It is true; one Bitcoin year is equivalent to ten human years, or a whopping 70 Cat years. The Bitcoin hard fork to Bitcoin Cash happened this time last year, something that for those of us who were in Bitcoin then, seems like a very long time ago, so much has happened.
There are eight types of Hard Forks, with most happening without anyone noticing. It’s usually a software upgrade. We have a notable Hard fork happening right now with Ethereum’s Constantinople Hard Fork.
This series of articles will look at a Hard Fork that has had passions en-flamed, provided great drama and debate, given us a new coin and a community determined to see it crowned as the real Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash.
We will have a look at how Bitcoin Cash has performed in subsequent articles in this series on Hard Forks and also at how the Bitcoin Ecosystem and Crypto, in general, has changed in just one year since that major event.
One year ago in Bitcoin
Yes, only one year ago, there was pretty much one Bitcoin, one community. Crypto YouTubers operated from their bedrooms and had eight viewers each. Bitcoin was occasionally mentioned in the mainstream press, usually in regards to something illegal and only a hand full of people I knew had ever bought some Bitcoin.
One year on and we have a whole stack of different Bitcoins. The YouTubers now have studios and fly around the world as mini Crypto celebs on speaking engagements.
Other headlines in today’s press are about Bitcoin being worth 500K, Kim Kardashian gambling with a physical Bitcoin is also making today’s headlines, oh dear…
I’m happy to say that it’s now a couple of hands full of people I know who have bought some Crypto, that is a 100% increase in one year. YYYYUUUSSSS
The Bitcoin Hard Fork of August 2017
The really big news a year ago, at least for people involved in the cryptocurrency space, was the hard fork. The market was fluctuating wildly and picking which YouTuber was giving the best advice on what to do with your coins during the fork was a terrifying ordeal for me. I went with the World Crypto Network, and some super smart friends who had been in Crypto for a good few years as my sources of information. The team at the World Crypto Network have had a big influence on me. I do not, however, hate everything that is not Bitcoin as they do. In fact, I have recently taken a much more opened minded approach to other projects and have started to have a closer look at them, a few of them.
Do I own any Bitcoin Cash right now, no, might I again? Maybe. I claimed my free Bitcoin Cash coins, you got them if you owned Bitcoin during the fork, but I sold them. They are worth a lot more now than what I sold them for. Darnnnnnn.
So what caused the Hard Fork of August 2017? Big blocks, that’s what. An increase in block size was what some in the Bitcoin community wanted. We will cover this in more detail in part two.
The big blockers lead by Roger Ver strongly felt that Bitcoin had strayed from Satoshi’s vision, Bitcoin was supposed to be cash, be used as cash but not be called B Cash! Bitcoin Cash was born. Happy Birthday Bitcoin Cash, BCH.
It is great that I’m sitting here writing for Hardforking.com because it was this time last year that I really got addicted to Bitcoin. The hard fork to Bitcoin Cash played a major role in that. Understanding the endless amount of tech in this industry is almost impossible and while attempting to do so, two things happened.
Firstly, I understood what Bitcoin stood for, the philosophy, the beauty of this once in a generation technology hit me. Could this be true, a form of money that is not controlled by anyone, that could help bring billions of unbanked people into a greater economy in the near future? This was something I could get behind, and have.
Secondly the fact that if people thought they could improve on this OPEN technology, the opportunity to do just that existed with a hard fork. I really liked this. It has been a year of watching many thought leaders chop and change their stance on Hard forks, conscientious Hard forks that is, where a community splits and follows their vision for the coin. It seems to me that most commentators now see hard forks as an acceptable part of the Ecosystem.
Jimmy Song and Tone Vays, two commentators worth listening to, late last year declared that 2018 would be the Year of the Hard Fork, meaning they thought there would be lots of them. They were correct, we have seen a lot of forking and forkery this year.
Today we have a multitude of coins that are hard forks of Bitcoin and many other coins have hardforked too. Most are complete garbage in my opinion. The term ‘shit coin‘ is used by many industry commentators but I think turd is a better word. Contrary to popular belief, turds can, in fact, be polished and you can buy a lot of turd polish with the huge amount of money many projects have. I fully expect to see some very shiny turds soon, I hope so! I would settle for five or six very shiny turds in a year or so. That is my expectation at this point. The communities await your results, what will you do with their money super rich ICO people?
How is Bitcoin different to other coins/turds
Bitcoin has one major difference to every other coin, it really is decentralised. This, in a nutshell, means that if someone wants to shut Bitcoin down they really can not. There is no door to knock on and arrest the people behind it.
We seem to be passed the issue of people getting arrested now anyway. The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, stating that Bitcoin and Ethereum are not securities was giving a huge sigh of relief to many in the Ethereum community. It was never an issue for Bitcoin, as this was ruled on a long time ago, at least in the USA. I hope you understand that even if a country decided Bitcoin is bad and must be stopped that would be very difficult to do. The fact remains that every other project outside of Bitcoin has some form of centralisation, someone at the helm steering the ship. No doubt, this will hinder many projects, as regulation comes into space. Bitcoin will, however, continue unabated barring a bunch of Bitcoin core developers doing something crazy.
Marketing of Bitcoin and the forkery involved
I think it is worth noting that whilst Bitcoin is decentralised meaning no one owns or controls it, there are websites that use the name Bitcoin. This has created some pretty heated debate in the communities. It has currently flared up with Bitcoin.org in the line of fire. Someone called Cobra is being pointed at, as having taken control of the site. This requires more research on my part so we will leave that for another article. My point is really that there is a lot of squabbling in these communities and for us to be taken seriously by big investment the Bitcoin and Crypto communities need to take a good look at some behaviours.
Roger Ver was attacked for using the Bitcoin.com domain to sell Bitcoin Cash. This infuriated many in the Bitcoin community as they felt this was very misleading to people who thought they were buying Bitcoin but were, in fact, buying Bitcoin Cash. A valid point and something that was rectified.
One of the writers here at hardforking.com was banned from a Bitcoin community recently. One of the reasons given was that he had used links back to the hardforking.com website. That was deemed spammy. This banny community uses the word Bitcoin as the title for their community and it has commercial links in there to buy and sell on hhhmmmmmm. A chink in the decentralisation? Censorship issue? Something all of us involved in spreading the message of Bitcoin needs to be careful with. Bitcoin is decentralised, censorship-resistant and everyone should be able to promote Bitcoin. Is there a Bitcoin elite that thinks they can tell others what to do? I hope not.
How is Bitcoin Cash different to Bitcoin
Bitcoin Cash hardforked from Bitcoin when members of the one big Bitcoin community had a real problem with the size of the blocks on Bitcoins blockchain. They felt that Bitcoin had become too expensive to use, had become nothing more than a settlement layer and centrally important to them, it no longer followed Satoshi’s vision of being used as day to day money. In short, they wanted to buy a coffee at Starbucks with it. Yes, of course, it was much more than this but you get the point. They wanted to increase the Block size which would remedy the coffee issue, and good on them that went and did just that.
We now have a situation where Bitcoin is primarily seen as digital gold, a store of value, and by many as the reserve currency of the digital asset, cryptocurrency space. So what of Bitcoin Cash, how has it grown, where is it at one year on from its birth?
Part two will be with you tomorrow including an analysis of the price history of Bitcoin cash. See you then and don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t done so already, so you don’t miss it.