Bitcoin is the first currency to step into the world of cryptocurrencies. Till today, it remains unknown who exactly created BTC. However, it is said that an anonymous person named Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the first digital currency to the world. He gave everyone a global cryptocurrency and a worldwide payment system.
Satoshi launched BTC as an open-sourced technology. By this, any project can copy the unique codebase of BTC and modify it with various levels of change. Therefore, many cryptocurrencies copied the protocol of BTC and eventually launched their own digital currencies but with moderately different features. These cryptocurrencies are called Bitcoin Forks. In this blog, you will know about 5 Bitcoin Forks.
What is a Bitcoin Fork?
Bitcoin Fork is copying the blockchain code of BTC and making changes in the codebase to create a new cryptocurrency. The reason behind doing changes can be because of variables like hacking of the previous blockchain or because it needed improvements.
Basically, there are two types of blockchain forks- soft fork and hard fork. In a soft fork, there are only small changes made to the blockchain, that’s why it is easier than a hard fork. For a successful soft fork, it needs to receive a majority consensus. In a hard fork, a new blockchain is created. Bitcoin’s blockchain is open-source so anyone can copy the code. Hence, a hard fork of BTC can be done by anybody. One example of bitcoin’s hard fork is Bitcoin Cash.
5 Popular Bitcoin Forks
Now that you have understood what forking is, let’s move on to know some of the most famous Bitcoin forks. Following are 5 most popular forks of BTC:
Started: 7th October 2011
Founder: Charlie Lee
Ticker symbol: LTC
Max Supply: 84,000,000 LTC
Circulating Supply: 63,931,749 LTC
Litecoin is a fork of Bitcoin from the year 2011. The main aim of the Litecoin network is to support more transactions in less amount of time. Litecoin blocks are created in 2.5 minutes, instead of having a block time of 10 minutes. And because of more frequent block generation, miners of Litecoin are rewarded four times more as compared to the reward of generating new Bitcoin assets. LTC can be transferred in a very short time as compared to any other digital currencies.
Started: 1st August 2017
Founder: Roger Ver
Ticker symbol: BCH
Max Supply: 21,000,000 BCH
Circulating Supply: 18,241,850 BCH
Bitcoin Cash is a result of a long scalability debate in the Bitcoin community in the year 2017. In this discussion, a group of developers tried to convince the BTC community to make some required changes within the existing BTC client. As a result of the disagreement, a completely new digital currency and blockchain were created, Bitcoin Cash.
The main reason behind this fork was transaction fees of Bitcoin becoming too expensive. In 2009, it was less than a cent but within no time it increased to a few dollars per transaction.
Started: 24th October 2017
Ticker symbol: BTG
Max Supply: 21,000,000 BTG
Circulating Supply: 17,513,924 BTG
Bitcoin Gold’s main purpose is to make mining more decentralized. While BCH was more concerned about reducing transaction fees, being more decentralized was BTG’s concern. That is why in 2017 an algorithm was put into effect which is mined on available graphic cards rather than the highly specific mining computers used for Bitcoin assets.
Started: 24th November 2017
Founder: Connor Cui
Ticker symbol: BCD
Max Supply: 210,000,000 BCD
Circulating Supply: 186,492,898 BCD
Bitcoin Diamond focusing on increasing privacy and also offering lower fees in comparison to BTC. The main focus of its development team, from this fork, was to allow users of BCD in remaining more anonymous. While other forks kept their maximum total supply to 21 million coins, Bitcoin Diamond increased its total supply by 10 times. Hence, at the launch of BCD, if you were holding 0.5 BTC, then you would have received 5 Bitcoin Diamond assets.
Started: 15th November 2018
Founder: Craig Wright
Ticker symbol: BSV
Max Supply: 21,000,000 BSV
Circulating Supply: 18,222,577 BSV
Bitcoin SV is a fork of Bitcoin Cash and not of Bitcoin. Although, it re-establishes the original protocol of Bitcoin. BSV aims to solve the scalability issue of Bitcoin. Bitcoin SV was in news last year as its founder Craig Wright was trying to prove his identity as Bitcoin’s inventor.
Many Bitcoin forks have tried to improve the working of Bitcoin by improving and upgrading its codebase and creating a new digital currency. Some aim to improve bitcoin’s performance like lowering transaction fees, more transactions in less time, also increasing privacy and being decentralized etc. However, introducing multiple forks of BTC in the market, Bitcoin still remains at the top.