Among cryptocurrencies born from original Bitcoin blockchain. Some have become billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies, while others have gradually disappeared. Whatever circumstances of the civil war in Bitcoin community, but Bitcoin and its brethren really aim to – find a solution to common currency.
Bitcoin has long been a controversial currency. Its limited supply (total number of bitcoins that will exist is capped at 21 million).
Although, to date BTC has not proven to be of much use as a real currency, Bitcoin is said to have proven its worth, if not as a medium of exchange, then. at least as a store of value – that’s why it’s called “Digital Gold” in crypto investing world. Like gold, a hedge against daily frequency that central banks increasingly devalue traditional currencies by printing huge sums of money. Gold is not issued by any central bank and neither is Bitcoin.
However, Bitcoin’s greatest achievement to date has been thousands of other cryptocurrencies and blockchains it has spawned and communities they have linked.
Bitcoin XT, Classic and Unlimited
The first major fork in Bitcoin chain took place in 2014, when Mike Hearn implemented some new features that he felt could make Bitcoin more scalable. One of them is increasing transaction processing speed from 7 per second to 24 per second by increasing size of individual blocks on chain from 1MB to 8MB. It had some initial success but Bitcoin XT dried up in a few months.
But scalability issue didn’t stop, it wasn’t long before another section of community proposed a similar change for another fork, called Bitcoin Classic. It differs from XT in terms of block size (2MB vs 8MB) but same form – unrelated.
Bitcoin Unlimited launched shortly after, suggesting variable block sizes up to 16MB.
An explosive soft fork
In 2015, Peter Wuille, one of the core developers of Bitcoin, proposed to enable faster transactions not by increasing the block size but by separating them from the actual blockchain. and then solve them in bulk on the chain, it is named Segregated Witness. There was a lot of resistance, but in the end the majority of nodes accepted the changes and SegWit became a soft fork.
The first of these is Bitcoin Cash. To this day it is most successful cryptocurrency born out of a hard fork. This proposal, like BitCoin XT, allows to increase block size to 8MB. It also increases transaction speed to 60 seconds, which is higher than XT’s 24 but not that amazing.
Why then did Bitcoin XT sink into oblivion while Bitcoin Cash went on to become 12th largest cryptocurrency in world, worth more than $11 billion? As of now you can already see them on exchanges.
Bitcoin is built decentralized, or centralized in a way – through coin miners. Due to size of network, only very powerful computers can validate transactions and bring in rewards. This has led to an arms race and China now accounts for around 65% of all bitcoins mined globally.
Created in 2017, Bitcoin Gold aims to solve this problem by changing mining algorithm in such a way that any individual user with a regular computer can easily mine Bitcoins. It has enjoyed moderate success and is now 65th largest cryptocurrency in world with a market capitalization of around $1.8 billion.