As the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was the inspiration for hundreds of others, including little brother Litecoin and Ethereum.
But some of these blockchains—including Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, and Bitcoin Diamond—are direct forks of Bitcoin and share most of their DNA with the leading cryptocurrency.
In total, there are over 40 bitcoin offshoots resulting from people deciding to fork the Bitcoin blockchain to create their own cryptocurrency. Here are three of the most popular:
Fork date: 1st August 2017
Bitcoin Cash—also known as Bcash—is the most famous fork of Bitcoin.
This cryptocurrency born in August 2017 was the result of ideological differences between those who thought of bitcoin as more of a store of value, like digital gold, and those who maintained that it should be thought of as a peer-to-peer currency.
This led to disagreement over how the network should most effectively be scaled. Bitcoin Cash supporters thought that increasing the block size was the answer to accommodating more transactions, and the rest of the community thought that SegWit provided a better solution.
Bitcoin Cash supporters like Roger Ver said the bigger block scaling method would let Bitcoin stay true to Satoshi’s original vision of a peer-to-peer digital currency, but his opponents argued that the big blocks would only provide temporary relief and that the SegWit scaling method was better over the long-term.
This led to heated debate within the space, and eventually, a group of activists and developers pushed for a hard fork that would increase the Bitcoin block size.
Fork date: 24th October 2017
Just over two months after Bitcoin Cash came another fork, this one proposing to help Bitcoin become more decentralized by using GPU mining rather than ASIC mining.
This change to the mining algorithm meant that Bitcoin Gold could be mined using anyone’s spare computing power without having to invest in specialized mining equipment, just like in the early days of Bitcoin.
The fork was driven by a few enthusiasts who believed that the original Bitcoin mining system had become monopolized by a handful of mining companies, making it too centralized and vulnerable to attack.
Fork date: 3rd March 2018
Bitcoin Private. This cryptocurrency aims to bring together the benefits of bitcoin and the privacy features of Zcash—specifically zk-SNARKS, of which the “zk” stands for “zero-knowledge.”
But instead of being forked directly from bitcoin, as was the case with popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Private was created from a copy of a digital currency known as Zclassic which is itself a fork of ZCash, and ZCash itself was a fork of the original bitcoin.
Complicated? That’s why Bitcoin Private has come to be known as a spork, rather than a fork!
The Forking Process
Each of these cryptocurrencies is the result of a change to the rules governing the Bitcoin network.
As a decentralized network, no single party has control over Bitcoin. Instead, the blockchain is kept ticking over by algorithms based on certain rules. These algorithms facilitate transactions, prevent people from spending the same bitcoin twice and regulate the flow of freshly mined bitcoins into the network.
If someone wants to change the rules, and the people running Bitcoin nodes maintaining the bitcoin network can agree that the new rules will make bitcoin better, then they can be implemented with no issue through either a soft fork, which happens when the proposed changes are backwards compatible or a hard fork when the proposed changes are not backwards compatible and a new chain and cryptocurrency must be created.
With an agreement that a fork will take place, the people running the nodes agree on a certain block number when a new chain will be created bound by the new rules.
When this block is mined, another blockchain is created. So we have one chain that follows the old rules, and one that follows the new rules. Both share the same past blockchain, but the new blocks are different in each chain—It has forked.
If you are holding Bitcoin at the time of the fork, then you will also receive the cryptocurrency associated with the new chain. This is why the price of a cryptocurrency will often rise before the date of a hard fork as buyers stock up to make the most of the opportunity to get more funds.
But just because the numbers of coins you have doubles, the value of those coins is still based on market forces and many forks of Bitcoin have become almost worthless.
Ethereum Co-Founder Anthony Di Iorio Bets Big on the Future of Cardano and Polkadot
Anthony Di Iorio, a Canadian entrepreneur and the co-founder of leading smart contract platform Ethereum, said that he believes in the potential of Cardano (ADA) and Polkadot (DOT).
In an interview with crypto proponent Anthony Pompliano, Di Iorio, who is also the CEO and founder of Canadian blockchain startup Decentral and crypto wallet Jaxx, revealed that he has a diversified investment portfolio featuring several top projects, including Cardano and Polkadot.
A Big Fan of Cardano and Polkadot
“Now I’ve kind of fallen back to just simplicity. I’m in a number of different projects, but the majority of my stuff is in the top projects. I’m a big fan of Polkadot, I’m a big fan of Cardano.”
Di Iorio went on to narrate why he was so sure of the future of these two projects. He had joined the Ethereum development team earlier in 2012 when he met Vitalik Buterin at a Bitcoin conference.
He has formed strong relationships with other co-founders of Ethereum, including Vitalik Buterin, Cardano’s founder Charles Hoskinson, and Polkadot’s current CEO Gavin Wood.
Di Iorio admitted that while he worked with these men, he knew that they were goal-oriented and would help push these projects further.
“Big fan of Charles, let’s say that. You know, taking some different approaches in the way that they’re doing things, much more on the academic side of what he’s done and bringing stuff forward. Real big fan of Gavin Wood… Knowing those guys from the days back at Ethereum – and knowing their drive and knowing their competitiveness and their smarts – I was able to see those projects for the last few years and know that they were gonna get to where they’ve gotten up to.”
Not Getting Lost in DeFi
Despite all the recent hype about DeFi, Di lorio pointed out that he is keeping his investments simple and investing in larger projects.
“Most of my stuff is in the top few things, Ether, Bitcoin, Cardano, Polkadot. I like Cosmos as well. And there’s a few others, but I’m not getting lost in all the DeFi stuff. I just think there’s not enough time, not enough energy. It’s a full-time gig to be running a lot of that stuff and keeping on top of stuff, so I’ve simplified my life quite a bit over the past few years.”
Featured image courtesy of Business Insider
Why Amp is the Best Altcoin You’ve Never Heard Of
Crypto Summer Pt. 2
I work with a crypto wizard.
Yesterday the wizard gave me a piece of advice: “Hey man, your fly is down.” After that, he told me to look into Amp, otherwise known as Crypto-Square.
Through this ERC-20 token, retailers can accept Bitcoin, Litecoin or Ethereum without having to wait 10 minutes or more for the network. Today Nordstrom, Lowes, Baskin Robbins, GameStop, Ulta Beauty, Office Depot, AMC Theaters, and Petco are just some of the stores that support Amp.
That’s right, you can go to these retailers and use Flexa’s SPEDN app (pronounced spend) to easily buy things with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
And if that wasn’t enough, Coinbase just listed Amp yesterday. Coinbase-approved altcoins often skyrocket in price as 56 million users are nothing to scoff at.
Here’s everything else you should know about this project.
There’s only one thing that Flexa and ConsenSys created Amp to do: Act as collateral. Amp guarantees that real-world transactions go through instantaneously due to collateralization.
Flexa, the company that created Amp, is the puppet master attempting to make cryptocurrency the new global financial system. They initially launched a Flexa token years ago, but ditched it for Amp and a close partnership with ConsenSys.
“The new Amp token demonstrates Flexa’s unrelenting commitment to DeFi and to building new technologies that will democratize access to payments for people all over the world,” Tyler Spalding, CEO of Flexa wrote in a blogpost.
Flexa eventually wants to use Amp to guarantee home purchases, loan distributions, and fiat exchanges.
Can you guess it? Go ahead — on three…
Oh, sorry I got excited.
Staking on Amp is just like providing to a liquidity pool on Uniswap or any other DeFi protocol. I just imagine a giant Uncle Sam poster pointing at you saying “we need your tokens.”
This is another reason why Amp works. It follows the old Army adage “K.I.S.S.” or Keep it Simple Stupid. In the past few months, Amp is one of the only altcoins I feel like I can explain to my mother. That’s a good thing.
Three words should make you very bullish about an altcoin: ‘Real-World Use’
Many altcoins over-engineer their projects to death and bog their white papers down with technical mumbo jumbo to make you think their team is smarter than you. Amp is not one of these projects. It keeps it simple, stupid.
Moreover, Amp is the leading technology making it possible for retailers to exchange cryptocurrencies. It’s so ahead of the pack that dozens of businesses are already using it.
It’s a no-brainer 10x, in my opinion.
Amp is trading at $0.06 at the time of publishing with a market cap of $2.59B (for reference the market cap of Ethereum is $276 B)
Large, Luxury Penthouse in Miami Sells for $22 Million in Crypto
One of America’s most luxurious penthouses just sold for more than $22 million – and the deal was completely finalized through cryptocurrency. The home consists of four bedrooms and is located within a condo building known as Arte by Antonio Citterio, which is situated in Miami Beach, Florida and designed by real estate developers Alex Sapir and Giovanni Fasciano.
Miami Real Estate and Crypto… A Perfect Match?
While crypto-real estate deals have been occurring over the past seven years, they are not common in any way, shape, or form. Typically, in America, all deals close through USD, but both Sapir and Fasciano expressed their excitement over the event and said in a recent interview that they always felt real estate and crypto went hand in hand… It was just a matter of time before people realized that, and as a result, they have consistently been open to homebuyers looking to pay their way with digital currency.
Sapir explains that there were several offers made on the residence, many of which would have also been done with crypto. He explained:
There is a strong, pent-up demand for cryptocurrency transactions that are seamless and secure for both parties, and the deal at Arte is a prime example of that. We were overwhelmed by the amount of calls we received from qualified buyers just after announcing our ability to facilitate cryptocurrency transactions. Real-world crypto transactions have not made their way fully into the mainstream yet, so it is quite clear top holders around the world pay attention when new opportunities to transact open up.
Fasciano says that with this sale, he has no doubt Miami could become a leader in crypto-based real estate sales, and he is hopeful that this will attract more digital investors to the housing mix. He says:
We are making Miami real estate history with this sale, as we were the first new development to facilitate this kind of cryptocurrency transaction, and to do so successfully so quickly after announcing. Cryptocurrency is the future of wealth, and we believe this is only the beginning. Arte has set the precedent for what these sales can look like and how fast they can take place. We are proud to have laid the groundwork for this new, burgeoning world.
Why Crypto Works Well
Sapir further stated what it was that inspired them both to accept crypto in the first place:
When we first set out to develop a boutique, resort-style oceanfront condominium for only 16 owners, no one had ever heard of anything so luxe and at such a small scale in Miami. It did not deter us, and we wanted to get ahead of a future world where half the world’s billionaires could have easily made their wealth from cryptocurrency. The quick sale of the Lower Penthouse at $22.5 million proves the success of the concept.
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