The Tradeoffs of Bitcoin Soft Fork Upgrades

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Despite being known as a protocol that is slow to change, Bitcoin does have its own way to add new functionalities to the network. Soft forks, a type of upgrade that ensures those who don’t use the new software can still participate in the peer-to-peer network, is likely the preferred method to introduce novel features to Bitcoin. However, do soft forks have their downsides? What are the tradeoffs for Bitcoin users?

A panel moderated by Ben Perrin, creator of the BTC Sessions YouTube channel, at Bitcoin 2022 set out to explore that question. The conversation, “Soft Forks: Benefits And Tradeoffs,” featured long-time Bitcoin developer and educator Jimmy Song, developer and founder of Bitcoin R&D organization Judica Jeremy Rubin, and thought-provoking Bitcoin blogger Paul Sztorc.

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