Bitcoin has been sitting on the throne of cryptocurrency for more than a decade. Since its genesis, no other cryptocurrency out there has been able to dethrone Bitcoin in terms of market cap. It’s massively popular, and it has been touted as the digital version of gold as a hedging tool against inflation.
Due to its celebrity status, Bitcoin also has plenty of “clones”. However, not all of these clones were created from nothing. Many of them are actually forked from Bitcoin. They split from Bitcoin and became their own chains. Some of these Bitcoin forks have become dead projects while some others are still here with a decent amount of supporters.
So, do you want to know what are the most popular Bitcoin forks and where they are today? Well, let’s get into the list right away!
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash was only started in late 2017 (Q4 2017). It was forked directly from the original Bitcoin (BTC) after endless debate about software upgrades. As of now, Bitcoin Cash is still the most popular fork of Bitcoin; it’s sitting comfortably inside the top 10 crypto market rankings. The main supporters of BCH include Bitcoin.com’s Roger Ver and Bitmain’s Jihan Wu.
Bitcoin Cash was created as a result of the reluctance of BTC’s supporters. Jihan Wu, Roger Ver, and many others believed that Bitcoin’s upper block size limit should have been upgraded from 1MB to 8MB. The rising BTC price in 2017 resulted in Bitcoin’s inability to process transactions effectively. The transaction fees also kept rising dramatically. At the time, there were increasing voices to make these changes to Bitcoin.
However, their suggestions were met with skepticism. Bitcoin supporters believed that Bitcoin should remain unchanged. Because both camps were unable to compromise, the pro-changes camp decided to hard fork Bitcoin blockchain. The result was the birth of Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
As of now, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has upgraded its upper block size limit once again, to 32 MB.
Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV)
Bitcoin SV or Satoshi Vision might not be the direct fork of Bitcoin Core but it’s still directly affected by it. Bitcoin SV was actually the fork of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) that was mentioned above. However, it’s also the second most popular altcoin that borrows “Bitcoin” name.
Bitcoin Satoshi Vision was created by Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre. Craig Wright used to be a big supporter in BCH until he got into a heated debate against main BCH figures such as Roger Ver and Jihan Wu. Craig Wright, in particular, is a “special” figure because he has been claiming that he’s the real Satoshi Nakamoto even though the majority of the crypto community has been quite skeptical about his claim.
Anyway, BSV camps forked Bitcoin Cash blockchain after they believed that BCH should never change its opcodes. At the time (2018), BCH core developers decided to introduce two new opcodes (OP_CHECKDATASIG and OP_CHECKDATASIGVERIFY) but this suggestion was instantly rejected by BSV camps. Not only that, BSV camp also wanted to upgrade the upper block size limit to 128 MB, which was denied by BCH camp. Just like BTC-BCH split back in 2017, these debates between the two camps resulted in BSV-BCH split.
These days BSV remains one of the top altcoins in the crypto market cap rankings. It’s still able to sit in the top 10 rankings.
Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
Another popular fork of Bitcoin Core is Bitcoin Gold (BTG). The fork happened in October 2017. BTG core developers believed that Bitcoin hash power had become too centralized in the hands of few mining pools. For this reason, they put a new mining algo called Equihash. This Equihash couldn’t be implemented directly to the Bitcoin chain without a hard fork. So, that’s what they did.
The core developers were quickly criticized by the crypto community as soon as they completed the fork. The argument was that BTG core developers decided to mine 10,000 BTG coins as soon as the fork had taken place. The skeptics believed BTG core developers shouldn’t attempt to mine aggressively if they believe in decentralization and if they want to give chance to other parties.
As of today, BTG remains the third most popular altcoin that has “Bitcoin” in its name. It’s, however, much less popular than both BCH and BSV.
Bitcoin Diamond (BCD)
Another popular Bitcoin fork is Bitcoin Diamond (BCD). It’s not as hyped as BCH, BSV, or BTG, but it has some presence and it’s still able to remain relevant in the top 100 crypto rankings. BCD core developers forked Bitcoin blockchain in Q4 2017, particularly in November. They decided to do the fork because they believed that Bitcoin’s average transaction fees were too expensive and the blockchain speed was too slow.
With some joint efforts from team 007 and team EVEY, BCD had some significant upgrades compared to Bitcoin Core. Through these upgrades, BCD was able to become faster and more cost-efficient. However, it’s still not able to go mainstream due to lack of marketing efforts and unique selling points.
BCD tries to boost adoption with its BCD Bazaar, an e-commerce store with a list of merchants accepting BCD as a medium of payment. However, almost nobody uses BCD Bazaar, and adoption remains a big challenge until today.