Lessons Learned From the Fork Out of bitfish from Cosmos’ Game of Stakes

EDIT: Here is bitfish’s post…after having further discussions with validators and Certus.One, this story has been edited drastically to be more objective.

tl;dr: Before forking out validators, be more public about what’s going on and allow more time for discussion.

With the now-completed fork of bitfish, the Game of Stakes community of validators reacted quickly and in doing so left little time for thoughtful resolution. Going forward let’s hope lessons are learned from this.

What happened:

  • Certus laid out their case publicly and got the Game of Stakes validating community to help fork out bitfish in just a little over a day.

Why it was wrong:

  • From post to fork only 36 hours passed by…. That is a very rushed fork. On top of that, not all members of Tendermint were in favor of such a quick timeframe.

Note: That’s not to say that Tendermint must approve of all forks before they occur, however due to this being a centrally-managed testnet/contest by Tendermint it just appeared odd that they were not all onboard with the timeframe.

Going forward:

  • Bring it to public attention way sooner, let the wider public community come together to discuss and reflect on the best path forward.

In this case one benefit that immediately came from the community, unfortunately shortly after the fork, was the idea that bitfish should have been given at least 1 validator node to continue managing in Game of Stakes. This idea immediately garnered support from validators and community observers and makes sense because what they did, while debatably illegal to the Game of Stakes rules, was nonetheless impressive.