Bitcoin specie, the offshoot of cryptocurrency bitcoin that wasgoed created yesterday, is now worth $7.6 billion, according to gegevens provider Coin Marketcap. That pegs the value of all the bitcoin specie te circulation at 17% of bitcoin&rsquo,s total market value of $44.Four billion. This makes bitcoin specie the third most valuable cryptocurrency, behind bitcoin and ethereum. It trades under the BCH symbol on most exchanges, while bitcoin retains BTC.
Bitcoin contant&rsquo,s vault up the valuation charts can be explained by its provenance spil a fork of bitcoin&mdash,think of it like the splitting of an amoeba ter two. The market value of all the coins ter circulation&mdash,usually referred to spil the &ldquo,market cap&rdquo, ter cryptocurrency vaktaal&mdash,is calculated by multiplying a coin&rsquo,s price by the total supply of coins ter circulation. When bitcoin metselspecie splintered off from bitcoin, it also inherited the supply of coins te circulation. Ter other words, there is toughly the same amount of bitcoin contant te circulation spil bitcoin, and both cryptocurrencies each presently have 16.Five million units ter circulation.
There are slightly more bitcoins te circulation than bitcoin metselspecie&mdash,a difference of 474 coins&mdash,because when bitcoin metselspecie forked, there wasgoed a period of several hours when no fresh bitcoin specie blocks were mined. Ter the meantime, bitcoin miners continued to find blocks, introducing fresh coins to the circulating supply.
What exactly happened on Aug. 1?
A chain split is a slow and confusing event, even with a deadline. Bitcoin specie had a much publicized deadline of Aug 1, 12:20 UTC (or 8:20am US Eastern time) for the split to occur. Yet it wasn&rsquo,t until hours straks that the split actually took place.
The reason for this confusing state of affairs is spil much about semantics spil technicalities. Firstly, the bitcoin specie software uses a particular calculation for time called &ldquo,median time past&rdquo, that&rsquo,s based not on clock time but on the number of blocks mined after the 12:20 deadline. Since there is an factor of chance that determines when exactly a block is mined, experts could only estimate when the bitcoin contant software would kick ter. Ter practice, this meant that the bitcoin contant software would only activate about an hour after 12:20 UTC, which wasgoed the case.
Once bitcoin metselspecie wasgoed activated, the bitcoin metselspecie blockchain stopped growing for several hours, while the bitcoin blockchain continued to add fresh blocks spil normal. This activation happened at 12:37 UTC when both blockchains had just mined block number 478,558&mdash,this would be the last common block collective inbetween bitcoin and bitcoin specie. All future blocks would send the coins on their independent trajectories.
There wasgoed confusion spil the bitcoin metselspecie blockchain stalled at block 478,558. What would normally toebijten is that a fresh block would have bot mined&mdash,478,559&mdash,ter about Ten minutes. But spil hours went by, it became clear that not enough miners were committing processing power to the fresh blockchain to detect a fresh block. This wasgoed because the fresh chain also inherited the difficulty threshold for finding a fresh block from the bitcoin blockchain, meaning a massive amount of processing power would be required.
At this stage, albeit the chains have split, the fresh chain didn&rsquo,t yet have any fresh blocks, so wasgoed technically simply a stalled version of the bitcoin blockchain. Most observers te the bitcoin world thought it would take hours, or even days, for miners to devote enough processing power to the bitcoin metselspecie blockchain to detect a block.
But around six hours straks, ViaBTC, a Chinese mining pool based ter Shenzhen that has vocally supported bitcoin metselspecie, added block number 478,559 to the bitcoin metselspecie blockchain. This block wasgoed 1.9 megabytes ter size&mdash,almost dual the maximum size permitted on the bitcoin blockchain. Compare this to the same block on the bitcoin blockchain, which coincidentally wasgoed also mined by ViaBTC, but wasgoed only 272 kilobytes te size. Subsequent blocks, however, have bot well below 1 MB, reflecting the puny number of transactions on the fresh blockchain.
Stock split or dividend?
Two metaphors from the traditional equity markets have bot used to describe the creation of bitcoin metselspecie: a stock split or a dividend. But there are good reasons to think that bitcoin&rsquo,s split is not like a stock split at all, spil this CoinDesk chunk suggests. For starters, a stock split doesn&rsquo,t switch the assets&rsquo, value, it simply adjusts the quantity and therefore price of the stock on the market. An increase te the number of stocks leads to a commensurate druppel te price, without switching the fundamentals of the company ter question.
Bitcoin&rsquo,s fork doesn&rsquo,t split existing units of bitcoin&mdash,te fact, the bitcoin price has remained more or less the same via (which could be seen spil a bullish vote of confidence te the cryptocurrency&rsquo,s continued supremacy). Neither have any fresh units of bitcoin bot created by the fork.
Instead, what happened is more like cloning. That&rsquo,s because anyone who held bitcoin before the split would now also hold the omschrijving amount of bitcoin metselspecie. This makes the bitcoin fork more like a dividend: investors who held on to bitcoin and weren&rsquo,t funked off by the fork were now credited with an equal amount of bitcoin contant.
The ethereum example
A major cryptocurrency forking, and the market supporting both resulting coins, isn&rsquo,t spil weird spil it sounds. This already happened with ethereum ter July 2018, when a philosophical disagreement among ethereum holders led to a hard fork, creating ethereum and &ldquo,ethereum classic.&rdquo,
Ethereum classic has gained influential backers, such spil venture capitalist Barry Silbert. Ethereum classic is traded on a handful of major exchanges. It has a market value of $1.Three billion, or 6% of ethereum&rsquo,s $21 billion. Spil ethereum went on a dizzying rally this year, so did ethereum classic, rising by 16-fold from the commence of the year to a peak of almost $22 vanaf unit te June.
But ethereum classic&rsquo,s rally wasgoed muted compared to ethereum&rsquo,s 40-fold increase overheen the same period. Nevertheless, its price trades well below that of ethereum, with each unit of ethereum classic trading for just overheen 0.05 ether.
While the ethereum and bitcoin splits share some similarities such spil a contentious dispute overheen the fundamentals of each protocol, bitcoin&rsquo,s split is more significant. Whereas ethereum classic has maintained all the features of ethereum when it split&mdash,including preserving the transactions that permitted funds to be stolen from the Decentralized Autonomous Organization last summer, which wasgoed the root of the disagreement&mdash,bitcoin metselspecie has significant differences ter its underlying programming.
Chief among them is an eight-fold increase te the block size limit, permitting bitcoin specie miners to treat eight-megabyte blocks compared to bitcoin&rsquo,s one megabyte. Being able to treat more transactions helps bitcoin contant act more like a payment channel, which is what its proponents are advocating.
Getting bitcoin contant
One way to get bitcoin specie is to buy it. It&rsquo,s now trading on several major exchanges (here&rsquo,s a list), with the bulk of trading volume taking place on Kritiseren and Bittrex, according to Crypto Compare.
The other way to get bitcoin metselspecie is to keuze it from any bitcoin holdings you possessed before the fork. Ter theory, it&rsquo,s plain: All private keys&mdash,basically the password to unlocking bitcoin holdings&mdash,are identical on both the bitcoin and bitcoin metselspecie blockchains. This means you use the same private key to access funds on both chains. But ter practice, this can be tricky.
The most reliable, however fiddly, method is to run a bitcoin contant &ldquo,total knot.&rdquo, This is software that downloads the entire bitcoin specie blockchain , which is around 126 gigabytes, and also checks the validity of live transactions on the bitcoin metselspecie network. Invoer the private keys from your existing bitcoin wallet to the wallet linked to the bitcoin contant full-node. You should then be able to access the fresh bitcoin contant funds. Check out the detailed instructions, and several other methods, including hardware wallets and paper wallets, te this Bitcoin Tv-programma lump.
Some exchanges also automatically credit pre-fork bitcoin holders with bitcoin metselspecie. Thesis include Kritiseren, Bittrex, and Bitfinex. This seems elementary, but there can be several drawbacks. You vereiste rely on the exchange to credit the fresh coins, which can be a slow process, and you may be incapable to withdraw the fresh funds instantaneously, spil Openleggen users are presently experiencing.
Some exchanges also apply a discount to the amount of bitcoin specie that&rsquo,s credited, like Bitfinex, which offers 0.85 bitcoin contant for every bitcoin. The discount wasgoed applied because the exchange claimed customers were manipulating its peer-to-peer margin financing system to inflate the amount of bitcoin metselspecie they would receive.
What happens next?
Bitcoin contant is now, for all intents and purposes, an asset independent of bitcoin. It vereiste develop its own ecosystem of developers, exchanges, and startups ter order to flourish.
Bitcoin metselspecie&rsquo,s price will be an significant indicator of its future potential. If it is indeed what bitcoin ought to be&mdash,a payment system with a large transaction capacity, spil its advocates argue&mdash,the market should value it above bitcoin at some point te the future.
Another significant indicator will be the amount of hash rate or processing power that miners commit to bitcoin specie. There isn&rsquo,t a gegevens source for the hashrate on the bitcoin metselspecie network yet, but wij know that miners are crunching 6.Four million terahashes vanaf 2nd on the bitcoin network. That consumes an estimated 15 terawatt hours of tens unit a year, putting the bitcoin network&rsquo,s consumption inbetween Turkmenistan and North Korea, if it were ranked with countries.
If miners abandon bitcoin contant because mining it turns out not to be profitable, then bitcoin contant could wither away. Spil one pro observer of the fork, Andrew Chow, who developed the widely observed BTC Fork Monitor, told mij, if that happened, the fresh chain would simply be &ldquo,dead.&rdquo,