Contentious hard forks are bad for Bitcoin. At the very best, a contentious hard fork will leave people who chose the losing side of the fork feeling disenfranchised. At the very worst, it will make bitcoins permanently lose their value. In between are many possible outcomes, but none of them are good.

The danger of a contentious hard fork is potentially so significant that Bitcoin.org has decided to adopt a new policy:

Bitcoin.org will not promote software or services that will leave the previous consensus because of an intentional and contentious hard fork attempt.

This policy applies to full node software, such as Bitcoin Core, software forks of Bitcoin Core, and alternative full node implementations.

It also applies to wallets and services that have the ability to detect the contentious hard fork, and which release code or make announcements indicating that they will cease operating on the side of the previous consensus. It does not apply to software that cannot detect the contentious hard fork and which continues doing whatever it would’ve done anyway.

To be clear, we encourage wallet authors and service providers to offer their opinions on hard fork proposals, and we will not penalize anyone for contributing to a discussion. We will only stop promoting particular wallets and services if they plan to move their users onto a contentious hard fork by default.