IMO, yes, ainec.
This risk needn't be due to any technical failure. In fact, I think hacking or technical failure is not nearly so big a threat as other "hidden" social attacks that could occur.
For example the rules of this forum could come to be so prohibitive towards newbies that it became impossible for new business endeavors to get the word out, or for individuals new to bitcoin to break into the market for whatever it is they are trying to buy or sell. This could be compounded by the fact that many people prefer to remain anonymous in Bitcoinland (I am one of them, so I know!), and therefore may be forced to become newbies with respect to their new business ventures despite that they might already be regulars with an established identity. (Admittedly, this is not exceedingly common but it is certainly much more common here than in other communities).
There are other risks of a similar nature. Some scenarios to worry about:
- Law enforcement authorities raid the offices and homes of many regs on this forum; various indictments are handed out; to stay out of prison everyone is forced to enter plea agreements promising that these forums will strictly adhere to discussion about only activities which are 100% legal in Dallas, TX
- Anonymous access to the forums (i.e.: via tor) is prohibited due to abuse
- Fed up with the "rogue" label being applied to Bitcoin, the next generation of regs at this forum decide to implement a bitcoin police whose authority is technocratically enforced by the Bitcoin software. These "police" collaborate with various central banks throughout the world to ensure that Bitcoin does not run afoul of international legal frameworks
- The site is firewalled off by various governments (already true i presume?)
- Shit I can't think of right now
Over time, yes, new communities will, one hopes, take some of the centralizing pressure off of this forum. For example, in addition to sites like silk road, forbitcoin and btcworld24, eventually one hopes that marketplaces not only for products and services but also ideas, development and collaboration will spring up, outside of these forums. Although it's reassuring to hear that another forum exists, it's less reassuring in light of the fact that I never knew about it until someone asked this question.
I agree with gigitrix that a complete
failure of forum.bitcoin.org would not be a big problem. But IMO the threat of a cultural failure or a failure of technocracy is very real, quite plausible, and a clear and present danger to the objectives of the Bitcoin project.