Satoshi Nakamoto, who initiated the cryptocurrency revolution, developed bitcoin in a way for the system to be an open source. This suggests that everyone can explore it and, moreover, copy it. That is why any ‘bitcoin-like’ cryptocurrency which has an open source code, can have its own fork.
Fork in crypto is basically a new coin that shares the same code as the main crypto in its core but as a rule, technically advances it. So, many top cryptocurrencies in terms of capitalization already have quite a few twins, but if we talk about bitcoin, it did get further than others with its forks number in the hundreds.
There are various reasons to make branches in the blockchain. Sometimes, they are lead by the developers themselves, and sometimes no one pursues any noble goals – only the desire to make money. In the first case scenario, the team behind the crypto might decide to improve the cryptocurrency, to introduce changes that will make the payment system work faster, transaction fees more attractive to users, etc. It might also be a kind of ‘backtracking’ the system to clean up after a major theft or hacker attack.
Probably one of the most famous forks in all cryptocurrency history is ethereum. No, we aren’t confusing anything at all, the platform Vitalik Buterin is actively developing is really a fork. True, quite an unusual one. This story originates in 2016 when The DAO project was developed on the ethereum platform. After the tokensale, it attracted attention and was under the ardent patronage of Buterin himself.
As it turned out, an error has been made in the application code which allowed the hackers to snitch ETH worth $60 million. Buterin decided to make a hardfork (just for that very ‘backtracking’ we mention above), but part of the ethereum community did not agree with him at all.
As a result, a hardfork has been made, but the old branch (that is, having the original unchanged ethereum code) did not die due to the disagreement of many community members and continued to exist under the name Ethereum Classic. Since then, there are two cryptocurrencies, and the fork ETC, which in essence is ETH, feels very good.
In less than an hour Bitcoin Cash, the altcoin that appeared itself as a fork of bitcoin is to overgo a fork. As a result, two new versions of Bitcoin Cash are expected – Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC.
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