Bitcoin Core Forks: Bitcoin Gold and Bitcoin Cash
Why does a fork happen?
Bitcoin is a decentralized peer-to-peer currency, and therefore transactions are a democratic “public agreement.”
A “fork” is a change to the code of a cryptocurrency, resulting in two different versions of the blockchain. Fork's will continue to take place as new technology integrates with the blockchain, this is the natural evolution of blockchain technology.
A "hard" fork can only be successful with enough people agree to the need for change. Bitcoin Gold and Bitcoin Cash are currently the only two Bitcoin hard “forks” widely accepted in the crypto community.
What is wrong with Bitcoin?
Currently, Bitcoin faces there are two major issues that could impair the future success, even destroy the core democratic foundation of the currency.
One of the most significant issues, which threatens its democratic roots is centralized mining and the other is scalability of the growing blockchain.
Fortunately, progress has been made in resolving the scalability problem, with the SegWit update and by integrating the lighting network.
A “soft” fork was voted on and achieved when Segregated Witness(SegWit) was activated as a Bitcoin Core software update on August 24, 2017.
SegWit is a protocol update to increase the Bitcoin’s block size limit and allows the implementation of a second-layer solution.
Microsoft has announced the development of several new blockchain solutions involving second-layer solutions, like Lightning Network which they also say are necessary for solving Bitcoin scalability issues.
The Lightning Network
The lightning network is a trust-less payment technology that works side-by-side with a blockchain and can commit millions of transactions almost instantly by broadcasting to the rest of the Blockchain at a later time.
It can also be used to trade one cryptocurrency for another without needing to go through an exchange.
BTG Hard Fork
Bitcoin Gold “hard” forked by creating a new version of bitcoin while still maintaining its history. If you owned bitcoins before the fork, you now own an equal amount of "gold" bitcoins.
Bitcoin Gold continues to use the SegWit upgrade and is in the process of integrating with the Lightning Network as well. More details and development updates can be found on the 2018 RoadMap update.
“all of the previous technologies, like the printing press, the radio, and the internet, are basically replacements of the previous infrastructure to communicate on a large scale around the world.” “Vince Moens
What makes Bitcoin Gold Great?
BTG started as a small group in the bitcoin community with the intention to solve a crucial problem:
The increased centralization of bitcoin mining caused by ASIC mining farms owned by corporations who want to control Bitcoin and change it for their own benefit.
Bitcoin Gold is designed to make mining decentralized again like it was in the early days of democratic mining.
From the beginning, the plan has been to develop an infrastructure that is more resilient and more in line with Satoshi's original vision.
Though in most ways Bitcoin Gold functions the same as Bitcoin always has, there are a couple key differences:
Unlike Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Cash, who both allow ASIC mining hardware and Difficulty adjustments take place every two weeks, Bitcoin Gold uses GPU-based mining hardware and the difficulty adjusts with every block.
Bitcoin Gold uses the Equihash PoW algorithm, which blocks the use of ASIC devices. The idea behind Equihash is that the algorithm relies more on memory and less on computing power. This enables countless new people around the world to participate in the mining process using only standard hardware found in the common home computer.
What’s wrong with Bitcoin Cash?
Since its beginning BCH has attracted criticism
Director of Program Management, Alex Simons described on-chain scaling options offering bigger block sizes, specifically Bitcoin Cash as "degrading decentralization."
On February 13, 2018, Altcoin News CryptoPay Deems BCH Unsafe to Enable Bitcoin Cash.
Bitcoin Cash forked from the main blockchain claiming to be the real original bitcoin. The hard fork permanently increases the block size to 8 MB.
In contrast to the Bitcoin Blockchain wherein mining gets harder with time, with the Bitcoin Cash Blockchain mining gets harder with the number of blocks created.
In the beginning, it seemed to be profitable to mine on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain, but once miners started to exploit it, sporadic block generation and adjustment difficulties resulted in challenges for miners.
One Common Core
Each is different in how they have changed to enhance the original blockchain founded by Satoshi Nakamoto.
Though the simple fact is that a fork can only be successful if the community supports their purpose.
Ultimately, the collective intelligence and democratic process of the community will evolve the blockchain and decide right from wrong, that is a fantastic capability that the blockchain gives to us.
Even though there are many disagreements in the world of crypto, we share a common interest that connects each one of us at our core.
The world is in a revolutionary era that will transform economic and social systems.
It is all of our responsibility to represent blockchain technology in a positive way. We also need to protect its future which is under constant attack from the media.
Blockchain education is the best defense to media attacks.
Global Awareness and The Next Generation
Technology is sitting on the edge of the biggest breakthrough since the start of the internet in 1990.
Altcoins with no beneficial purpose create a dust cloud of confusion on the blockchain and scams are used by the media to defame even the most helpful cryptos.
It’s critical to push back against false accusations from skeptics and the media by promoting global awareness and sharing our knowledge of the blockchain.
We should encourage our youth, they are the next generation to revolutionize the world.
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"Blockchain, as a whole, is one of the first technologies that is going to connect us, as a follow-up to the internet. We had the infrastructure to connect, now we need to have the logic. We need to question what we read, whether it's good news or bad news. We need to think about what are the motives of the person saying this to me.” - Vince Moens