also, there remember that it is miners, not coin holders, the enforce rules on the network. If under the old rules I have some coins, but under the new rules I'm not allowed to spend them, and the miners are using the new rules, I'm not going to spend them. The only way around this is to hard fork away from the main chain (which will have won before I noticed). Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 12:49
  • Are we less strict these days about discussing altcoins? Or this is OK as a purely hypothetical?
    – HansBKK
    Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 1:53
  • 1
    @HansBKK Since 2019, altcoin questions are off-topic here: bitcoin.meta.stackexchange.com/q/1011/208. Before that time, the topic was broader. Questions/discussion about what is on-topic belongs on the meta site. Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 3:23

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