Sure seems like there have been a lot of forks, doesn’t it. With the SegWit fork in August, the Bitcoin Gold coming in October, the Ethereum Byzantium fork in October, and finally the Bitcoin Segwit2x in November. Today I am going to break down and explain in a simple manner the forks and what changes will actually go underway, and forecast any price changes that I personally expect to see (although can not guarantee will happen).
Bitcoin Gold is set to fork on October 25th 2017 (in seven days as of this article being written). According to btcgpu.org (Bitcoin Gold’s Website):
“The purpose of Bitcoin Gold is to make Bitcoin mining decentralized again. Satoshi Nakamoto’s idealistic vision of “one CPU one vote” has been superseded by a reality where the manufacture and distribution of mining equipment has become dominated by a very small number of entities, some of which have engaged in abusive practices against individual miners and the Bitcoin network as a whole. By changing Bitcoin’s proof-of-work algorithm from SHA256 to Equihash, all of the specialized SHA256 mining equipment will be obsolete for mining the Bitcoin Gold blockchain.”
To translate that to the layman’s term, Bitcoin Gold will be easier to mine with a GPU so as to try to make mining more decentralized then it is at the moment. My personal prediction of Bitcoin Gold is that there will be some volume at first but eventually it’ll fade away into obscurity.
Ethereum Byzantium is a fork set to begin motion on October 16th 2017 (in a few hours as of this article being written). According to blog.ethereum.org (Ethereum’s official blog):
- Addition of ‘REVERT’ opcode, which permits error handling without consuming all gas (EIP 140)
- Transaction receipts now include a status field to indicate success or failure EIP 658)
- Elliptic curve addition and scalar multiplication on alt_bn128 (EIP 196) and pairing checks (EIP 197), permitting ZK-Snarks and other cryptographic mathemagic™
- Support for big integer modular exponentiation (EIP 198), enabling RSA signature verification and other cryptographic applications
- Support for variable length return values (EIP 211)
- Addition of the ‘STATICCALL’ opcode, permitting non-state-changing calls to other contracts (EIP 214)
- Changes to the difficulty adjustment formula to take uncles into account (EIP 100)
- Delay of the ice age / difficulty bomb by 1 year, and reduction of block reward from 5 to 3
The only main change that will effect normal users would be that the change from PoW to PoS will come 1 year earlier (sometime in 2020). Since Byzantium is an official fork “Byzantium Electrum” will likely just be “Normal Electrum” and those who don’t update will just have an outdated version that doesn’t work.
Segwit2x is a Bitcoin fork set to begin on November 2017 (I can’t seem to find an exact date). news.bitcoin.com explains that Segwit2x will have 2mb blocks and it will begin to block requests by nodes that don’t have SegWit. With the New York Agreement there is a good chance that we will actually see Segwit2x implanted into Bitcoin instead of it being just another hard fork, although otherwise it will probably just fade into obscurity as it doesn’t really change to much.