One of the most important values of the Crypto World is decentralization. To provide decentralization most cryptocurrencies work on consensus. This means that a community or at least a part of the community has to make decisions together.
When the consensus is broken a hard fork happens. The hard fork means that developers cannot agree on some updates and a part of the blockchain moves forward, another one stays the same.
Undoubtedly, hard forks influence the cryptocurrency price. If we take a look at the regular market, we will see that the price of a company is splitting. However, in the Crypto World prices are set according to other rules. Prices here depend on the expectations of the community on how high the utility of a new one cryptocurrency would be.
Bitcoin also works on a consensus. Since it appeared a long time ago, it had a lot of forks. Each fork influenced the BTC price. Usually, the volatility is getting higher before the fork. Understanding of some tendencies that took place before may help to make a Bitcoin price prediction for the future.
History of Bitcoin forks
Bitcoin had more than 40 forks since 2017. It is nearly impossible to describe all of them. However, it is important to know some information about successful forks.
Litecoin forked from Bitcoin in 2011. The main aim was to increase the number of transactions and to shorten the time of transactions. Also the hashing algorithm was changed. It was created by Charlie Lee.
Bitcoin XT appeared in 2014 as a BTC fork. This was a result of the debate within the Bitcoin community about increasing the block size.
Originally Zcash was known as Zerocoin. This fork took place in October 2018. Unlike Bitcoin, Zcash has two types of transactions: transparent and private. Users are able to choose how open to the world they want to be. Another important difference is that Zcash uses a Zero-knowledge protocol (ZKP). This protocol changes the process of verifying information. In this case the one who verifies does not have to know the contents of what he/she verifies.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash is a result of a Bitcoin hard fork, which took place in August 2017. This fork helped to increase the block size to 8 Mb, which was a great improvement at that moment. Now its block size is 32 Mb.
The new BCH hard fork is scheduled for November 15th, 2020. However, the outcome of this event is not clear yet.
Bitcoin SV (BSV)
The full name of this coin is Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision. It appeared as a result of a Bitcoin Cash fork in November 2018. The reason for this fork was a desire to increase the block size. The decision to split came after one of the upgrades.
As it’s already been mentioned earlier, Bitcoin had more than 40 forks. Not all of them have survived. But among the forks that disappeared, there are some of them that are worth mentioning.
Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
Another Bitcoin fork also happened in October 2017. That time the main idea was to democratize the process of mining, increase its decentralization. The most revolutionary idea was to make miners use GPU instead of ASIC. Bitcoin Gold used the same protocol as Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Diamond (BCD)
The next hard fork happened in November 2017. The proof-of-work algorithm was changed and the number of possible transactions per second was increased. The main purpose was to achieve more anonymity.
Super Bitcoin (SBTC)
Super Bitcoin came to the Crypto World as a fork in 2017. In this version, developers added smart contracts, and made blocks bigger. SBTC also used the Lightning Network as a payment protocol.
Bitcoin Atom (BCA)
This fork happened in January 2018. Bitcoin Atom uses a hybrid consensus and built-in hash time-locked contracts. Developers claim Bitcoin Atom is more decentralized than the original Bitcoin.
Upcoming Bitcoin fork
Unfortunately, it is rather hard to talk about the upcoming forks. First of all, because not all the declared forks happen. Secondly, because it is impossible to write a list of upcoming forks once and for all. This information changes often. The best way to stay informed is to monitor resources that post relative information. You can check out these websites: forkmonitor.info/nodes/btc or forkdrop.io
The fork is a part of a natural blockchain development. This is the way to improve a blockchain and to find new approaches for the apps that are run on the blockchain. Usually, developers try to make a transition as smooth as possible for users. It is unlikely to lose any assets in spite of all the changes. There is no reason to be scared, but Bitcoin Fork is a good reason to keep up to date with new information.