Bitcoin Forks: What Are They and Why Were They Created?
Bitcoin is world’s first, most popular and most expensive virtual currency. It has a market share of a bit less than 50%. However, it has been forked many times, while different developers wanted to improve its technical problems or perhaps to make money on “something-like-Bitcoin” brand in some cases. Bitcoin Cash is, indeed, the most popular Bitcoin fork, being among top-5 coins by market capitalization. Another one is Bitcoin Gold, reaching top-30 virtual currencies. However, according to Cointelegraph, there were 19 registered Bitcoin forks in 2017. The media also quotes Lex Sokolin, global director of fintech strategy at Autonomous Research, who claims there are around 50 more to come in 2018 and nobody can actually prevent this number from growing even further, as it has become not that difficult to develop bitcoin’s clone. So, let's take a look at some of the most successful ones. Bitcoin Cash At some point Bitcoin’s scalability became a huge issue - as the number of users and transaction volume were increasing, transactions had to stay in a line to get to 1MB-size block of bitcoin blockchain. There were several options proposed to solve the problem and one of them was a hard fork that led to the creation of Bitcoin Cash in August, 2017. Bitcoin Cash has a bigger block size, lower commissions and easier mining algorithm. Most of the exchanges (GDAX, Coinbase, Kraken, etc.) listed BCH and today this fork is world’s third virtual currency by market capitalization. Bitcoin Gold Bitcoin Gold was created in October, 2017, and satisfied miners, who found ASIC processors and other complicated stuff related to BTC mining too difficult. So, "making mining available again" was what developers decided to do, providing crypto enthusiasts with the opportunity to do GPU-mining with graphics cards. Bitcoin Diamond Another fork of Bitcoin's original blockchain happened next month in November, 2017, and was called Bitcoin Diamond. The cryptocurrency was launched by mining pools Team EVEY and Team 007. It is also possible to mine Bitcoin Diamond with GPUs. The developers seeked to advance the transaction confirmation speed, reduce transaction fees and make the cryptocurrency available for more users by increasing the total supply by tenfold comparing to BTC. Bitcoin Diamond also has a bigger block than original Bitcoin (8MB instead of 1MB). So, there are many other forks, including Bitcoin Classic, Super Bitcoin, Bitcoin Hot, Bitcoin X, Oil Bitcoin, Bitcoin World, Lightning Bitcoin and much more. However, Cointelegraph quotes George Kimionis, chief executive officer of Coinomi exchange who says that “most fork-based projects we see today are more of a sheer money grab”. Anyway, major forks and first of all Bitcoin Cash really contributed to bitcoin blockchain and managed to improve some of its features. Subscribe to The Coin Shark news in Twitter: