If you’ve been holding Btc this year (in a wallet that you posses the Private Keys to), you may now also be a holder of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Gold (BTG). You may also soon receive Bitcoin Diamond (BCD), Super Bitcoin (SBTC), Bitcoin Platinum (BTP), Bitcoin Lightning (LBTC), Bitcoin God (GOD), Bitcoin Cash Plus (BCP), Bitcoin Uranium (BUM), Bitcoin Silver (BTSI), AND Bitcoin X (BCX). Wow!
What the Fork am I Talking About?
This has happened as a result of forking. WTF? If you’ve been reading about Blockchain Technology you are aware that it is the technology on which Bitcoin functions. The computer coding containg all of the ‘laws’ or protocols allowing it to function as well as the ledger of transactions processed in blocks which then form a chain… of blocks.
The Bitcoin Blockchain is open source coding. This means that no one owns it! Anyone is entitled to take it and change it at will. Tweak it into their own version and create their own ‘coin’. Weather or not it has any perceived value in the community is another matter. They need not have a currency attached to them either. Blockchains are being developed purely for their functional purposes unrelated to money. See my article here.
Since The Bitcoin Blockchain was released around 2009, the fact that the coding behind it is open source, has resulted in an explosion of ‘Alt’ coins. Over 1,300 to date. All of them function with different blockchain coding. This is very important to understand if you are investing in cryptocurrencies as it relates to fundamental value. Each coin exists on its own blockchain. Some are decentralised, some are owned. Some are anomyous others are trackable. No two are alike. This is good for the technology as a whole as over time the community will recognize value where it exists and vote with their wallets. The scams, copycats and not so good will come to light and crash back to zero in favor of the better alternatives.
Getting back to the Bitcoin Forks. Each Blockchain, such as the Bitcoin Blockchain has it’s own rules. I’ve got no idea what they are, but essentially, in the case of Bitcoin. When enough influential Miners, Developers and Holders/Investors get together on a related issue they can form a consensus to create a fork in the road and allow the blockchain to split so it can head off in a different direction (simultaneously), according to different rules. Whala, the birth of a new baby. Now you have the original and the new. If you were holding the original you may receive an equal amount of it’s offspring as a BONUS! In the case of the Bitcoin fork to Bitcoin Cash, (BCH). The issue leading to the fork was that adjusting the block size would allow faster processing times and lower transaction fees. Something that it’s proponents believe makes it closer to Nakamoto’s original vision. Be-warned though as it may come at a cost further down the road. BCH is not decentralised – it is ‘owned’ by a Company.
So now you know how it came about…
Congrats… you have potentially made Money for Nothing! Assuming the baby grows. (Dont know about the chicks for free though).
BUT… How do you get your Dirty Ape hands on it?