As I was reading up on forks and how they work, I came across major forks that have caused significant changes in the blockchains. And, since Bitcoin was one of the first to emerge, people made use of the same underlying technology with differences in comparison to the original one.
Through this forking process, many various digital currencies have emerged under different names such as Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold and others. For ordinary people, it can be difficult for them to point out the difference. But need not to worry because we’ll walk you through all the major forks up to this day and make it rather easier for you.
So, we start out with Genesis block because this was the first block that Satoshi mined. The name is pretty self-explanatory so there are no guesses why they chose this. From this to the time till now, Bitcoin has come a long way. According to basic principles of the blockchain, no one person can determine the changes, there has to be a consensus between the people who are part of the block. All of this results in different blocks when people can’t agree on one update collectively.
This was one of the first notable hard forks in the crypto world. The software was launched by Mike Hearn in late 2014 to include a few new features proposed by him. His idea was to bump up the transaction speed from seven transactions per second to twenty-four transactions per second. This would have required for an increase in block size.
Mike went ahead and the block split which resulted in Bitcoin XT. It initially saw success with more than 1000 nodes running in late summer of 2015 but gradually fell to its death after a few months. It is still available but is generally seemed to have fallen out.
After the decline of Bitcoin XT, people still wanted block size to increase. But keeping in mind the sad death of Bitcoin XT, they decided to increase the block size from 1 to only 2 megabytes instead of the raging 8 that Bitcoin XT attempted. It saw the initial interest of about 200 nodes for several months.
The project still exists and has quite a few developers supporting it. However, people have seemed to move on to other options.
Falling in third in place, this is a bit confusing one. Because for this the developers released a code but did not specify the kind of fork it will be. The size of the block, nodes, and miners limiting was all left up to miners to decide. Despite being a great idea, it failed to gain acceptance in the crypto market.
This, again, was an attempt to increase the speed of the transactions. The core developer Peter Wuille brought forth the idea which allowed more than one transaction to take place. Technically it was a soft fork but it prompted further hard forks.
Well, we have heard of this one. This was an aftermath of the SegWit.
You ask how? Well, this is how the story goes. So some Bitcoin developers got (maybe) frustrated by the updates it brought about and in order to avoid that, they decided to part ways, resulting in a hard fork.
It again split off from the main blockchain in August 2017, when Bitcoin cash wallets rejected bitcoin transactions and blocks. Bitcoin became the fourth largest digital currency and has thus been the most successful of them all. It allows blocks of 8 megabytes and rejected the SegWit protocol.
Following into the footsteps of Bitcoin Cash, this came about several months after the bitcoin cash hard fork in October 2017. The developers felt as if mining had become too specialized so to make things easier, they aimed to restore mining functionality with basic graphics processing units (GPU).
We’re not sure if this one’s eligible to be in this list but they DID plan it to be a hard fork. This was the second part of the original update and was slated to take place in November 2017. But, unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned and they had to cancel it due to the discrepancies between the previous backers of the project.
This is what Bitcoin has been through. Being forked in the gut several times and new currencies came to life but this is how it goes!