Most important forks of summer 2018

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Most important forks of summer 2018

2018’s Summer is very hot because of forks, happening to most the popular cryptocurrencies. We’ve collected information about the forthcoming and recently happened forks of different coins for you to get the lay of the land.

Ethereum Classic (ETC)

Ethereum Classic (ETC)

Date: May 29, 2018 (height 5,900,000)

Ethereum Classic is based on Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm, among other things including a so-called Difficulty Bomb technology, which was supposed to make Ether Classic unprofitable for mining in late 2018. In order to avoid the network collapse, Ethereum Classic developers decided to make a new update ECIP-1041, which will remove this Difficulty Bomb without changing the entire consensus algorithm.

Difficulty Bomb is designed for incentivizing developers to migrate from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake consensus. However, Anthony Lusardi, developer and director of ETC Cooperative, insisted that Proof-of-Work, at the moment, is the most decentralized consensus algorithm, even though some people say that PoS is more energy efficient.

Aeon (AEON)

AeonCoin (AEON)

Date: June 3, 2018 (height 963,500)

A network update, called “Sophia,” was implemented in the Aeon network. The main purpose of this update was to avoid the influence of ASICs on the network. The new CryptoNight-Lite v7 algorithm and protocols made the Aeon network fully ASIC-resistant for the time being. After the update, the hashrate of the network dropped from 140 MH/s to 8 MH/s. To avoid further problems for both the network and miners, the difficulty was reset to 2 billion.

During this hard fork, old Monero’s network rules were removed from the Aeon codebase. The core version of the network bumped from monero1 to monero7 to avoid version mismatch issues in third-party software.

To continue using Aeon after the hard fork, you need only to keep all your software updated to the latest versions. All necessary files and guides can be found on the update page on GitHub.

DigitalNote (XDN)

DigitalNote (XDN)

Date: June 25, 2018 (height 668,946), re-fork – June 27, 2018 (height 669,369)

DigitalNote (XDN) network was updated on June 25, 2018. The main purpose of this update is to keep the network ASIC-resistant and allow CPU and GPU miners to work efficiently. During the update, XDN switched its algorithm to CryptoNightV1 (also known as “monero7”). The difficulty adjustments were also implemented to protect the network from hash and timestamp attacks.

To avoid stagnation of the network based on the expected significant reduction of the hashrate, the difficulty was hard-code reset to GPU-mining level. This supposed to allow users to continue mining effectively. However, even hard-code reset difficulty was too high for efficient GPU-based mining, so the network was updated again in short. Re-fork happened on June 27 in order to reduce network difficulty.

ZCash (ZEC)

ZCash (ZEC)

Date: June 26, 2018 (height 347,500)

Update 0, or “Overwinter,” was implemented in the ZCash network as scheduled.

This hard fork was about to prepare the network and its users for further updates, like Sapling, which is planned for late October 2018. It will further strengthen the network, improve the performance and transparency of transactions and bring some new features.

After the activation of Overwinter, all transactions need to comply with the post-fork format, called “v3.” Older formats don’t work anymore. Another new feature is SignatureHash, some sort of analogue of SegWit: transaction signatures committing to values of the inputs. Moreover, the “transaction version number” feature seems to provide two-way replay protection by adding to each transaction a 4-byte version number.

Bitcoin Gold (BTG)

Bitcoin Gold (BTG)

Date: July 3, 2018 (height 536,200)

After a recent “51% attack” on Bitcoin Gold, developers decided to fast track network updates. The main feature of this update is a change to the current algorithm. BTG previously used the Equihash algorithm, which allowed ASICs to mine the coin and boost the network hashrate but also made it vulnerable to a 51% attack.

After the network update, a new algorithm with the operating name Equihash-BTG was implemented. This new algorithm cut off all ASIC-miners and improve the network’s security. Because of an expected drop-off in the network’s hashrate due to the removal of ASICs, the difficulty of the network was also decreased 100x.

The other important feature of the network update is improved Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm, called LWMA. Its main purpose is to make BTG network more flexible and responsive to hashrate shifts, so the block time in the network is going to be more stable.

Bytecoin (BCN)

Bytecoin (BCN)

Date: August 31, 2018 (height unknown)

Previously, a hard fork of Bytecoin was scheduled for June 12, but after some discussions, the dev team decided to switch their strategy from “optimistic” to “very accurate”. The main reason for this change is a desire to avoid any drawbacks after the hard fork, mainly network lag which was seen from May 8-10th. For this purpose, the team launched the public TestNet so that every community member can test the upcoming update to the network.

The main goal of the BCN fork is to move on to a newer API version, which is much simpler, easy to integrate, includes dynamic fees and some other features. The new codebase of the network is promised to be more user-friendly and maintainable. The old code will no longer be supported, which is why so much emphasis has been put on preparing the community to move on the new codebase.

These changes won’t affect the network algorithm, and there will be no changes to the supply of BCN coins. The Bytecoin network will continue working on the current version of CryptoNight with the Proof-of-Work type of consensus.

MinerGate’s support

Here in MinerGate, we’re about to support forks of our currently mineable coins. We are always notifying our users whether upcoming fork of the coin will be supported or not. Our developers’ team is continuously working on all networks’ updates and implementing distributed updated codebases for all existing supported networks. Our main goal is to make the mining process smooth and easy for you, as well as provide you with the most secure and safe service. All your funds are keeping safe during the fork processes, even though some operations or withdrawals could be unavailable during network updates.

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