Many already told you so: whether we like or not, we will have to get used to Bitcoin forks. After all, this is how open source works. If you take any successful Github repository, it will have thousands of forks. For us, developers, that’s even a wonderful way of estimating a project popularity.
So, today, I will quickly describe each fork project before writing a more advanced analysis for each of them later, as usually.
The name is a obvious buzz in itself regarding the famous story of the guy who bough two pizza for ₿10,000 in 2013, which would be worth almost $160,000,000 today. There is even a 5,000 followers Twitter account dedicated to this story. So, at first, I though it was just a big joke due to the name. However, when reading further, this seems to be a pretty serious project.
The Bitcoin Pizza team plans on using DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph), a quite technical concept, even for most developers. I will try a simple explanation. The « Graph » word is used here to describe the scientific field, which is called Graph Theory and help modelizing networks. A tree and a web are both a network, but we can easily see that they are not organized the same way. This is what Graph Theory field studies. An this mathematical field constantly tries to discover new ways of organizing networks seeking the most efficient structure depending on the network usage. And the « Directed Acyclic » is one of possible way of organizing how the nodes of a network are linked together: in short, who can talk to whom. It’s « Acyclic » because it can’t loop, thus go backwards. Now you see how it’s related to cryptocurrencies. Yes, I know, you thought « But that’s the description of a blockchain ! ». But the point of using DAG is to do not use a blockchain. « Whaaat ? ».
In fact, IOTA is already sucessfully using DAG, calling it tangle, and their biggest distinctive feature is precisely that they use DAG / Tangle instead of a blockchain as most current crypto-assets do. This kind of network also has its weaknesses. But I will let you do some self-education if you want to understand that better.
The technical ambition is really interesting. But I don’t know if it will bring any value, viewed in isolation. This project seems more an experimental fork than a potential Bitcoin challenger to me. As a developer, I will closely follow the technical progress if the proposal is able to take off.
Unfortunately, they don’t have a white paper…
Bitcoin Smart claims to integrate smart contracts and a digital assets issuance, in short a free-for-all tokens generator. Nothing new there in my opinion. Especially since dozens of solid competitors already offering these features, and much more.
Bitcoin Interest, as the name suggest, hopes to become some sort of a crypto savings account. There will be POS rewards from the start and a « much lower mining difficulty than Bitcoin », lower enough to « utilizing GPU mining ». They wish indeed to generate monthly-based interests to coins holders. The fact that they are monthly could indeed motivate holders to avoid short-term speculation. That would be supposing that their system require from their users to hold their coin during one full month before each interests distribution. That would be a bold move.
Since Bitcoin may skyrocket to $60,000 in 2018, I’m not sure many forks will be able to catch up with that but who knows ? After all, it’s « only » a 200% gain. However, the point could be to give less returns, but more stable ones. At some point in the future, there will be a demand for that.
Time will tell.
There is no planned block number announced and a feathery white waper which is basically a simple Q&A, with a lot of typos and spelling mistakes. They claim to have been working on Bitcoin Lite since the beginning of 2017. Obviously, they describe their planned fork with the classic three-legged combo: Eco-Friendly (= POS) + Privacy (= Zero-Knowledge Proof) + Cheap & Fast Transactions (= big block size + high block generation frequency).
Their block size is absolutely insane since they announce 500 MB per block (instead of 1 MB per block) at a rate of one block generated each minute (instead of one block generated each 10 minutes). Without any technical explanation, I am curious about they could achieve that. The closer blockchained thing I know is NeoFS, it’s designed as a blockchain overlay and it’s still a work in progress despite a team of experts working on it for months.
Also, if the point is only to have lower fees and faster transactions, maybe they didn’t hear about something called Lightning Networks yet…
Anyway, I won’t go further. To be sincere, I hesitated to add this one to the list. It’s very difficult to take this project seriously. But I may be wrong.
A last thing
Don’t forget to check our Bitcoin Forks Date page to check these upcoming forks date and planned block number (for those that have one). And follow us on Twitter to get automated countdowns until each fork happen, so that you’ll never miss any of them.