update 1 September 2021

Historical Hardfork Events Every Crypto Enthusiasts Should Know About

Blockchains have been gaining attention since the history of crypto. The highly advanced systems help decentralize and streamline financial systems globally.

As the blockchain systems grow, investors start noticing issues and propose an upgrade. However, for any upgrade to occur, blockchain requires the consensus of all participants. If there is no consensus, two factions with opposite ideas may form.

The developers may choose to go ahead with the upgrade but maintain the status quo in the original chain. At that point, a blockchain hardfork occurs, creating two systems. Therefore, hard forks are blockchain upgrades that lead to the split of the chain.

In crypto history, there are multiple notable hard forks, especially in top blockchains like bitcoin and Ethereum. Keep reading to know the most common and popular crypto hard forks. 

Bitcoin Based Hard forks

Bitcoin XT Hardfork (Failed)

Of course, the Bitcoin XT launch was the first hardfork in the Bitcoin and crypto ecosystems. This Hardfork occurred in 2014, proposed and implemented by Mike Hearn. The intention was to improve the network’s transaction speed from 7 to 24 tsp.

Although the project was quite successful at the start, it’s not currently available. Investors abandoned it in preference of Bitcoin and other currencies.

Bitcoin Cash Hardfork

Bitcoin cash hardfork is the most notable one in the bitcoin and crypto ecosystems. This hardfork created the most successful hardfork project in the crypto space today. It became official in 2017, and immediately BCH wallets began rejecting BTC transactions.

BCH has been very successful in the crypto markets. Currently, the coin is trading at about $661 and has a market cap of over $12 billion. It’s the thirteenth-largest crypto asset and the most successful bitcoin hardfork.

Bitcoin Gold Hardfork

Bitcoin gold (BTG) is another fork that occurred in the Bitcoin ecosystem. The bitcoin gold fork also occurred in 2017, just after the launch of bitcoin cash. Now, this had some unique reason for launch; it aimed to make mining easy.

Mining bitcoin was a little tricky, especially for miners using laptops. More technologies like ASICs and stronger GPUs became a requirement. BTG reduced the resource requirement while still using a very efficient POW consensus.

The coin is also trading very well in the crypto markets. It has a market cap of about $1.39 billion and a unit value of $62. It’s number 73 in CMC.

Others Smaller Bitcoin Hard forks

As mentioned earlier, the bitcoin chain is home to several hard forks. Here are other less notable bitcoin hard forks;

  • Bitcoin classic: Bitcoin Classic creation was in 2016. This one also came up with the primary intention of improving the speed of Bitcoin.
  • Bitcoin unlimited launched to allow miners to choose their block size. It has a maximum block size of 16MB. It never gained adoption.  

The Ethereum Based Hard forks

A Case for Ethereum Classic

Ethereum has also been the home of multiple ethereum hard forks. The most popular and controversial of Ethereum’s hard forks is the Ethereum classic. This fork arose in mid-2016 when developers discovered a vulnerability within Ethereum DAO. The vulnerability led to the loss of around 3.6 million ETH.

The Ethereum developing team created the hardfork to recover the funds. After the fork, two factions argued about how the developing team handled the issue.

One group approved, while another one disapproved of the creation of the fork. The former group continued with the hardfork, while the latter group remained with the old chain. The old chain is now Ethereum Classic.

Ether Zero

Ether Zero is another fork of the Ethereum chain, which launched in 2019 January. It came to introduce a better blockchain for launching decentralized applications.

However, Ether zero is not as successful as the Ethereum classic. The coin is trading at $0.001732, and the market cap is a little over $322 thousand.

The Bitcoin Cash Fork- Bitcoin Satoshi Vision

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is the only Bitcoin cash known hardfork. Bitcoin SV launched in 2018, aiming to achieve high scalability in service provision.

BSV intended to replace payment systems by providing better services and top security. The maximum coin count for BSV is 21 million, and the circulating supply is a little over 18 million. The unit price for BSV is $170.91, and the overall market cap is $3.2 billion. It ranks number 43 in CMC. 

Litecoin Based Hardfork: Litecoin Cash

Litecoin Cash is a fork of the Litecoin chain. This fork launched in 2018 to help provide efficiency to the then Litecoin investors. Litecoin cash aimed to streamline mining and transactions. It fits nicely in the list since it’s the only real Litecoin fork. LCC is number 1007 in CMC and has a unit value of $0.012. The market cap is $3671. 

Final Word

Blockchain hard forks are a big part of the history of crypto. Their existence helped in expanding the crypto world while bolstering efficiency. The hard forks mentioned above are the most notable ones in crypto history. 

Bitcoin XT, although it does not exist today, was the first crypto hardfork project. Afterward, bitcoin saw more projects that were more successful, like BCH and BTG. BCH also underwent a fork leading to the creation of BSV, also a top 100 coin. The Ethereum chain has forks like Ethereum classic and Ether Zero. Litecoin’s fork, Litecoin cash, is not very popular, but it exists. 

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Recently, several projects have been introducing hard forks without splitting the chain. The London fork is a good example. The upcoming Alonzo fork Cardano) and Taproot (Bitcoin) are also good examples.

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