There has been a rise in the number of Bitcoin hard forks since August as many, fueled by crypto passion, making developers scramble to create their own crypto coin. Here's a brief insight into hard forks and a summary of Bitcoin hard forks since August 2017.
Hard forks were first viewed by many people as a bad thing for Bitcoin. There was this will to preserve the blockchain in its pristine condition as many believed that was the way Satoshi himself wanted it to be. Many people argued that a hard fork would affect the network and impede Bitcoin (the first ledger) by creating undue competition.
In case you don't know, a hard fork is the splitting of a cryptocurrency ledger when a software different from the one it currently runs on is introduced to its network.
The original ledger will be split into two different ledgers- both having the same transaction history but different futures. In essence, the coin splits into two. Every owner of the previous coin also get some of the new coins for free in most cases and can sell them off if they so wish- that's if they're worth anything.
And the thing about hard forks is that it can be done by any person or group irrespective of their age or location. As long as you understand how to go about it, you can go for it. No one is going to arrest or beat you unless you run into fans of a rival hard fork coin.
Although hard forks used to be viewed as a bad thing for the Bitcoin coin, opinions are fast changing, especially since the Bitcoin Cash hard fork on August 1st. Apart from the firm belief that these hard forks are airdrops of free money, there is an opinion held by a small minority that one of them will eventually provide a solution to the problems Bitcoin is battling (high transaction fees and long transaction times). However, none of the current hard forks seems to have found a lasting and generally accepted solution to these problems.
There was the Chinese knock-off, Roger Ver-backed Bitcoin Cash hard fork in August attempting to create a centralized altcoin by allowing 8MB block sizes, then Bitcoin Goldand Bitcoin Diamondfollowed suit. Then there was the SegWit2x hard fork (which was later suspended) and then things start spiraling out of control. As long you know the name of a precious substance (healthy or not), just stick Bitcoin to it and boom! we've got ourselves a hard fork, Frank.
Now we have Bitcoin Platinum (which turned out later to be a scam by a South Korean teenager), Bitcoin God (I'm not kiding, it's real and the designation is GOD), Bitcoin Uranium (code name BUM), Super Bitcoin (SBTC), Bitcoin Atom (BCA), Bitcoin Silver (BTCS), Bitcoin Cash Plus (BCP), Lightening Bitcoin (LBTC), BitCore (BTX), which is more of an airdrop and offers 0.5BTX for 1 BTC and the latest one- World Bitcoin (WBTC).
Here's a table summarizing most of the hard forks:
There isn't enough information about these hard forks and most of them don't even have a website. It does all smack of cluelessness or maybe they're just taking their sweet time.
Also, a Chinese firm, AChain, is set to launch a forking technology which will lead to more hard forks, although some of them will bear no semblance of their parent coin.
2018 is set to be the year of Bitcoin hard forks, further cementing Bitcoin (BTC) as the market leader and coin to own. After all, why would anyone bother forking an altcoin like Bitcoin Cash?