The next Bitcoin halving will take place in 2024. Is this a ‘buy the dip’ opportunity? With less than one year to the next big crypto event, investors are getting anxious.
Is it time to invest in Bitcoin as the halving approaches? Historical patterns suggest that Bitcoin’s price behaviour tends to follow a distinct cycle aligned with these halving events, which occur every four years.
These cycles, known as “epochs,” typically encompass a significant high and low point in Bitcoin’s value, with these events being roughly four years apart.
Interestingly, in each epoch, the significant low point usually materializes just over a year prior to the next halving. Therefore, long-standing Bitcoin advocates see little evidence to suggest a significant deviation from this pattern in the future.
Ultimately, the Bitcoin halving is just a reminder that the world’s most valuable crypto is designed to become increasingly scarce as time passes by. Even if your crypto investment isn’t in Bitcoin, this even still has a massive effect on the entire market, as Bitcoin represents almost 50% of the market.
What is Bitcoin halving?
Bitcoin is created by powerful computers which solve complicated mathematical puzzles to validate each blockchain block and generate new Bitcoins. Every four years (210,000 blocks, to be more exact), the reward for generating a new block is cut in half. Hence the name Bitcoin halving.
When Bitcoin started, miners got 50 Bitcoins for every block they added. This was a lot, but it helped attract people to the system.
For example, the first halving happened in 2012 when the reward dropped from 50 to 25 Bitcoins. The second halving, in 2016, cut the reward down to 12.5 Bitcoins. The most recent halving in 2020 reduced the reward to just 6.25 Bitcoins.
The next halving is expected to happen in 2024. This halving process will continue until we hit around the year 2140, by which time all 21 million Bitcoins should have been mined.
Why does Bitcoin halving happen?
Imagine the Bitcoin system as a digital gold mine that’s programmed to dig up a new chunk of gold every 10 minutes. As more miners (people with powerful computers) join the hunt, they’re able to dig up gold faster. But to keep things fair and maintain the 10-minute digging goal, the digging process is made harder every couple of weeks. Despite the growth of the Bitcoin network over the past decade, the average digging time has stayed below 10 minutes, around 9.5 minutes, to be exact.
Now, the total amount of Bitcoin that can ever exist is capped at 21 million. When this number is hit, no more Bitcoin can be created. Bitcoin halving is a process that gradually reduces the amount of new Bitcoin that can be mined each time a block is added to the blockchain. This makes Bitcoin scarcer and potentially more valuable over time.
You might think that halving the reward for mining would make people less interested in doing it. But Bitcoin halvings have historically been associated with big jumps in Bitcoin’s price. This keeps miners motivated to mine more, even though they’re getting less Bitcoin each time they mine a block.
So, miners are encouraged to keep digging as long as the price of Bitcoin keeps going up. If the price doesn’t rise and the reward for mining keeps getting smaller, miners might be less interested in mining Bitcoin. This is because it takes a lot of time, computer power, and electricity to mine Bitcoin.
If you want to know more about Bitcoin, check out this Bitcoin hard fork guide, which explains all past forks which affected all BTC holders.
Should I buy Bitcoin?
Investor and entrepreneur Alistair Milne shared his perspective, recommending that those seeking to benefit from Bitcoin should consider purchasing now, as the period preceding the halving might not present as advantageous an entry point. He advised, “Avoid shorting when it’s dark green and ensure you’re fully invested before it turns blue.”
In the earlier part of the month, a well-known yet contentious figure in the Bitcoin industry used the halving narrative to argue that the pricing cycles aren’t a matter of coincidence. PlanB, the anonymous creator of the Stock-to-Flow (S2F) Bitcoin price prediction models, noted that about half of the market participants believe the link between halvings and price is random.
PlanB’s comments were framed within the debate over the relevance of the S2F theory to halvings, a theory that has faced considerable criticism due to unmet price predictions from 2021 onwards. However, PlanB also asserts that the current BTC/USD value is low, and the market hasn’t adequately factored in the upcoming halving.
PlanB questioned, “Why is bitcoin S2F/halving not priced in? Because ~50% thinks the BTC price jumps after last 3 halvings (red) are a coincidence.
Why isn’t the Bitcoin S2F/halving reflected in the price? Approximately 50% believe the price spikes following the last three halvings are coincidental,” adding an explanatory chart to his statement. He continued, “Halvings are key to S2F, but these critics focus on auto-correlation between halvings and conclude there is no relation between S2F/halvings and price. I disagree, obviously. 2024 halving will be very interesting!”
What does the Bitcoin halving event mean?
Think about Bitcoin miners like gold miners. They get paid in Bitcoin for their hard work of adding new transactions to the blockchain. But when Bitcoin halving happens, miners earn less for their work. This means fewer new Bitcoins enter circulation, similar to how less gold would be available if miners dug up less gold.
Here’s where the basic rules of supply and demand come in.
When the supply of something goes down, but demand stays the same or even goes up, the price usually goes up.
The halving event also slows down how fast new Bitcoin is made, which helps control inflation. Inflation is like when a dollar can’t buy as much as it used to. But Bitcoin is designed to be the opposite – it’s supposed to become more valuable over time. The halving event helps make this happen.
For instance, Bitcoin’s inflation rate was 50% in 2011, but it dropped to 12% in 2012 after the first halving and 4-5% in 2016 after the second halving. Currently, it sits at around 1.77%. So, after each halving, Bitcoin tends to become more valuable.
However, this process isn’t without its issues. Mining Bitcoin uses a lot of electricity, and miners might struggle to break even if the reward they’re getting is halved but the price of Bitcoin doesn’t go up enough to cover their costs.
Also, because of this, miners will be on the lookout for newer, more efficient technologies that can help them mine more Bitcoin while using less energy.
Besides, Bitcoin’s growing popularity and its acceptance by more businesses and big institutions might also push its price up. More transactions are likely to happen as more people start to use Bitcoin and blockchain technology.
Time to buy Bitcoin?
Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, is currently at a low point, trading around $27,300, after dropping almost 2% recently. This dip came as Binance, a significant cryptocurrency exchange, temporarily stopped Bitcoin withdrawals twice in one day due to technical issues. However, these operations have since resumed, and there are signs that Bitcoin could be gearing up for a recovery.
Despite the recent dip, Bitcoin showed promising resistance last week at $29,000, indicating the potential to climb back to $30,000.
Many Bitcoin investors are hopeful due to anticipated pauses in U.S. interest rate hikes and shifting trust from traditional finance to decentralized finance (DeFi). Combined with the upcoming Bitcoin halving event in 2024, which typically brings a surge in Bitcoin’s value, some experts predict Bitcoin could reach $35,000.
Still, it’s important to remember that Bitcoin is trading 50% lower than its all-time high of $69,000 in November 2021, and the journey to recovery may be lengthy. Also, external factors such as regulatory changes in countries like India could influence the market.
So, is it time to buy Bitcoin? It seems like a potentially advantageous time, given the low price and positive future prospects. But, as always with cryptocurrencies, it’s crucial to be vigilant and cautious due to their volatile nature. It’s best to stay informed about the current macroeconomic conditions and regulatory developments.
Despite the 60% price drop from last year, El Salvador is celebrating its first Bitcoin anniversary. The good news is that Bitcoin is still a legal tender in El Salvador – and so the experiment continues.
On September 7, 2021, El Salvador was the first country to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender. Many have criticized the decision, and others have been waiting to see this experiment fail. But so far, the first country to adopt a cryptocurrency as legal tender has managed to survive.
El Salvador and their pro-Bitcoin president
El Salvador president Nayib Bukele is a true advocate for Bitcoin. In September 2021, when he adopted the Bitcoin Law, he promised that this Bitcoin adoption as legal tender would help 70% of the local population without access to banking services.
Some of the main arguments for the pro-Bitcoin law were:
Foreign investments. The government believed that Bitcoin would attract new investments from crypto companies.
Create new jobs
Reduce reliance on the U.S. Dollar
While the economy is still struggling, some are now questioning the country’s economic future, as Bitcoin has lost over 60% in value since it has become a legal tender in El Salvador.
But let’s take a look at the stats.
On September 7, 2021, the price of 1 Bitcoin was around $46,100.
The first Bitcoin purchase by the Salvadoran government was made on Sept. 6, 2021. They bought 200 BTC for $10.36million. That means that the average price paid for 1 BTC was $51,800. This is a stark contrast to current BTC prices, as Bitcoin fell below $19,000 on September 7, 2022. This represents a 68.78% drop in the last year.
Data from Nayib Bukele’s portfolio tracker shows that El Salvador’s government is now at loss with all its 10 Bitcoin purchases since adopting it as legal tender.
The total purchase by the Salvadoran government adds up to 2,381 BTC. Considering the current price, the crypto holdings are now worth over $60 million less than what they originally paid.
Alejandro Zelaya, El Salvador’s Minister of Finance, previously stated that the country did not experience any losses due to falling prices. This is because they didn’t sell the coins. Unfavorable market conditions, geopolitical issues, and delays by the Salvadoran government have caused it to repeatedly delay its Bitcoin bond project.
Despite plummeting crypto prices and the continued bear market, industry observers began to refer to El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption in a negative light. Others suggested that it might be a failure because the country appears to have had some positive effect on El Salvador’s financial market and economy, including the cost of transactions.
But El Salvador is still advocating for crypto
The overall struggle has put some strains on individuals, and only a few are willing to trade this volatile asset. But there is a great plus to it. People use Bitcoin transactions to send money from abroad to their families in El Salvador. And that’s because BTC blockchain transactions are cheaper than wire transfer fees offered by traditional banks.
Another great news is that the country is now a holiday spot for Bitcoin supporters from all over the world. The El Salvadorian Bitcoin Law has been a success in terms of tourism and foreign investment. Tourism in El Salvador has increased by 82% in the first half of 2022. Over one million tourists visited the country in 2022.
It seems that the Bitcoin law acted as a marketing campaign on which many countries spend billions of dollars.
Even more, it seems that Bukele, the president of El Salvador, is one of the most popular presidents in power, with an approval rating of 85%. However, this could also be due to his tough-on-crime policies.
Unfortunately, many businesses in El Salvador refused to use Bitcoin, and consumers rarely choose it as a payment method.
The El Salvador Central Reserve Bank reported that Salvadorans living in other countries had sent more than $52 million in remittances between January and May 2022. A 400% increase in Lightning Network transactions in 2022 was also due to the adoption of Bitcoin by the Salvadoran government-backed Chivo wallet. That’s because citizens from abroad use it to make commission-free crypto transfers.
It seems that El Salvador is the ideal place to experiment with Lightning applications, as well as to create a trusted ecosystem of proven and interconnected services.
Small-time investors have the opportunity to realize their dreams of owning at minimum 1 Bitcoin, with BTC trading in the $20,000 area for the first time since 2020.
Bitcoin trading in the $20k range
Investors around the world have been chasing one of the total 21 million BTC since the early days of Bitcoin (BTC). This massive hysteria has been caused by the phenomenal interest in the cryptocurrency and the widespread acceptance of the internet in the last few years.
After hitting another all-time high in November 2021, when bitcoin’s price reached almost $69,000, the leading cryptocurrency has been declining in value ever since. In May 2022, the bear market has been confirmed, and it involves not only the cryptocurrency market, but the most important financial markets. The crypto market is now more tied to the stock market than ever, as more institutional investors have joined in 2021.
While many online celebrities have been raising concerns and painting a gloomy future for bitcoin, some see it as an opportunity to become a bitcoin owner.
BTC trading in the $20,000 area for the first time since 2020 gives small-time investors the opportunity to realize their goal of owning a minimum of 1 BTC. According to Glassnode, there has been a significant increase in the total number of Bitcoin addresses containing 1 BTC or more. These have increased by over 13,000 in June.
The total number of addresses that hold 1 BTC has seen an immediate decrease in the days ahead, but the Reddit crypto community continues to welcome new crypto investors who have worked hard to become wholecoiners.
New investors become wholecoiners
Some Reddit users even share their stories about how they saved enough to accumulate 1BTC and share screenshots of their achievements.
This Reddit user, arbalest_22 said that he spent approximately $35,000 to accumulate 1 BTC. He continues to support the Bitcoin ecosystem by pledging to procure Satoshis and sats until his total of 2 BTC. The ultimate goal of this user, and those who contributed to the discussion is to have tax-free income.
Other users say that they were able to become wholesalers by using the dollar-cost-average strategy. This dollar-cost-averaging (DCA) requires investors to regularly buy smaller amounts of BTC over a longer time.
According to Glassnode data, the total number of Bitcoin wallet addresses that hold more than 1 BTC increased is around 800,000.
Although falling BTC prices can be seen as an opportunity for investment, Google search trends highlight the tendency of other investors to speculate about its future.
Is it time to buy the Bitcoin dip?
After weeks of unrelenting selloffs, the Google search results show that cryptocurrency markets are experiencing peak anxiety.
After the comments of the United States Federal Reserve on the inflation outlook, nerves were high in crypto markets. The sell-off began at the beginning of June 2022.
Bitcoin lost the $20,000 psychologically significant mark. It also crosses another negative milestone, as it kept falling below the previous halving cycle’s highest for the first time ever in its history.
BTC/USD suffered 37% losses in the first two weeks, making June 2022 the worst month for Bitcoin.
The pair has traded almost 60% lower year-to-date. This is 70% less than the record high of $69,000 set in November last year.
According to cryptocurrency analysts, Bitcoin needs a higher volume and volatility to match volume levels from previous bear market bottoms, at the 200 MA (200-week moving average), a key lifelong support line.
The US stock market seems to recover and the S&P had its second-best week of 2022, which indicates a modest relief across risk assets. Everyone is looking at Bitcoin’s 200-week MA, which is the major indicator that gives the average price of Bitcoin over the last 200 weeks, hoping to surpass this support lever soon.
On March 14, the European Parliament discussed the effects and carbon footprint of Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies. The EU Bitcoin ban was not passed, but the energy discussion has not ended.
A rule proposal that would have effectively banned Bitcoin in the European Union (EU) has been struck down.
The European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) voted to keep the provision out of a draft Markets In Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework. This is the EU’s comprehensive regulatory package that governs digital assets.
EU’s response to crypto companies: MiCA
The MiCA framework was introduced by the European Commission in September 2020, as the EU executive branch responsible for proposing and enforcing laws. It is part of a larger digital finance strategy to adapt Europe to the digital age. It’s also quite different from other regulatory efforts.
For instance, the U.S. has introduced many bills over the years that directly impact the crypto space. These include tax and securities laws, but different states may have their own regulatory requirements. The country does not have a comprehensive equivalent to the EU’s MiCA. In August, the country’s most comprehensive bill regarding crypto regulation was presented. China had already banned crypto trading and mining in 2021. However, it was still working on its own digital currency, the digital yuan.
MiCA covers cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether, as well as stablecoins. The proposed framework does not cover digital currencies issued by central banks (CBDCs), nor crypto assets like security tokens, which might be considered financial instruments such as securities, deposits or treasury bills.
Although the promise of a passportable license to crypto asset service providers sounds appealing for established crypto firms that want to establish in the region, industry participants are concerned about the impact MiCA may have on the EU’s digital asset market.
EU’s Parliament voted on the crypto proposal
This Bitcoin ban proposal was added to the draft last Wednesday. It sought to limit cryptocurrencies powered using an energy-intensive computing process called proof-of-work (PoW). The proposal was met with heavy opposition by crypto advocates around the world.
After the Bitcoin ban was opposed by the committee, Stefan Berger, member of the EU Parliament, and rapporteur for MiCA, tweeted: “ECON committee approved my #MiCA report. A good day for the crypto sector! The EU Parliament has paved the way for innovation-friendly crypto regulation that can set standards worldwide. The process is not over yet; Steps still lie ahead of us.”
ECON-Ausschuss hat meinen #MiCA-Bericht angenommen. Ein guter Tag für den Krypto-Sektor! Das EU-Parlament hat den Weg geebnet für eine innovationsfreundliche Krypto-Regulierung, die weltweit Maßstäbe setzen kann. Der Prozess ist noch nicht vorbei; Schritte liegen noch vor uns /1
The vote on the provision, commonly known as the Bitcoin ban, was close, and a small majority could defeat it. The proposal required that all cryptocurrencies be subject to the EU’s “minimum environmental sustainability standard with respect to their consensus mechanism.”
The rule suggested a phase-out plan for popular proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether that would allow them to switch their consensus mechanism to less energy-intensive methods like proof-of-stake (PoS).
While plans are in place to make Ethereum a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus system this year, it is not clear if the same will be possible for Bitcoin.
The MiCA draft will be subject to a “trilogue” after the vote of the Parliament. This is a formal round between the European Parliament, Commission and Council.
Can renewable energy sources save Bitcoin?
Experts in renewable energy see two possible ways that crypto can be used to address power consumption concerns, first, by increasing demand for renewable energy sources. Second, by using blockchain technology to interact transparently and transparently with power grids in an auditable and measurable manner.
A small majority of members of the monetary committee voted for a compromise calling on the European Commission to propose alternative regulations. This is the EU’s executive arm that proposes new legislation.
“By January 1 2025, the Commission shall present to the European Parliament and to the Council, as appropriate, a legislative proposal to amend Regulation (EU) 2020/852, in accordance with Article 10 of that Regulation, with a view to including in the EU sustainable finance taxonomy any crypto-asset mining activities that contribute substantially to climate change mitigation and adaptation.”
Some politicians and regulators around the globe have criticized proof-of-work for their concerns about energy. EU leaders are worried that renewable energy could be used to sustain cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, instead of being used for national purposes.
The price of Bitcoin (BTC) surpassed the $40,000 level on intraday charts, as the leading cryptocurrency rose more than 15% in one day, despite the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
The two largest cities in Ukraine, Kyiv and Kharkiv, are under attack from the Russian side. However, the huge economic sanctions imposed on Russia seemed to have brought the largest single-day gain Bitcoin had seen in a year. Most of the crypto markets are green, and Ethereum (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency, has risen by more than 12%.
All banks worldwide have pledged to block SWIFT from Russia. The U.S. Treasury Department has placed a ban on U.S. entities interfacing with Russia’s central banks. Foreigners are prohibited from Moscow’s stock exchange for fear of stock-market sell-offs.
Financial markets and war in Ukraine
Russian President, Vladimir Putin, initiated the conflict in Ukraine. The entire world is watching, and most nations are sending humanitarian aid and military equipment. However, observers fear that the almost 200,000 strong invading force that was defeated by the surprisingly strong Ukraine resistance will resort to more brutal tactics. As sanctions from the United States and Europe began to bite into Russia’s economy, the Russian and Ukrainian delegations held an initial peace talk at the Belarus border during the fifth day of the conflict.
Although nobody had expected Ukraine to fight off the invading forces for so long, with each day that passes, more economic sanctions and escalations are taking place.
Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Digital Transformation asked that all major crypto exchanges block Russian addresses during the fifth day of the conflict.
The U.S. and the European Union have removed certain Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), a messaging network that supports global financial transactions. This is the system that both Ripple and Stellar are trying to replace with lighting speed networks and significantly lower transaction fees.
Is cryptocurrency a way to avoid sanctions?
These economic sanctions are without precedent in the modern economy, and some militate for adopting blockchain products to bypass some of these constraints. As investors see the potential for massive investments in decentralised finance (DeFi) after the Russian sanctions, Bitcoin and all other top altcoins are rallying today.
Due to the ban from the SWIFT payment system, Russian banks are now prohibited from interbank transactions with non-Russian entities. It is expected that the Russian banks will try to use crypto as a way of circumventing this sanction and other measures meant to isolate them from the global financial system.
Russian citizens are now unable to use their credit cards outside Russia, and the effects of the harsh sanctions on the Russian central bank had caused the ruble to drop 30% in one day, on February 28, when $1 was around 101 Russian Rubles. In an attempt to stop the price from plummeting even further, the Russian central bank froze the Russian exchange market and ordered Russian businesses to sell 70% of their foreign cash assets. Also, the central bank ordered brokers not to execute sell orders from foreign shareholders.
The DeFi space is still an innovation, but considering the strict Russian financial environment, it could help increase the number of people focusing on it. Military conflicts have always posed a huge threat to economies, and investors often wonder where else they can put their money. This looks like one of those smart bets, and DeFi could be one of the few solutions left to this fast degrading economy.
Without a doubt, the sanctions imposed on Russia by Western powers are biting hard on the country’s economic system. Russia’s ruble is sinking.
Did you know that you can claim Bitcoin hard forks coin if you owned Bitcoin at the moment of the fork?
Bitcoin, the first and most popular cryptocurrency ever created, has not been free from conflicts within the community. Over the years, many individuals and groups of developers have come up with ideas to make Bitcoin even better.
But most of these suggestions ended up dividing the community. That’s why over 100 Bitcoin hard forks have taken place since Bitcoin’s creation in 2009. Here’re the top BTC hard forks and how to claim them.
A Short History of Bitcoin
On October 31, 2008, a whitepaper was published that described the concept of Bitcoin ━ a trustless peer-to-peer system for digital currency to replace traditional money. The paper was published under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, but the author’s identity remains a mystery to this day. Many believe that the name is a pseudonym of one or a team of developers.
On January 3, 2009, the genesis block (block 0) was mined on the Bitcoin network, and the miner, the unknown Satoshi, was rewarded with 50 bitcoins.
From that point on, Bitcoin (BTC) was mined by other early contributors up to 2010. Laszlo Hanyecz, a programmer, made the first commercial transaction using cryptocurrency by purchasing two Papa John’s Pizzas for 10,000 BTC.
Bitcoin has been traded many millions of times since then. The first major transactions were made in black markets. The largest was the Silk Road, an online black marketplace, which traded close to 10 million Bitcoin during its lifetime.
As Bitcoin grew more as a currency on different markets, regulations emerged from many countries. For instance, the People’s Bank of China (PBC) made the news headlines when they adopted these three separate actions and issued new regulations regarding cryptocurrencies.
December 2013. The PBC banned financial institutions from using Bitcoin.
September 2017. The PBC issued a total ban on Bitcoin use.
June 2021. PBC implemented a crackdown against major cryptocurrency miners.
The price of Bitcoin fell by half after each of these events. However, it always found a way to rise again to new astonishing values. This is because many countries and institutions allow cryptocurrency use. Also, as of September 7, 2021, El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.
Another aspect of what makes Bitcoin increase in price is the maximum supply. There can only be 21 million BTC. As more investors join the cryptocurrency market, the coin experiences scarcity and the Bitcoin (BTC) price surges as with any supply and demand market.
Additionally, Bitcoin is more transferable and divisible than gold or another material asset and can be stored more easily. It will cost you a lot to transport gold, as well as the cost of storage in secure facilities. However, investors can store Bitcoin on a USB stick, also known as a cold wallet or hardware wallet.
As Bitcoin gained more popularity, it inspired other developers to create other blockchain platforms, and subsequently, some created Bitcoin hard forks.
What is a Bitcoin fork?
Many of the cryptocurrencies that exist today use part of Satoshi’s technology. However, many others adapted the Bitcoin blockchain model or tried to improve it.
As more users joined the blockchain, it became increasingly difficult to update the network as no single person or group could decide on unanimous future development.
To modify the Bitcoin blockchain, all miners must agree on the new rules and what constitutes a valid block on the chain. To change the rules, you must “fork” it to change to indicate that something has changed from the original protocol. These situations are called Bitcoin forking.
Usually, forks are used to add new features or change some blockchain parameters. The forking process results in the blockchain being divided into two distinct blockchains after a certain point in time. Although there have been many forks since the inception of Bitcoin, only a few are viable projects.
Crypto forks can be either soft or hard forks. The main difference is that soft forks are not a fork that results in a new currency and new branches of the blockchain. Soft forks slightly modify the Bitcoin protocol, but the core Bitcoin blockchain remains the same. Soft forks are backwards compatible, which means that the upgraded chain can successfully share and use data from earlier network versions.
However, during a hard fork, the programming code of the Bitcoin blockchain and its mining processes are upgraded. Once a user has updated their software, it rejects transactions from any older version, creating a new branch to the blockchain. Users who keep the older software can still process transactions. This means that transactions are being processed on two separate chains, and two different currencies result from the hard fork.
This is how various digital currencies, similar names to Bitcoin, have been created. These include Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold.
While not many investors know, anyone who owns Bitcoin, during a hard fork, is entitled to the new cryptocurrency. That’s why some consider that there’s an obvious financial incentive to fork Bitcoin’s blockchain and made some investors sceptical of the necessity of these forks.
Since it can be confusing for casual investors to distinguish between these cryptocurrencies, we’ll be going through the top Bitcoin hard forks.
Bitcoin Forks History
Bitcoin has over 100 forks, but not all projects were further developed, and only a few remain functional today. You can find the complete list of Bitcoin forks on forkdrop.io. We’ll mention the most noteworthy Bitcoin forks here.
Bitcoin XT fork took place on December 27, 2014.
Bitcoin XT is the first known Bitcoin hard fork. Mike Hearn incorporated some of his ideas into the Bitcoin blockchain and launched Bitcoin XT in late 2014. It is said that Hearn is one of the few to have contacted Satoshi Nakamoto via email.
Bitcoin XT was designed to allow 24 transactions per second. The previous version of Bitcoin could only handle seven transactions per second. It proposed to increase the block size from 1 megabyte to 8 megabytes.
Initially, Bitcoin XT was a success. In 2015, it had more than 1,000 nodes running the software. But, just a few short months later, investors lost interest, and the project was abandoned. Bitcoin XT has been removed from the internet, and its website is not functional anymore.
Bitcoin Unlimited is unique because it allows miners to choose the size of their blocks. Nodes and miners can limit the number of blocks they accept up to 16 megabytes. The community behind Bitcoin Unlimited believes in market-driven decision making, emergent consensus, and giving their users choices.
Despite some initial interest, Bitcoin Unlimited has not been widely accepted. Only a few nodes are still online.
Bitcoin Cash fork took place on August 1st 2017 (BTC block 478,558).
Pieter Wuille, a Bitcoin Core developer, presented the idea for Segregated Witness (SegWit) in late 2015. SegWit is a project that aims to decrease the size of Bitcoin transactions, thus allowing for more transactions to occur simultaneously. Technically, SegWit is a soft fork.
In response to SegWit, some Bitcoin developers and users decided to initiate a hard fork to avoid the protocol updates it brought about. Bitcoin Cash was the result of this hard fork. It split off from the main blockchain in August 2017, when Bitcoin Cash wallets rejected Bitcoin transactions and blocks.
Bitcoin Cash allows blocks of eight megabytes and does not accept the SegWit protocol.
Bitcoin Cash remains the most successful Bitcoin hard fork, and it is backed by many in the cryptocurrency community. BCH can be traded on popular exchanges (Binance, Coinbase, Huobi, Gate.io).
BitCore (BTX) fork took place on April 24, 2017.
BitCore is an unspent transaction output (UTXO) fork of Bitcoin, and it was launched in 2017. BitCore used Bitcoin’s source code to create a new blockchain but updated the core to make the blockchain size smaller (which makes the network easier to scale). BitCore uses the MEGABTX consensus algorithm, which is ASIC-resistant.
Because anyone can become a BitCore miner, it is impossible to centralise mining power. BitCore also has a 10 MB Segwit-enabled block that allows it to handle 17.6 billion transactions per annum or 48 million transactions per hour.
The entire crypto community can mine BTX using PoW and Masternodes.
Bitcoin Gold fork took place on October 23rd 2017 (BTC block 491,407).
Bitcoin Gold is a hard fork that occurred shortly after Bitcoin Cash. The creators implemented this hard fork to restore mining functionality using basic graphics processing unit (GPU) because they felt mining had become too specialised.
The Bitcoin Gold hard fork featured a pre-mining of the Bitcoin Gold crypto. Pre-mining is when the development team creates the coin from the start. In this case, the Bitcoin Gold developers pre-mined 100,000 BTG. Developers said that these pre-mined coins will be used to grow the Bitcoin Gold ecosystem and pay developers.
Bitcoin Diamond (BCD) fork took place on November 24, 2017 (BTC block 495.966).
Bitcoin Diamond is a fork of the original Bitcoin blockchain. Bitcoin Diamond was created only two weeks after the Bitcoin Gold fork.
The BCD’s code allows for 100 transactions per second, increasing the block size to 8 megabytes, thus making it more efficient than Bitcoin. While this is an improvement, considering Bitcoin’s seven transactions per second, other cryptocurrencies have much greater transaction throughput, and that’s why some consider Bitcoin Diamond obsolete.
However, the first major Bitcoin hard fork, Bitcoin Cash, can process 116 transactions per second through its increased block size. Although these cryptocurrencies may not be the same, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Diamond are very similar. Some investors wonder if Bitcoin Diamond was a necessary hard fork.
Bitcoin SV hard fork took place on November 15th 2018 (BCH block 556,766). It is a fork from the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.
Bitcoin SV‘s goal is to realise the original vision and design of Bitcoin as described in Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper.
BSV is designed to provide stability and scalability while keeping Bitcoin a peer-to-peer electronic money system. It also aims to become a distributed data network that can support enterprise-level advanced blockchain applications.
It has also removed artificial block sizes limits, re-enabled script commands, and other technical capabilities that had been previously disabled or restricted by protocol developers on the BTC blockchain. The network can process thousands of transactions per second while keeping transaction fees low for micropayments. It also offers advanced capabilities like tokens, smart contracts and other use cases.
The block size of Bitcoin SV can go up to 2Gb and can process over 10,000 transactions per second. BSV reached over 50.000 TPS on the testnet.
BSV is unmatched in its ability to scale on-chain without any restrictions while being closer to the original Bitcoin design than any other blockchain.
Bitcoin Cash ABC (eCash)
Bitcoin Cash ABC fork took place on November 15, 2020 (BCH block 661648).
Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHA) is a cryptocurrency that was created in 2020 as a result of a hard fork within the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. This split the original chain into two new ones called “Bitcoin Cash ABC” and “Bitcoin Cash Node.”
Amaury Sechet is the leader of the Bitcoin Cash ABC developers. They proposed an update to the Bitcoin Cash network. This update included a controversial new “Coinbase Rule,” requiring 8% of all mined Bitcoin Cash to be distributed to BCH ABC to finance protocol development.
Another group, Bitcoin Cash Node from the Bitcoin Cash community, opposed the upgrade. They removed the so-called “miner tax” from their source code.
In July 2021, Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHA) was rebranded as eCash (XEC). With this relaunch, the team also announced their plans to integrate the proof-of-stake consensus layer Avalanche, which introduces great improvements to the network.
Three main improvements are:
Scaling transaction throughput to more than 5,000,000 transactions per second
Improve the payment experience by reducing transaction finality
The eCash (XEC) rebrand also decreases the coin’s decimal from eight to only two.
Beware of Bitcoin Forks Scams
You should also bear in mind that some Bitcoin forks were created as a scam. Bitcoin Platinum, for instance, was created to lower Bitcoin’s value. Other scams, such as the fake Bitcoin Gold wallet, were created to steal your real funds. That’s why it’s crucial to keep your crypto funds safe and don’t trust everyone you talk to over the internet.
At the same time, you should be aware that some developers just want to make quick money. While some Bitcoin forks seem to be similar, the primary reason for their creation is more marketing buzz. Many developers are looking for free coins, and Bitcoin forks have become the new ICOs. The team creates the fork only to sell the coins on crypto exchanges as soon as it starts trading.
To reduce your chances of losing any Bitcoin, you have to move your Bitcoin to a new wallet before claiming any coins.
How to safely claim coins from a fork
Before attempting to claim any Bitcoin fork coins, you should research the new project and the team of developers behind it to establish its legitimacy. They should also provide a clear and accurate roadmap for the project they want to build.
For instance, a Bitcoin fork coin should implement replay protection, to allow the new network to separate from its original.
Depending on the specific Bitcoin fork, you might need to perform certain risk actions such as exposing your Bitcoin wallet private keys, installing specific software or validating your identity on centralised crypto exchanges.
One of the easiest ways to claim Bitcoin fork coins is to use wallets that support them. Note that most wallets don’t support many of the Bitcoin forks simply because the process requires complicated technical developments, which is not feasible for most wallets. This is because most of the Bitcoin forks don’t have a great market value and lack a development team and community.
Bitcoin forks can have various aspects to consider:
Coin ratio. Depending on the Bitcoin fork, the new coins (forked-coins) can be claimed at a specific ratio (It’s mostly a 1:1 ratio, but it can vary).
Fork height. The Bitcoin block height at the time that the Bitcoin Fork took place. Bitcoin wallets that received BTC after that date are not eligible for the Bitcoin fork claim.
Crypto exchange availability. Minor and less successful Bitcoin fork coins will not be supported by a lot of crypto exchanges.
Before attempting to claim any Bitcoin fork coins, you should go through these simple (but effective against theft) steps.
Step 1. Move Bitcoin to a new wallet
For all Bitcoin fork claims and any forks in general, users need to provide the wallet’s private keys in which the Bitcoin was held at the time of the Bitcoin fork. You should never share the keys of an active wallet.
That’s why, for safety reasons, moving the crypto funds to a different crypto wallet should be performed first before revealing the private keys to any third party. By doing this, you eliminate any possibility of having your Bitcoin stolen.
If you still have a Legacy Bitcoin wallet with addresses beginning with 1, claiming these forks can be a great motivation to move your coins to a SegWit account. This will lower your transaction fees and allow you to use Lightning Network.
Step 2. Export private keys
Firstly, you will need to export your private key from the wallet that was used to hold the Bitcoin funds at the time of the fork. Most wallets are able to export a file containing all the addresses and private keys. However, hardware wallets don’t allow private keys export, and for such cases, you need to enter the seed phrase into specific claiming software.
You can import only private keys that have funds to save time.
Step 3. Check Bitcoin wallet address for available claims
Using your Bitcoin wallet address, you can check if your address is entitled to a Bitcoin fork claim on Findmycoins.ninja.
You should save all the claimable wallets’ addresses and private key combinations.
All valid addresses and private key combinations should be recorded in a spreadsheet or text file that allows you to copy, paste, or replace text. The recording format should include a private key followed by the address.
Each entry should be numbered and the amount of Bitcoin they contain at the time of the first fork. It will be helpful to number each key pair for ordering purposes. It may be useful to note the sizes. You can, for example, use the address with the smaller amount to test the process.
Step 4. Claim the Bitcoin fork coin using a crypto wallet
There are several secure crypto wallets that can help you claim some of the most popular Bitcoin forks, such as:
Coinomi. Supports Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin SV (BSV). Find the guide on how to claim Bitcoin forks on their support page.
BitPie & Bither wallets. These are two distinct mobile app Bitcoin wallets. BitPie is used to claim the coins, and then Bither can be used to sell them. Using the two wallets you can successfully claim Super Bitcoin (SBTC), BTW, BCD, BTF, BTP, BTN, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold.
While the BitPie and Bither wallets are the most common solution you can find on the web these days to claim your Bitcoin forks, the wallets do not support BTC fork claiming anymore. We tried this option without any success.
How to use Coinomi for Bitcoin fork claims
Step 1. Install and create a Coinomi wallet
Firstly, make sure you have the latest version of Coinomi on your mobile device. Afterwards, create a new wallet, and make sure to write down its seed phrase to recover your funds later, in case something happens to the mobile device. You will also be asked to set up a password for this specific wallet and device.
Step 2. Select the coins you want to add
Before claiming the Bitcoin forks in the Coinomi wallet, you need to select the specific coins as balances in your Coinomi wallet.
Click on the bottom-right plus sign and select Add coins. Select the Bitcoin forks you will be adding (e.g. Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), BitcoinSV (BSV)).
Step 3. Claim Bitcoin fork coins
Select the coin you want to claim the Bitcoin fork for, and within that specific wallet, click on the top menu > Sweep wallet.
You will have to paste or scan the wallet’s private key that had the Bitcoin at the time of the fork.
After you get all the transaction details (The amount of Bitcoin fork coins you will receive, the value in USD, the transaction fee), review all the details and tap Confirm.
You will then see the updated balance for the Bitcoin fork coins.
Repeat this step for every address with a balance of the forked coin.
How to claim Bitcoin forks using Ymgve’s Fork Claimer
More advanced crypto users that do not want to rely on a specific Bitcoin wallet, can use Ymgve’s script to claim the most Bitcoin forks. This method will require some technical knowledge on the user’s side because you will need to run a Phyton script.
The Ymgve is open-source. It is available on GitHub, along with all the information about how to use the script. Ymgve supports standard P2PKH and Segwit P2SH-P2WPKH addresses.
Using the Ymgve fork claimer script is recommended if you want to claim most forks, although it’s riskier and mistyping any of the commands can result in a loss of funds.
How do Bitcoin hard forks influence Bitcoin holders?
By the end of 2021, there have been over 100 Bitcoin hard forks, and investors expect to see more soft and hard forks in the years to come. However, out of all the hard forks to date, only a few are still operational.
Long time investors are entitled to claim all of these Bitcoin hard forks. Luckily there are ways to do so, using the wallets described in this article. However, as of the beginning of 2022, no Bitcoin fork has raised more in popularity than the original Bitcoin.