Although there has been no downtime since its introduction, Bitcoin (BTC) has not yet caught up with the New York subway system.
May 6, 2020 was the first time in its 115-year history that New York City intentionally closed its main thoroughfare. Due to the downtime, the employees can thoroughly clean all transit vehicles to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
Bitcoin forks card. Source: Bitcoin Magazine
In the meantime, Bitcoin has been interfering continuously since its inception. The Genesis block minted on January 3, 2009 retained the now famous coin base transaction:
“The Times 03 / Jan / 2009 Chancellor on the verge of the second bailout for banks”.
(The Times 03 / Jan / 2009 Chancellor shortly before the second rescue package for banks)
Bitcoin – unexpected fork
That doesn’t mean Bitcoin has never had any trouble. Perhaps the most notable technical flaw in its history was in 2013 when an update to the new version of Bitcoin Core software caused a blockchain fork that broke a chain in two. Miners who were upgraded to the new version of the software had to downgrade before the bug was fixed.
This brings us to the question of whether decentralized systems are inherently more robust than centralized ones. The argument is based on the fact that the former do not have a single point of failure, or at least should not theoretically. However, we do not yet have enough empirical evidence to fail in favor of decentralization.
If Bitcoin continues to operate for another 104 years without a break, we hope that a consensus will be reached on this matter.
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