Bytecoin’s Hard Fork Begins Today—But the Coin Remains Controversial

Bytecoin released a hard fork today, which will require users to upgrade their wallets. Bytecoin’s main appeal is its role as a privacy coin: it is the altcoin which Monero was originally based on.

The hard fork is a mandatory upgrade: coinholders and miners should update their software as soon as possible. However, those who use an exchange are not required to do anything.

The fork will happen gradually over the next few weeks. Wallet software will mark blocks that have been adopted by the new software, and the complete switch to the new fork will occur “once the volume of blocks with the new version in a 24 hour period [reaches] 90%.”

The hard fork will bring more dynamic fees; previously, fees could go no lower than 0.01 BCN per transaction. In addition, 60 other improvements will make the coin more usable.

Bytecoin Fork Plagued By Controversy

Bytecoin is a fairly quiet altcoin but not a complete unknown: it is currently sitting at #26 and is in roughly the same league as Dogecoin, Ontology, and 0x.

Part of Bytecoin’s absence from the discourse is due to its initial dishonesty. Bytecoin’s developers originally faked its origin date: the coin was released in March 2014, but its developers claimed it had existed since 2012. Because of this, Bytecoin is unlikely to ever achieve the trust of the crypto community.

Despite attempts to clear its name, controversy continues to plague the project. In May 2017, it was discovered that 693 million Bytecoin tokens had been artificially created, resulting in a price surge. The coin has also been involved in more market manipulation since then, as demonstrated by another price pump in May 2018:

“This high degree of centralization meant that not only would the developers reap the most profits from the coin, but its low circulating supply made it vulnerable to massive market manipulation. The community’s distrust is eventually what drove most traders towards Monero.”

Nevertheless, Bytecoin has been making an effort since July 2017 to rebrand and regain status. Although the upcoming hard fork will be of interest to Bytecoin’s base, it is unlikely to win over its detractors.

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