There are so many Bitcoins out there. For newcomers, this can be quite confusing. The original Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin’s Satoshi Vision (BSV), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Bitcoin Diamond (BCD), and other Bitcoins that you have never even heard of.
You might be wondering why there are so many Bitcoins? And what’s their purpose, anyway? Well, they were created for different reasons. Some of them were simply forks of BTC, and some others are just trying to ride the popularity of the name “Bitcoin.” This article explores why these other Bitcoins exist, their background, and why they will always live under Bitcoin’s shadow.
Forking Bitcoin Was Such A Popular Idea
It is not hard to understand why forking Bitcoin was such a popular idea. Bitcoin’s name has been synonymous with cryptocurrency itself. In many countries, people actually know more about “Bitcoin” compared to the word “cryptocurrency.”
That’s why many years ago, the idea of forking Bitcoin was such a popular idea because it’s easy to ride the popularity of Bitcoin (rather than if you have to start a new coin with a totally new name). There were notable Bitcoin forks from time to time. Let’s take a look at them:
Bitcoin XT – the first famous Bitcoin’s hard fork was this Bitcoin XT. The coin was created by Mike Hearn in 2014. The fork significantly increased Bitcoin’s block size from 1 megabyte to 8 megabytes. Even though the hard fork earned the public’s attention at the time but the popularity slowly decreased as time passaged. It’s a dead coin now.
Bitcoin Unlimited – Just like Bitcoin XT, the main argument for Bitcoin Unlimited was the lack of block size. Created in 2015, Bitcoin Unlimited creators believed it would be the time for Bitcoin to increase the block limit size to 16 megabytes. The hard fork failed to get the public’s attention, however.
Bitcoin Classic – There was another hard fork of Bitcoin after the failure of Bitcoin XT and Bitcoin Unlimited. This time, it was called Bitcoin Classic. The difference was again in the form of the block size. The proposed change for the block size was from 1 megabyte to 2 megabytes. At the present time, Bitcoin Classic still exists, but it is nowhere to be found on most crypto exchanges.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – This is the most successful Bitcoin’s hard fork. Spearheaded by Bitmain’s Jihan Wu and Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver, Bitcoin Cash successfully gained public attention because it went through the hard fork in August 2017 (arguably the best year of cryptocurrencies). Bitcoin Cash also successfully “robbed” some hash power from the original Bitcoin (BTC). The basic differences between BCH and BTC are the block size and BCH not adopting the SegWit protocol.
Bitcoin Gold (BTG) – Another popular hard fork of Bitcoin is called Bitcoin Gold (BTG). The purpose of BTG was different from the other hard forks, though. The creation of BTG was due to some form of idealism. BTG developers who were also actively involved with BTC’s development believed that BTC’s mining power was too centralized in the hands of a few mining pool. BTG introduced the Equihash mining algorithm to prevent ASICs from mining BTG.
Bitcoin Diamond (BCD) – Bitcoin Diamond developers believed that the original Bitcoin (BTC) was heading the opposite way from Satoshi Nakamoto’s original plan. They believed Bitcoin needs to be faster if they want it to fulfill its purpose as “peer to peer digital cash”. BCD developers decided to fork BTC and created BCD with 8MB blocksize. It is claimed that BCD can achieve 100 transactions per second (TPS) and the network’s difficulty can auto-adjust every 12 hours.
Bitcoin’s Satoshi Vision (BSV) – Technically, BSV is not a fork of Bitcoin. It’s actually a fork of Bitcoin Cash (BCH). BSV was forked from BCH due to the political differences between the two parties. The party of Jihan Wu and Roger Ver (on BCH side) and Craig Wright (on BSV side). Craig Wright is also one of the most controversial figures in crypto space due to his claim as the real Satoshi Nakamoto. BSV is also very popular; it’s currently sitting on the fifth position of crypto rankings by market cap.
Why These Other Bitcoins Are Always Under BTC’s Shadow
From the above list, you can see some success stories and some fail stories. However, one thing for sure, they all live under Bitcoin’s shadow, and might always be. I mean, look, at this point I know all altcoins also live under BTC’s shadow.
However, things might change in the future, as “flippening” might happen between BTC and a popular altcoin with better decentralization or better technology. That being said, I feel such flippening won’t ever happen between Bitcoin and these other Bitcoin-wannabees. Because let’s just face it, they all use the same name, “Bitcoin-something.” It’s like if a new operating system shows up and calls itself “Windows-something,” the chance is quite small for this duplicate to replace the real Windows eventually.
The problem with these other Bitcoins is that they are literally riding the popularity of the original Bitcoin (BTC). So, whenever Bitcoin loses its popularity, they would also lose their popularity. The only way for an altcoin to be able to replace Bitcoin is to be original (at least, in the name)