As the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was the inspiration for hundreds of others, including little brother Litecoin and Ethereum.
But some of these blockchains—including Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, and Bitcoin Diamond—are direct forks of Bitcoin and share most of their DNA with the leading cryptocurrency.
In total, there are over 40 bitcoin offshoots resulting from people deciding to fork the Bitcoin blockchain to create their own cryptocurrency. Here are three of the most popular:
Fork date: 1st August 2017
Bitcoin Cash—also known as Bcash—is the most famous fork of Bitcoin.
This cryptocurrency born in August 2017 was the result of ideological differences between those who thought of bitcoin as more of a store of value, like digital gold, and those who maintained that it should be thought of as a peer-to-peer currency.
This led to disagreement over how the network should most effectively be scaled. Bitcoin Cash supporters thought that increasing the block size was the answer to accommodating more transactions, and the rest of the community thought that SegWit provided a better solution.
Bitcoin Cash supporters like Roger Ver said the bigger block scaling method would let Bitcoin stay true to Satoshi’s original vision of a peer-to-peer digital currency, but his opponents argued that the big blocks would only provide temporary relief and that the SegWit scaling method was better over the long-term.
This led to heated debate within the space, and eventually, a group of activists and developers pushed for a hard fork that would increase the Bitcoin block size.
Fork date: 24th October 2017
Just over two months after Bitcoin Cash came another fork, this one proposing to help Bitcoin become more decentralized by using GPU mining rather than ASIC mining.
This change to the mining algorithm meant that Bitcoin Gold could be mined using anyone’s spare computing power without having to invest in specialized mining…