Overview of Bitcoin Forks

Overview of Bitcoin Forks

This is the first of the two-part article on forks. Here we give a short overview of bitcoin forks in chronological order

A fork is a divergence in a blockchain which splits it in two chains. Major changes in protocols are introduced by way of hard forks, while minor improvements are implemented in soft forks.

Bitcoin XT

Bitcoin XT is one of the earliest bitcoin forks initiated by Mike Hearn in December 2014. Originally, Bitcoin XT implemented new features suggested by Hearn in BIP64. Bitcoin XT gained notoriety in 2015 with the proposal of gradually raising the block size limit from 1MB to 8MB, outlined in Gavin Andresen’s BIP101. This change was not received warmly by the community. Today, Bitcoin XT is practically dead.

Bitcoin Classic

Bitcoin Classic was another attempt to address bitcoin scalability issues by raising block size limit. Bitcoin Classic was launched in 2016 proposing a 2MB blocks. While the project did gain some traction, it never really achieved a critical user base and got abandoned.

Bitcoin Unlimited

Bitcoin Unlimited is a bitcoin hard fork which lets miners customize the block size limit, which is 16MB by default. Initially, Bitcoin Unlimited showed ambitions capturing a relatively wide audience. However, the fork lost most of its popularity due to certain bugs that disrupted the network operation.

Segregated Witness

Segregated Witness (SegWit) is a bitcoin soft fork which increases block capacity by reducing the size of the transaction. SegWit was proposed by Bitcoin Core developer Peter Wuille in 2015. SegWit stores transaction signatures in another structure called an extended block, which frees up space for transactions in the mainchain block. Other advantages to SegWit include a fix to transaction malleability, which in turn enables second-layer solutions such as Lightning Network and atomic swaps.

Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash is a bitcoin hard fork activated in August 2017. The block size limit is Bitcoin Cash is 8MB. Bitcoin Cash quickly gathered support from major influencers, such as Roger Ver and ViaBTC. Bitcoin Cash does not support SegWit. Though Bitcoin Cash is now losing popularity due to exceeding controversy surrounding it, it is still one of the most widely adopted forks.

Bitcoin Gold

Bitcoin Gold is a bitcoin hard fork activated in October 2017. Bitcoin Gold aims to restore the mining functionality with common graphics cards, in place of mining with specialized ASICs, used to mine Bitcoin. Due to multiple attacks successfully executed on the network, Bitcoin Gold is not seeing popularity among crypto-enthusiasts.


SegWit2x was outlined in the New York Agreement signed by prominent figures in the space. SegWit2x proposed the activation of SegWit and a 2MB block size limit. The community naturally did not approve of the shady reunion, and the project failed.


8,744 USD


437.73 USD


24.31 USD


0.2528 USD


1.31 USD


0.000009 USD


0.2662 USD

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Halving reduced Litecoin’s mining hash rate by almost 30%

Litecoin’s halving on Aug. 5 reduced the network’s mining difficulty and hashing power by almost 30 percent. The difficulty dropped from just under 16 million a day before the halving to 11.40 million on Aug. 22, raising questions about security and fee markets. Litecoin’s halving drastically reduces network mining difficulty The world’s fifth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Litecoin, had its second-ever halving on Aug. 5 and it seems the network hash rate isn’t responding well. The halving is the process of reducing mining rewards that happens roughly every four years, or every 840,000 blocks. The Aug. 5 halving reduced the reward for mining each block on the Litecoin network from 25 LTC to 12.5 LTC. And while network managed to hold on pretty well for a couple of days after the halving, it took quite a heavy hit this past week. Data from mining pool operator BTC.com showed that the mining difficulty on the Litecoin network dropped from 15.93 million on Aug. 4, a day before the having, to 11.40 million on Aug. 22. The 28 percent drop was immediately followed by an equal reduction in hashing power. Source: BTC.com This is the lowest difficulty the network has seen since the end of April when it hovered around 12 million. According to some estimates, the current difficulty will continue to decline in the next three days, when the next adjustment date is due. For clarification, in order to keep block-producing intervals every 2.5 minutes, the network’s difficulty automatically adjusts roughly every 4 days or every 2,016 blocks. Decreased profitability pushes miners out of the network A reduction in hash rate is followed by a reduction in mining difficulty. As miners leave the network to mine other coins, the average hashing power on the Litecoin network declined from 456 TH/s on Aug. 4 to 326 TH/s on Aug. 22. This is a clear sign that most miners are struggling with profitability. Data from F2Pool showed that InnoSilicon and FusionSilicon X6, two of the most profitable Litecoin miners, operated with a profit margin between 55 and 60 percent before the halving. However, the halving brought down their profitability down to just 10 to 20 percent. Some calculations found that with an average power of electricity of $0.04 per kWh, the devices would make less than $0.50 per day. Smaller miners are expected to leave in even larger numbers, as most of the network hashrate share is held by two large mining pools. Poolin and F2Pool account for 23.64 and 18.54 percent of the network hashrate, respectively. Source: BTC.com The reduction in mining hash rate once again emphasizes the importance of a robust fee market on a coin. As mining rewards are reduced over time it’s critical that there are sufficient fees on a network to maintain a high hash rate. Otherwise, these networks run the risk of malicious mining attacks. The post Halving reduced Litecoin’s mining hash rate by almost 30% appeared first on CryptoSlate.

CNBC Analyst Slams Facebook Libra, Champions Bitcoin

Since the announcement of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, the crypto market and even the tech sector has never been the same. It’s got regulators up in arms about Bitcoin, crypto assets are crashing, and the project may not ever even see the light of day. Even partners have started to abandon the project. The topic came up during a recent segment on CNBC’s Squawk Box, and one of the show’s hosts went on a rant, slamming Facebook’s crypto project while championing Bitcoin for having more desirable qualities than Libra. Joe Squawk: Bitcoin is Decentralized, Libra Is Controlled By Zuckerberg Bitcoin is arguably the most powerful piece of technology the world has ever seen. Its significance is undeniable, and those who are skeptical tend to come around eventually once they dive under the surface and gain a deeper understanding of the crypto asset’s potential. Related Reading | CNBC Host Pushes Bitcoin, Cites Halving and Scarcity As Catalyst for $55K BTC  CNBC Squawk Box host Joe Kernen is the perfect example of a Bitcoin skeptic turned believer. The once crypto pessimist has been recently seen defending Bitcoin and talking of the next potential price peak occurring around the next halving in May 2020. The many reasons why @JoeSquawk hates libra and (presumably) loves bitcoin #btc #decentralized #facebook #privacy $FB pic.twitter.com/PTPEZQguRf — Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) August 23, 2019 In the latest segment of CNBC’s Squawk Box, the discussion turned to the topic of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency – a polarizing project from the social media powerhouse that’s got financial regulators in defense mode. Kernen says he’s never understood the project and doesn’t like it “one bit.”  He doesn’t like that its “centralized”, and like many, doesn’t like it because it’s “Facebook.” “I don’t like anything about it,” Kernen said. He warns that although Facebook claims it will have a positive impact on the unbanked, the company is an intermediary, and will take a cut from its users even if its feeless – by stealing “all your private data and know all about your bank account.” Facebook has faced a number of privacy-related lawsuits and recently was ordered to pay an unprecedented $5 billion penalty over privacy issues. Bestowing the company with any personal data is a risk, let alone sharing monetary and transaction data with the corporation. Kernen turns the conversation toward Bitcoin, claiming it has an unforgeable value similar to gold, or antiques – things that cannot be duplicated. Bitcoin’s hard-coded digital scarcity gives the crypto assets an attribute similar to gold. Related Reading | CNBC Analyst Calls Secretary Mnuchin Out on Bitcoin Criticism In the past, Kernen has argued that decentralized networks offer more inherent value than even governments due. Facebook’s Libra is the perfect example of how a centralized crypto asset offers the controlling party too much power over its users. Bitcoin was designed to be the first-ever decentralized asset that cannot ever be controlled, nor can it ever be stopped. CNBC Analyst Slams Facebook Libra, Champions Bitcoin was last modified: August 23rd, 2019 by Tony SpilotroThe post CNBC Analyst Slams Facebook Libra, Champions Bitcoin appeared first on NewsBTC.

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