A forked blockchain is a term used within the crypto sphere for when a network undergoes a significant change, and a new chain is created as a result. Coins such as Dash, Bitcoin Gold (BTG) and Zcash (ZEC) have all been forked from the original Bitcoin (BTC).
Here, we will take a closer look at five coins that have come into being through the hard-fork of an earlier network; each striving to make improvements on their parent coin and make greater use of this new and exciting technology.
Quantum (QTUM) is an open-sourced public blockchain that makes use of the increased security offered by the Bitcoin UTXO protocol. The platform has multiple virtual machines available, the most significant of which is the QTUM X86 which facilitates the mainstream adoption of smart contracts and the development of decentralised applications (dApps). This VM supports the most popular programming languages, including C, C++, Rust, Python, and more.
For businesses, QTUM has Unita, also known as the Quantum Enterprise Edition. This allows companies to deploy their own blockchain-based tech.
The platform comes with all standard libraries for developers, native toolchains, and parallel contract execution to improve on GAS efficiency.
Created in 2011, Litecoin was intended to be a more affordable version of the original Bitcoin. This forked cryptocurrency is reportedly four times faster at processing payments than its parent coin, designed to ensure scalability for growing demand.
Although Litecoin lacks absolute liquidity, its popularity is growing, and it has maintained a strong position among its competitors in terms of market capitalisation for several years.
In many ways, Litecoin is identical to Bitcoin – earning it the honorary title of ‘digital silver’. As an affordable global payments system, people can send funds anywhere in the world without the involvement of third-party intermediaries, and there are now over 5000 merchants who accept this well-established digital currency.
Although Stellar Lumens now has its own codebase, it began its existence as a fork of the popular Ripple network. Founded in 2014 by Jed McCaleb and Joyce Kim, Stellar was created to tackle the challenge of the unbanked, or under-banked people – especially those who live in developing nations.
Jed McCaleb was also the co-founder of Ripple and the creator of Mt. Gox, the largest cryptocurrency exchange of its time. McCaleb felt that the Ripple network catered only for the large banks and financial institutions of the world, and so founded Stellar to perform a similar function, but tailored toward individuals.
Stellar Lumens is now legally recognised throughout the world, except for those countries which ban cryptocurrency outright. What is more, Stellar has also been approved for Islamic finance certification, making it compliant for Islamic financial products and services.
Aside from being a viable investment driver, Stellar can also be used to transfer funds in any currency around the world, securely and at an affordable cost. It is available on many of the largest crypto exchanges to trade or purchase other digital assets.
PIVX – or Private Instant Verified Transaction – is often heralded as one of the pioneers of Proof of Stake, being one of the first networks to adopt the consensus in 2016 under its former name, Darknet (DNET).
This privacy-based cryptocurrency was forked from the DASH coin, with a focus of combining the strengths of both Bitcoin and its parent for a robust blockchain that offers both greater transparency and anonymity.
An exciting development surrounding this coin is the recent announcement of the Sapling upgrade. Sapling uses the highly successful zk-SNARKs privacy protocol created by Zcash which can “verify transactions without any knowledge of the prover”.
PIVX had a difficult time last year due to unexpected problems with the Zerocoin protocol, which affected several blockchain projects that were using it. The implementation of this upgrade by the Zcash team is set to provide the best system for transacting anonymously on a blockchain and will set new levels of privacy for the cryptographic community.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash was created in 2017, following issues that the Bitcoin blockchain was facing in terms of scalability. A divide within the community on how to overcome these challenges led to a hard-fork in the network, and the creation of this now popular altcoin.
The supporters of Bitcoin Cash feel that this new digital currency is a natural progression and evolution of the original Bitcoin model. The most significant difference between the two coins is the block size. Bitcoin Cash uses larger blocks of 8MB and 32MB to allow for a greater number of transactions. This also means that miners can validate more payments per second.
What is interesting about the last coin on our list, is that it has experienced two more hard-forks of its own – leading to the creation of Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) and Bitcoin Cash ABC. Of these cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin SV has been the most successful and strives to keep in alignment with the philosophy put forward by the mysterious creator of Bitcoin; A peer-to-peer electronic payments system that gives more financial control to the people.
Whichever coin on our list interests you, remember to learn all you can about the project. Always ask questions like – Is the founder still involved? Does the currency have future relevance?
Most importantly, buy, sell and trade through recommended regulated platforms to ensure that your experience is a positive one and you are afforded all of the safety and security possible.