I understand that there is no central authority on Bitcoin, but I can't understand who takes decisions on "forking" the blockchain.

Here it was mentioned that the "Bitcoin community voted"—how did that happen? Who is the community? I assume anyone? If so, how can one vote?

I was reading about a hard-fork coming on 16th of November and I don't really understand how that works.

  • That answer you're quoting is actually pretty horrendous and full of factual errors and confusing irrelevant details. No voting was involved, only signalling readiness. – Jannes Nov 5 '17 at 22:33
  • @Jannes But tho, it's accepted answer and quite upvoted. Shouldn't it be flagged/moderated in this case? – Ionică Bizău Nov 6 '17 at 12:08

No-one decides literally for everyone. Miners make the decision to exploit one proposal rather than another one, so whenever miners disagree and don't follow one protocol to around 100% then a fork happens.

In this case (of B2X) it is the proposal of Segwit2x that will or will not be followed.

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    Miners make only one decision: whether to maximize profit by mining the most profitable chain or to lose money and eventually go out of business. Bcash clearly shows this in action: because of their buggy difficulty adjustments, there are short periods of time when it's a little more profitable. Otherwise it's a complete waste of electricity and even the loudest proponents of Bcash (Roger Ver) do not mine it. – Jannes Nov 5 '17 at 15:07
  • @Jannes well indeed it is supposed that miners maximise profit. But sometimes ideological factors can influence their behavior as seen by the proponent of the flippening. In the end rationality should be making the decision. – Hollossy Nov 5 '17 at 15:47
  • @Hollossy It's still unclear to me: how does somebody propose something? What is Segwit2x? – Ionică Bizău Nov 6 '17 at 12:08

A group of Bitcoin companies or exchangers like coinbase , ZebPay, Coinsecure, Unocoin and many more decides to deploy a hard fork to double Bitcoin’s block weight limit to eight megabytes this November. Known as “SegWit2x,” this incompatible protocol change follows from the New York Agreement (NYA) and is embedded in the BTC1 software client. Although, if an organisation who is part of Bitcoin network doesn’t want to accept the forked currency they can continue with legacy one(i.e., Bitcoin).

Yes, you read that right, exchangers or anyone can make a decision to upgrade the protocol and make his own network. But it’s success depends on the cause, the benefit of the upgrade and adoption by the crowd.

But if you want to upgrade, say BTC, you have to talk to the Bitcoin Core Team. But if you don’t want to do that, or want to make the upgrade even if the core team don’t agree, then hard forks happen, and new network forms (Example Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Segwit2x and so on)

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  • I am downvoting this as it does not really answer the question – Andrew Chow Nov 6 '17 at 6:01

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