For those not in the Blockchain loop, blockchain forks are a conundrum to be cracked. Last year witnessed 19 Bitcoin Forks, but as many as 50 can occur this year. The one grabbing the most limelight is Bitcoin Cash, which has brought huge disruption in the Bitcoin core community.
Forks are developed when the Bitcoin’s software is cloned and released under a new name, with a new coin and often with much-improved functionality. Some other forks that were developed were Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Platinum and Bitcoin Dark.
What the fork
If predictions were to be taken at face value, there would be 50 more Bitcoin forks this year. BCH acts as a fine example as it increased the block size from BTC’s 1Mb to 8Mb enabling faster and cheaper transactions. CEO of forked coin wallet company Coinomi, George Kimionis, commented;”Unfortunately, most fork-based projects we see today are more of a sheer money grab. A few years from now we might realise that they were just mutations fostered by investors blinded by exponential price increases – rather than honest attempts to contribute to the blockchain ecosystem.”
He predicted that all of these forks could give a major blow to the ICO industry which generally creates new tokens. Forks can also enable funds in countries that have banned ICOs such as China. Another major advantage of a fork is that Bitcoin holders usually acquire an equivalent amount of the forked version. Though it mostly depends on whether their exchange supports it or not.
Meet the forkers
Tech-savvy entrepreneurs had launched forked versions of Bitcoin when crypto land was mostly barren. Coins such as Litecoin and Dogecoin were dwarfed by Bitcoin cash, boasting thrice the capacity of both of them combined. Traders and investors have captured this opportunity to create their forks to earn big bucks.
Miners are also eager for new forks since Bitcoin is now extremely pricey to mine for individuals and smaller operations. For example, United Bitcoin which was forked in December can be mined using the older hardware, rendered helpless against the state-of-the-art machines on the Bitcoin network. The possibility of many more forks in 2018 is high; however, time will be the best judge.