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Forking craze - bitcoin really valuable?

This year is a significant year for digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum because the unprecedented rise in the prices of these cryptocurrencies this year has attracted capital investment and widespread concern.

However, despite these successes, one of the basic attributes of all cryptocurrencies - decentralization - was attacked in 2017.

It is worth remembering that the core value of the blockchain is not under the control of any central agency or organization. Now, these protocols are used to enable the network to agree on the effectiveness of transactions and data.

Bitcoin is the first digital payment system without a central database, and the concept (quite new in 2009) is now becoming more widely accepted. But as the world's first blockchain has evolved a bit since the humble birth, it is now a different version: bitcoin cash and bitcoin gold in particular.

Bifurcating bitcoin has become so popular that one might call this model the first forked digital currency (IFO).

More than bitcoin gold and bitcoin cash, there are more bitcoin variants launched by Chinese companies such as "Super Bitcoins", "Bitcoin Diamonds" and "Bitcoin God."

Although everyone is looking for the next market, it is worth mentioning whether these networks have made a technical commitment? Users should care about these?

Idea this problem

One might argue that the three cryptocurrency networks are different ways to implement Bitcoin's vision of a decentralized network.

However, it is worth noting that decentralization is often achieved through a market economy.

Reflecting on this issue, I recall the classic question that the Soviet leader Gorbachev made in 1988:

"I did not see the people lining up to buy bread. Please take me to see the bread lovers in London. I want to learn his skills."
No one in fact is responsible for supplying bread to London, which is why there is no long line of queues.

Although bitcoin is the first so-called "decentralized" product based on blockchain technology, does it really deconcentrate within the community?

Some believe that the power and influence of miners has led to blockchain networks being more centralized than most would have imagined. To support this view, it is valuable to review Chungbuk's own e-mail about Bitcoin's original design.

He wrote:

"Before the blockchain network became so large, it was safe for users to check double flower attacks using simple payment verification (SPV Light Wallet, white paper chapter 8). This only required verifying the block header, which increased in size by about 12 KB per day . Only people trying to dig coins need to run a full full node, most of the users will run the full node at first, but as the bitcoin network expands to a certain extent, more and more full nodes will be populated by specialized hardware Composed of server group professionals to run.A server group only need to have a full node on the network, and other machines in the local area network to connect to this full node.The bandwidth may not be as high as you think it prohibitive. The typical transaction size is about 400 bytes (ECC algorithm is really very compact). Each transaction must be broadcast twice, so it can be said that the size of each transaction is 1KB. Visa handled 37 billion transactions in 2008, handling an average of 100 million transactions a day.
This massive amount of transaction requires 100GB of bandwidth on a bitcoin network, as large as a 12-disc DVD or two HD movies, with a current traffic cost of $ 18. If the network becomes so large it will take years, and then sending two HD movies over the Internet may not seem so hard. "

This e-mail shows that Nakamoto predicted that running the full node would be the responsibility of a few pools or "professionals" rather than individual users.

What is less clear is what kind of evaluation he will make about the result of his plan.

Bitcoin cash problem

It seems that Nakamoto's original capacity expansion plan actually increased the power of the mine to decide on the future development of the blockchain network.

As Chinese developers and miners try to come up with a new solution to the blockchain network congestion, we see first hand the example of bifurcated bitcoin cash.
Bitcoin cash is essentially a blockchain asset created using software called Bitcoin ABC. The software removes the somewhat controversial SegWit code and expands the bitcoin's 1MB block size to 8 MB. The new rules create a new blockchain network.

At the moment, there are still some disagreements in society: is bitcoin cash a hard-forked bitcoin, or should it be treated as a separate "wallet"? We'll talk later.

The fact is that 70% of bitcoin's money belongs to Chinese miners, and they can easily unite. Bitcoin cash, I believe is a good example of this.

With the support of, BTC.Top, ViaBTC, AntPool, all of which have a direct or suspicious relationship with Bitmain, bitcoin cash can be considered a centralized commercial product for Chinese miners' control.

Bitcoin gold weakness

As bitcoin cash prices continue to rise, others mimic this pattern.

Another bifurcation of bitcoin is bitcoin gold, which appears this autumn, and bitcoin gold is trying to combine other cryptocurrency technologies to stop mining from being centralized.

I know little about Bitcoin gold, but according to its website:

Bitcoin Gold Decentralized mining by adopting the PoW algorithm -Equihash, Equihash did not run fast on bitcoin mining equipment (ASIC miner machines), providing ordinary users with the ubiquitous GPU to dig Mine fair opportunity. "
There have been efforts to develop FPGA mining chips for zcash, but with this progress, the development of the relevant ASIC chip may be only a matter of time. If so, then the power of digging may again be transferred from the user back to the traditional pool.

For this possibility, we may ask, what is the purpose of forking at the beginning?

One possible reason is that due to the Chinese government's ban on first-time tokens issuance (ICO), companies in China's cryptocurrency sector want to develop new business models.

Unresolved issues

As we move into 2018, I think it is important that we answer this trend.

Including whether the bifurcation of bitcoin could actually weaken decentralization, whether users want access to these assets, or whether "decentralization" is just a buzzword or marketing strategy for all cryptocurrencies.
The final time will tell bitcoin, bitcoin cash or bitcoin gold: who is the most popular. But the beauty of open markets is that users can decide what is the most valuable or useful.

If the behind-the-scenes team can not provide more value than their competitors, their tokens will be hard to survive.

In other words, I do not want to see absolute consensus in these cryptocurrencies. As prices continue to rise, I suspect that more outside forces, be they governments, agencies or bitcoin communities, are trying to exert their influence and power.

When the time comes, we may be grateful for taking the time to understand how to realize his vision in a way that Satoshi Nakamoto would have thought to be, if not for what Satomi expected.