What is going on with all the Bitcoin forks? It seems like ever since Bitcoin experienced its extreme spike in value last year, forks are popping up left and right.
It began with Bitcoin Cash, which was a fork of the original chain. Since then, there have been several others. Companies are trying to hurry and profit from the mainstream Bitcoin name, and forks have become the current 2018 trend.
Bitcoin Cash, the most established Bitcoin fork, is enjoying its position in the top five tokens in regards to market cap. And while only nineteen Bitcoin forks were registered during 2017, approximately 50 are expected to pop up this year, according to the global director of fintech strategy at Autonomous Research, Lex Sokolin.
This number has the potential to increase, due to services available to provide basic programming skills to produce a clone. This issue is likely going to affect the cryptocurrency market in a big way.
In a recent tweet, Ari Paul, a hedge fund manager predicted that BTC and BCH will both continue to hard fork and over 10% of the price of each (if held today) will be located in new forks.
There are many reasons to fork off the Bitcoin Blockchain. Bitcoin Cash was created to address issues with Bitcoin and offer a better currency with the new digital coin. Other cryptocurrencies are launched for different reasons. Many believe it is just a scheme for a few select people to collect a lot more money, with several conspiracy theories drifting around the internet about it.
George Kimionis, the chief executive officer of Coinomi, explains, “Unfortunately, most fork-based projects we see today are more of a sheer money grab. Looking back a few years from now we might realize that they were just mutations fostered by investors blinded by numerical price increases rather than honest attempts to contribute to the Blockchain ecosystem.”
An expert who is working on the future Bitcoin Private fork, Rhett Creighton, says, “Bitcoin forks are kind of the new altcoin. We are going to see now a bunch of Bitcoin forks. And they are going to start replacing some of the top hundred altcoins.”
Yet, all these forks just seem overwhelming and a bit ridiculous. A few have already been deemed quite shady by many investors. It is hard to tell if any of these altcoins will last for very long. Only time will tell.