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List of bitcoin forks

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Bitcoin forks are defined variantly as changes in the protocol of the bitcoin network or as the situations that occur "when two or more blocks have the same block height".[1] A fork influences the validity of the rules. Forks are typically conducted in order to add new features to a blockchain, to reverse the effects of hacking or catastrophic bugs. Forks require consensus to be resolved or else a permanent split emerges.

Forks of the client software

The following are forks of the software client for the bitcoin network:

All three software clients attempt to increase transaction capacity of the network. None achieved a majority of the hash power.[2]

Intended hard forks splitting the cryptocurrency

Hard forks splitting bitcoin (aka "split coins") are created via changes of the blockchain rules and sharing a transaction history with bitcoin up to a certain time and date. The first hard fork splitting bitcoin happened on 1 August 2017, resulting in the creation of Bitcoin Cash.

The following is a list of hard forks splitting bitcoin by date and/or block:

  • Bitcoin Cash: Forked at block 478558, 1 August 2017, for each bitcoin (BTC), an owner got 1 Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Bitcoin Gold: Forked at block 491407, 24 October 2017, for each BTC, an owner got 1 Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
  • Bitcoin SV: Forked at block 556766, 15 November 2018, for each Bitcoin Cash (BCH), an owner got 1 Bitcoin SV (BSV).

Intended soft forks splitting from not-most-work block

  • The fork fixing the value overflow incident was controversial because it was announced after the exploit was mined. It was assigned CVE-2010-5139.

Unintended hard forks

Two hard forks were created by "protocol change" definition:

  • March 2013 Chain Fork (migration from BerkeleyDB to LevelDB caused a chain split)[3]
  • CVE-2018-17144 (Bitcoin 0.15 allowed double spending certain inputs in the same block. Not exploited)

Intended hard forks (no split)

  • BIP 90 is claimed by libbitcoin contributor Eric Voskuil to be a hard fork.[4]
  • BIPs 68, 112, 113 (CSV), 141, 143, and 147 (segwit) buried in 2019 likewise claimed to be a hard fork by Voskuil.[5][6][7]

References

  1. ^ Antonopoulos, Andreas (2017). Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain (2 ed.). USA: O' Reilly media, inc. p. Glossary. ISBN 978-1491954386.
  2. ^ Ammous, Saifedean (2018). The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 227, 228. ISBN 9781119473893. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  3. ^ March 2013 Chain Fork
  4. ^ https://github.com/bitcoin/bips/pull/639
  5. ^ BIP number designations: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/pull/16060/files#r299495299
  6. ^ Hard fork designation: https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2019-August/017268.html
  7. ^ Merged pull request: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/pull/16060