Upcoming Bitcoin Forks- Full Guide
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A cryptocurrency fork is when a particular currency splits into two when its existing code is changed. In case of a hard fork, the split results into two new coins each with its unique code.
One of the earliest bitcoin core forks was when the developer Mike Hearn introduced Bitcoin XT in 2014. Mike intended to bring about new features to improve the original Bitcoin protocol. The original bitcoin could only manage seven transactions per second. Mike’s new Bitcoin XT was projected to complete up to 24 transactions in the same time frame. He proposed increasing the codes block size from the original 1 megabyte to 8 megabytes to increase the transaction speed. This project gained ground in its early stages but users eventually lost interest and focused on the original bitcoin. The coin is still available but has no significant users. Since this fork, there have been numerous bitcoin forks amounting to more than 20. Only a few like Bitcoin cash and Bitcoin gold have been so far successful and gained a significant market.
What are upcoming bitcoin forks?
Upcoming bitcoin forks are possible splits from the original protocol to create a new coin with improved features and a new code. The new coins from the forks come with new rules that users must adhere to if they want to be included in the new blockchain.
Forks happen at a particular block point. This point is assigned a number like block 670678. Users in a particular blockchain can agree to change the rules at a particular block and decide that the next new block will adhere to the new rules. At this particular point, users get to get a new coin for every old coin they had. They can choose to use either of the coins or use both. Point to note here is that after a hard fork, you have to claim the new coins as you won’t get them automatically, but you are entitled to them.
When a fork occurs any previous invalid blocks or transaction are made valid and maintain the old code. Nodes or computers within that particular network are given an option to adopt the latest version of that protocol’s software or maintain the original protocol if they so wish to remain in the old blockchain. Nodes on the old blockchain do not interact or acknowledge nodes or transactions on the new blockchain.
A soft fork involves a partial change from the old blockchain to the new. The two are backward compatible as the nodes from the original blockchain recognize and can transact with those on the new blockchain. Nodes that are not yet upgraded to validate new transactions, but as these non-upgraded nodes continue mining block, those blocks get rejected by the upgraded nodes. The fork with the majority hashing power eventually becomes the longest and the dominant blockchain while that with the minority is orphaned and is eliminated.
Why upcoming bitcoin forks are important?
Bitcoin and other coins are important in various ways. Taking the case of bitcoin, there were scalability and slow transaction speeds in the original blockchain.
- Forking creates a new coin with new and improved features. In the case of bitcoin cash, it solved original bitcoin’s scalability issues to some extent.
- The new coin follows the original coin’s ideas but improves on their functionality and use. A good example is bitcoin cash, that increased the original block size from one to eight megabytes, thus increasing the transaction speed. This coin was forked at block 478,559.
- A fork creates a new opportunity for both miners and users to make free money. Considering that one gets a new coin for every one that they hold, you can then sell your new coins once they get listed in an exchange.
How can you claim an upcoming BTC fork?
If you are a holder of BTC coins and are anticipating an upcoming bitcoin fork, you have to be ready to claim your new coins. Read about the upcoming fork project and make sure you understand the details of the fork and check the legitimacy of the project developers to ascertain their credibility. The manner in which your coins depends on the type of platform you have your old coins.
Here is how you should do it;
Step 1: You need to have access to the private keys of your wallet
It is important that you are in control of your private keys before trying to claim the new coins. Having control of those keys prevents possible scammers from getting access to your original coins. Move your bitcoins to another address first before you initiate the claiming process.
Step 2: Ensure that you have your original coins in an offline wallet that supports the fork or on a platform that does.
This is particularly important, since the developers of the new coin will take a snapshot of that new chain at a particular block height. Having your coins in a wallet that supports the fork will enable you to have the duplicate coins after they go live. Your balance must be recorded on the public ledger before the block at which the split occurs.
Step 3: Download the official wallet of the new coin and then configure it to claim your coins
Go to the fork’s official website and download the new coin’s official wallet. It is in this wallet that you will get your new coins once the fork goes live. Keep in mind that you have to transfer your original coins to another address before duplicating your private keys. Never claim the new coins while you still have a balance of your old coins in your wallet.
Step 4: You then wait until the forked coin goes live to finalize the process
After the new block has been recorded, you can now transfer your new coins to the new wallet. Ensure that you keep your private keys and address. Please note that it can take from a few hours to a few days or weeks before developers finalize everything and taking the new network online. There are also some reputable exchanges like Binance that support legitimate forks. These exchanges can assist you to claim your new coins, but you are never in control of your coins. They also offer futures that you can sell even before the coin goes live.
However, you may end up selling at very low prices while you could have waited and make a good profit. you will also not get the new coins if you trade away your futures. Don’t rely on random internet guides to claim your coins. Ensure that you get to the official website to avoid being scammed.
Are upcoming bitcoin forks safe?
Not all bitcoin forks are safe. It is important to take due diligence before getting into any new network. While a few coins like bitcoin cash and bitcoin gold have managed to offer something new and of value, most other forks are simply ideological and are just out to try and get free money. Bitcoin forks are quickly becoming the new ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). Another problem is with the developers. Several of these forks do not have any bitcoin history. They have their own unique codes that give developers a large amount of coins which they then dump into the cryptocurrency markets at the expense of unsuspecting users and traders.
Other forks are simply scams. A good example that has so far been reported as a potential scam is bitcoin platinum. Scammers try to steal your bitcoins by tricking you to give your private keys to them. Generally, most developers are forking bitcoin instead of creating new altcoins as a marketing buzz. They are capitalizing on bitcoin popularity to create coins that have no intrinsic value and then dump the same on the market making free money. Those who end up buying the dumped coins lose their money as most of these forks rarely increase in value.
Recent and upcoming bitcoin forks 2018
Bitcoin Hot (BTH)
Block forked – 498,848
Fork date – The forking time and the mainnet of Bitcoin Hot has been online since December 12, 2017. It has realized the lightning network early in 2018 along with the cross chain transactions. The company plans to release the anti-quantum algorithm, smart contract, and zero-knowledge proof sometime later in 2018 and 2019.
Main Purpose – The purpose of Bitcoin Hot is to make BTC more affordable and available to everyone. It is a new chain that is spitting off from the BTC chain but with a supply, which is larger and yet with cheaper costs of transfer as well as with a transfer speed that is faster.
Distribution – Bitcoin Hot uses the algorithm known as Proof of Work aka PoW. BTH has a supply of 2.1 billion and pre-mines 1 % in order to support those that help to improve their ecosystem. They want the ecosystem to be improved so that they can support more users. It also offers fast transactions, smart contracts, is anti-quantum hash and zero-knowledge proof.
Consensus – BTH uses PoW consensus and uses the BTHash algorithm. If you are an owner of BTC you can claim the BTH with a 1:100 BTH ratio for every BTC held. The size of the block is 16 MB.
Super Bitcoin (SBTC)
Block forked – 498,888
Fork date –Super Bitcoin has forked from the Bitcoin Blockchain on the 17th of December, back in 2017. Earlier in 2018 Super Bitcoin has done code refactoring, embedded smart contracts, as well as applied to incorporate zero-knowledge proofs.
Main purpose – The purpose of Super Bitcoin has been working hard on and tried to develop the technology behind bitcoin. It is aiming to help BTC to face the competition that is coming from other major cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum or ZCash. It is compensating the BTC holders with one Super Bitcoin for every BTC. The SBTC team has refactored the native code of Bitcoin and optimized the structure in order to be able to add new features and benefits during its operations. As for the smart contracts, Super Bitcoin has implemented those with a reference to Ethereum. It aims to add unite the positive feature of Bitcoin and Ethereum and add its own to the bundle.
Distribution – Super Bitcoin has a limited supply of 21 million and 210,000 of premined SBTC. The 210,000 SBTC is premined by the team. The rest of the SBTC is minable.
Consensus – Super Bitcoin uses a Proof of Work consensus and its algorithm is SHA-256. The size of Super Bitcoin block is 8 MB.
Block forked – 498,888
Fork date – ABitcoin has been imitated on the 12th of December, 2017. The developments of the main chain have started early in 2018, along with the release of the online mainnet and the smart contract platforms. Later in 2018 and 2019, it plans to complete the light speed contract, the cluster self, cross chain communication as well as the anti-quantum attacks.
Main purpose – It brings together bitcoin and Achain features of cross chain communication, fast transactions, low fees, anti-quantum attack and DPOS consensus mechanism. ABitcoin aims to work on and improve the operation rate, the overall network performance of the blockchain smart contracts. ABitcoin has integrated its own technology with Artificial Intelligence, game industry, big data and the Internet of things in order to apply it into blockchain.
Distribution – 600 million out of the total 3 billion ABTCs is retained by the foundation.
Consensus – ABitcoin uses a PoW consensus and the SHA256 algorithm. The ratio is 100:1 and the total supply is 3 billion.
Bitcoin Platinum (BTP)
Block forked – 498,577
Fork date – Bitcoin Platinum was launched on December 12, 2017.
Main Purpose – The main aim of the Bitcoin Platinum fork is to be the original vision that Satoshi had of Decentralized Electronic Cash. Various sites claim that this fork is a fake and a fraud. It is not listed in the available exchanges.
Distribution – BTP is minable and can be mined with GPU. It is not premined and uses the algorithm known as Equihash. The block time is 2.5 minutes, the block size (Segwit) is 2 M. It can be mined either with a GPU or ASIC hardware.
Consensus – Bitcoin Platinum is implementing PoW and uses algorithms such as blake2s, x17, Equihash, Scrypt etc. The premine is 100,000, meanwhile, the supply is 21 million.
Bitcoin Oil (OBTC)
Block forked – 498,888
Fork date – The Bitcoin Oil has started out on the 12th of December, 2017.
Main Purpose – OBTC appears to be Bitcoin fork that provides an open autonomous community for distributing those Bitcoins back that have been lost. Bitcoin oil comes with interesting features such as autonomous community, replay protection, lightning network, and safeguard privacy along with low transaction costs.
Distribution – The OBTC can be mined with CPU. OBTC has a total supply of 21 million, the block interval is 1.5 minutes and the block size is 2M. The coin does not seem to be trading at the moment.
Consensus – Bitcoin Oil is using Proof of Stake aka PoS consensus. This mechanism ensures the trading speed as well as the equity distribution.
Bitcoin Faith (BTF)
Block forked – 500,000
Fork date – The fork started to build on the 19th of December back in 2017. Earlier in 2018, Bitcoin Faith has increased the extensibility of BTC through the on-line intelligent contracts and has launched its very first application development on the 31st of May, 2018. In the near future, Bitcoin Faith hopes to come up with an on-line zero-knowledge proof and be able to remove the protection of dynamic checkpoint.
Main Purpose – It’s a smart contracts coin with 8 MB blocks hence a lightening network. Its snapshot has already occurred, and the coin is trading at various exchanges such as gate.io, Coin2Coin, OAX and so on. Bitcoin Faith aims to improve the overall mechanism of the consensus. It hopes that in the future, at some point the bitcoin network development into an intelligent contract that is built-in will come true. On the chain, Bitcoin Faith is issuing bank capital and establishes application. It ensures the large block, zero-knowledge proof, lightning network as well as the built-in intelligent contract.
Distribution – BTF is minable. The circulation of all the BTFs appears to be 21 million and the company reserves only the 1 %. 1 BTC is equal to 1 BTF. BTF can be mined with GPU mining hardware.
Consensus – Bitcoin Faith is based on the Equihash algorithm.
Bitcoin Pizza (BPA)
Block forked – 501888
Fork date – Bitcoin Pizza has started out on the 31st of December in 2017.
Main Purpose – Bitcoin Pizza is a combination of directed acyclic graph aka DAG technology and bitcoin. Bitcoin Pizza is aiming to solve the issue with the lack of the blocks in DAG blockchain. as a matter of fact, forking appears to be the first step of the solution and Bitcoin pizza is hoping to find ways of exchanging the actual DAG supported blockchain in a 1:1 billion ratio.
Distribution – BPA is mineable and it can be mined through GPU mining hardware.
Consensus – Bitcoin Pizza uses PoW consensus as well as the Equihash algorithm.
Bitcoin Interest (BCI)
Block forked – 505083
Fork date – The fork date of Bitcoin Interest was the 22nd of January, 2018.
Main Purpose – Bitcoin Interest is a primarily focusing on three main dimensions, which are saving, community, and technology. This is bitcoin fork that rewards you with coins for holding the BCI. It focusses on encouraging users to save by holding their coins on the network and earning an interest. The coin does not seem to be trading at the moment. The coins are already on sale and you can buy them on exchange platforms such as Bitfinex, Exrates, Octaex and so on.
Distribution – Bitcoin Interest is mineable and it is not premined. It has a total supply of 22,300,000.
Consensus – Bitcoin Interest uses Proof of Stake consensus and Equihash algorithm.
Bitcoin HushBlock (BTCH)
Block forked – 507089
Fork date – The date of the Bitcoin Hush event was the 2nd of January 2018.
Main Purpose – Bitcoin Hush is a four-way bitcoin fork that allows you to take value from four different blockchains including Hush, Supernet, Dex, and BTC. It is a Komodo asset chain. Bitcoin Hash does not fork from KMD, HUSH or BTC. It prefers to classify itself more as a merged airdrop, rather than a fork.
Distribution – BTCH is minable. The total supply of BTCH is 21 million. The block time is 1 minute on demand.
Consensus – Bitcoin Hush uses the Proof of Work consensus along with the algorithm known as Equihash.
Block forked -518,800
Fork date – The BitcoinClean hard fork took place on the 18th of April in 2018.
Main Purpose – It is an eco-friendly bitcoin fork intended to be energy efficient and friendly when mining. It seeks to minimize the high carbon emissions associated with Bitcoin mining. It uses proof of greenness protocol. It is the first cryptocurrency that will rely on renewable energy such as solar, wind, and biogas.
Distribution – BitcoinClean is mineable if you have successfully gone through the Proof of Greenness procedure.
Consensus – BitcoinClean miners use the “Proof of Greenness”.
In a Nutshell
Forks can be good if they are bringing something new and of value to the industry. They are supposed to improve on the existing technology. Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold are some of the forks that have proven to be stable and worthy so far in 2018. Before running to claim new free coins from a fork, take your time to study the dynamics and the intrinsic value of that particular coin to avoid ending up with a useless digital currency that you can neither use or sell.
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