An Incomplete History of Crypto Currency Forks

Ethereum Classic Fork

One of the most illustrative forks of a crypto currency happened in 2016.    A bug in the well known and widely used Ethereum wallet was exploited and about 12 million Ether (then $30 million) was taken.

After patching the bug, most of the community decided to do a hardfork to “reset” the blockchain back to before the exploit occurred.  They essential went back in time and started working again from the ledger as it existed at a previous moment in time.

About 15% of the community seemed to believe that the immutability of the blockchain must be a foundational principle, and that undoing transactions manually, even criminal ones, was a slippery slope.

Thus emerged Ethereum Classic.
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Beginner Breadcrumbs #2 – Clones and Forks

Clones

Bitcoin is open source.  That means the code is available in a human-readable format.  A good programmer, or team of programmers can study it and see exactly how it works.  Most commercial software is not open source.  It is only available to you in machine-readable format, so you don’t know precisely how it works.

Openness is another reason to believe in the efficacy of crypto currencies.
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Beginner Breadcrumbs #1 What and why blockchain?

What is Bitcoin?

– Decentralized digital money.
– The first and most popular use of a blockchain (as money).

What is a Blockchain?

My favorites definition comes from Etherum founder Vitalik Buterin:

– A distributed accounting system of digital tokens so secure that not even state actors can interfere with it.

Bitcoin represents 55% of the value of all crypto currencies (ie blockchain based digital tokens).  The % is dropping, though the price keeps increasing — which tells you how quickly some of the others are gaining steam.

What can a Blockchain do?

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