Bitcoins may be sent between people via mobile applications or desktops. It’s akin to sending money through the internet.
Shortly after its inception, many forks were developed as new versions of Bitcoin attempting to improve the original model or completely split.
The main reasons behind creating forks arose from Bitcoin’s entire system becoming unreliable, blockchain technology slowing down, and the transaction fees getting expensive.
This article will tell you about Bitcoin forks, how many exist, and which bitcoin forks are active today.
What are Bitcoin Forks?
Bitcoin fork can refer to two different kinds of splits. The first is a ‘software fork,’ which is a modification to the underlying program.
The second is a ‘blockchain fork,’ which is a divergence in the cryptocurrency’s blockchain. These are referred to as ‘forks’ because they provide two or more possible paths for bitcoin to take.
The initial Bitcoin was built on 1-megabyte blocks, which proved to be restricted as the cryptocurrency grew in popularity. These forks can be created on bigger blocks and culminate in the creation of an entirely new currency.
What about software forks?
As mentioned above, software forks are developed when developers take bitcoin’s source code and improve the protocol. There are two types:
- Bitcoin Soft Fork – Instead of modifying the final outcome, a soft fork changes the Bitcoin protocol. The main difference between a soft fork and a hard fork is that a soft fork may have backward compatibility. This implies that old nodes in the system will recognise the new protocol. It also signifies that no new product is being released.
- Bitcoin Hard Fork – Hard forks are new Bitcoin versions that are fundamentally different from the original. After a hard fork, there are no transactions or interactions between the two forms of Bitcoin, hence no backward compatibility. This means that users of the old program will not recognise blocks generated by new software users and vice versa.
And further about blockchain forks.
Blockchain forks are simply a split in the network. When two or more computers mine distinct blocks simultaneously, a blockchain split occurs, resulting in two competing copies of the blockchain file at different locations in the network.
Simple Guide: Bitcoin Forks Figures
- According to forkdrop.io, there are 105 Bitcoin fork projects.
- There are 74 considered as active projects and 31 considered as historic or no longer relevant.
- In addition, there are 22 altcoins (alternative coin) fork projects.
Major Active Bitcoin Forks
Bitcoin Cash is a cryptocurrency that was forked from Bitcoin in August 2017. The block size of Bitcoin Cash was raised, enabling more transactions to be completed and enhancing scalability.
It intends to address this issue by raising block sizes to between 8 and 32 megabytes, allowing for the processing of more transactions per block. When Bitcoin Cash was suggested, the average number of transactions per block on Bitcoin was between 1,000 and 1,500.
On October 24, 2017, a hard fork of the original open-source cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, occurred in the name of Bitcoin Gold which aimed to “make bitcoin decentralised again.”
Bitcoin Gold, alongside Bitcoin Cash, was one of the most popular and well-publicised bitcoin forks.
This bitcoin fork’s mining process is different from Bitcoin. Bitcoin Gold’s inventors hoped that by using a novel proof-of-work-based method for mining, the cryptocurrency would not favour large-scale mining operations with specialised equipment. This algorithm is called Equihash-BTG.
This i s a Bitcoin fork that happens at the specified height of block 495866, resulting in the creation of a new chain known as the BCD. Bitcoin Diamond miners will start building blocks using a new proof-of-work algorithm and gradually enhance transaction speed based on Bitcoin’s original characteristics.
It attempts to solve and address Bitcoin’s slow transaction confirmation and a high threshold for new members.