For those that don’t know, a hard fork is the only currently known method for developers to update Bitcoin software. Developers split the network and essentially create a new Blockchain with altered rules. The original and the forked version of the cryptocurrency have identical Blockchains all the way up to the block when the split occurred. From there on, the two networks exist independently.
SEARCHING FOR information on YouTube about bitcoin will immediately lead to a flood of promotional videos, some with Bill Gates' face on the logo and a "Bill Gates talks about bitcoin" tagline. Not surprisingly, when you click on it you won't find Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, but the same message of "hop on the bitcoin wagon before it's too late."
This development could mean any number of things for the future of cryptocurrency. The situation is very fluid, and market valuations are both constantly calibrating and volatile. It’s going to be difficult to get a clear picture until bitcoin cash has been running for a while (or fails), the impact of bitcoin's segregated witness technology is assessed, and the size of Bitcoin's blocks are doubled.
Now, the question miners are asking is if Bitcoin.com pool action is even legal. It appears that Bitcoin.com will force miners to channel their hash rate to BCH and later compensate them. But if payments are made in Bitcoin, BCH owners will have to contend with losses because it means either the pool would have to sell BCH for BTC or use their own BTC.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is a cryptocurrency which split off from Bitcoin (BTC) in a hard fork event which occurred on the 1st of August, 2017. Bitcoin Cash diverged from Bitcoin due to irreconcilable differences of opinion regarding Bitcoin’s approach to scaling. Bitcoin Cash proponents strongly favor on-chain scaling through the increase of block sizes.
The common assumption that Bitcoins are stored in a wallet is technically incorrect. Bitcoins are not stored anywhere. Bitcoin balances are kept using public and private “keys,” which are long strings of numbers and letters linked through the mathematical encryption algorithm that was used to create them. The public key (comparable to a bank account number or IBAN) serves as the address published to the world, and to which others may send Bitcoins.
For me, though, I look at Bitcoin not just as a currency, but what it could do in the future in other applications. Think of the Bitcoin technology as a way to exchange and verify ownership. It’s like getting into your car with your smartphone. You present cryptographic proof of ownership. You’re the owner, and it’s verified through this common ledger. The car is able to identify that it is your car, and so the car starts. You’re done.
Right now, I can use my bitcoin holdings to pay for purchases at Overstock (OSTBP), or book a hotel on Expedia (EXPE). But if I use bitcoin to buy $25 worth of socks on Overstock today, and the price of bitcoin quadruples next week, I'll feel like those socks actually cost me $100. Then again, if bitcoin crashes, at least I'll always have the socks.
But before we get to the tutorial steps, it's really important to know what we're getting into. Increasingly I hear from students making mistakes due to rushing into Bitcoin because of all the hype. There's so much fragmented or misleading information out there. My aim here is to strip it to total basics without putting you off for another 4 years (hopefully).
Laszlo Hanyecz and Jeremy Sturdivant are unfamiliar names to most people, even to many in the crypto community. Yet Laszlo and Jeremy have the distinction of being the first men on record to respectively buy and sell a tangible, real-world asset using bitcoin. Back in 2010, the two traded bitcoins for a couple of pizzas and, in so doing, made history. That’s one small transaction for a couple of guys, one giant economic breakthrough for mankind!
When you think about buying bitcoin, you will also need to think about a place to store them. Bitcoin is usually stored in “wallets.” Bitcoin wallets use special codes called private keys to authorize transactions. Anyone who has the private key to a bitcoin wallet can authorize transfers to other wallets. Hence, it is very important to keep the private keys to your wallet safe and secure.
Cryptocurrency markets are jittery ahead of a high-stakes "hard fork" of Bitcoin Cash. Rival factions are pushing different, mutually incompatible versions of the spinoff cryptocurrency, and the two versions are scheduled to create separate, competing versions of the blockchain starting on Thursday. The schism could create confusion among users and damage the reputation of the cryptocurrency.
The appeal for many is the fact that Bitcoin is decentralized, meaning no specific group or governing body has control over it. Instead, it is secured by advanced cryptography, a set of military-grade encryptions, and regulated by a network called the Blockchain. The Blockchain acts as a digital ledger, confirming buyer/seller funds and establishing the order in which transactions take place.
Bitcoin trading is different than buying and holding. When you are trading Bitcoins it means that you are actively trying to buy Bitcoins at a low price and sell them back at a higher price in relatively short time interval. Trading successfully requires knowledge and practice. The trading market is occupied by very large players who are just waiting for newbies to come in and throw their money away by trading aimlessly.
If you are wary of using your own funds to invest in Bitcoin, loans are an option. You can borrow money from a family member or friend, or you can use a peer-to-peer lending platform like SoFi to leverage funds for Bitcoin investments. However, be cautious when borrowing money for an investment. Interest rates can eliminate any gains you get from the investment, and the risk of losing money in such a volatile market is high.
Bitcoin Cash was forked from Bitcoin and therefore has a similar infrastructure supporting it. BCH implemented larger block sizes than Bitcoin to fix network congestion, and they have gone on to be the most successful Bitcoin offshoot. Bitcoin Cash wants to compete with other payment processors like PayPal and Visa in terms the number of transactions they can process on the network.