This research will deduce the process of blockchain from its birth to the current complex ecology along the time line:
- The first phase started with the birth of Bitcoin, (2009-2015)
- The second stage is the era of the birth of Ethereum, (2015-about 2018)
- The third stage starts with the birth of other new chains. (about 2018-)
Unlike many new things, the blockchain is lucky, it did not die, because it is evolving all the time,
Similar to the evolution of biology, the evolution of blockchain can also be observed from many perspectives. But the fundamental mechanism of biological evolution lies in mutation, and the extremes of blockchain mutation are forks and new chains. In addition, mild improvements manifest in the blockchain as community-approved upgrades, which are part of evolution.
This research will deduce the process of blockchain from its birth to the current complex ecology along the time line. The history from January 2009 to the present is divided into three stages: the first stage starts with the birth of Bitcoin, the second stage starts with the birth era of Ethereum, and the third stage starts with the birth of other new chains. The beginning of the three histories is clear, but the end is intertwined with the rest. Such a tree-like structure helps us understand the growth history of an ecology.
1. The evolution history of BTC
It’s also a story of simple things turning into complex systems.
Bitcoin (Bitcoin, BTC) was proposed on November 1, 2008, and the genesis block began to run on January 3 of the following year. Designers may never have imagined that the blockchain will advance by leaps and bounds in the next ten years, changing the lives of so many people.
This is a thing that has never appeared in the human world, so we can only use some similar things to compare it, so BTC has various nicknames.
For example, the “peer-to-peer payment tool” first written in the Bitcoin white paper, the BTC payment network does work in small-scale operations. The earliest payment use case of the year was traced back to May 22, 2010, when young programmer Laszlo Hanyecz bought 2 Papa John’s pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins, and May 22 has also become a pizza day for the entire crypto community.
But then Bitcoin became more and more expensive, and the originally designed decentralized network did not have the corresponding scalability. The capacity limit and block production speed of each block locked BTC on a scarce commodity. . At this time, we call it “digital gold”.
But we will not hang from a tree. Like all creatures, groups, and matter, when simplicity can no longer meet enough needs, the system begins to evolve new branches, and new possibilities are tested in different directions. As with all long-lived systems, complexity and variety are the ultimate answer to the challenges of different environments.
During 2017-2018, with another round of BTC bull run, forks became the focus of the entire community. I have not been fortunate enough to experience history, but going back to the year: in terms of blockchain thinking, the vision of BTC as the world’s legal currency has been suppressed by almost all mainstreams, and blockchain requires application scenarios other than payment; technically, it is impossible to triangulate (go to The contradiction between centralization, scalability, and speed can only be taken as two of them) has become more and more intensified. Both parties have their own positions, and they also have their own mining pool computing power as the backing; in terms of investment, early miners have already A lot of money, and newcomers want to discover new mines.
Forks are called for. This is also how BTC evolved at the beginning of its design. Each node runs a full node independently, but the entire network will only authenticate and work on the ledger with the largest number of pages (the longest chain). In theory, no matter how many people can initiate a fork, it’s just that the fork that is too small does not have enough computing power to support it, and there is no currency credit and community consensus.
In the statistics of fork events included in Forkdrop, there have been 68 forks in the history of BTC, of which 62 were concentrated in the two years 2017-2018.
If you don’t experience it yourself, it’s hard to imagine how much madness and dreams, fanaticism and loneliness, open and secret struggles, all of these 68 forks were full of storms in the past. But after the hustle and bustle, a new era is quietly brewing, just like everything else in this world.
The story of Bitcoin is far from over, but the history of forks has come to an end. The following article will describe this history from the beginning, the climax, and the transition.
1.1 The beginning of evolution (2009-2016)
According to Sasha Ivanov’s History of Bitcoin Forks (2009-2018), the evolution of Bitcoin in the early days (before 2017) was quite modest, and many of the forks were supported by everyone, and these so-called A “soft fork” is no different (except mandatory or not) from a traditional web client upgrade. Even for some later contexts, a “soft fork” is no longer regarded as a real fork, but is just an iteration of all miners (validation nodes) upgrading the client’s version.
In BitMex’s “Complete History of Bitcoin Consensus Forks,” the first fork of BTC was traced back to July 28, 2010. Fix a major bug that allowed anyone to spend any bitcoin by disabling the OP_RETURN function. And this fork is only symbolic, and will soon only appear in writing Bitcoin history articles.
Among the 17 forks counted in the early days of Bitcoin (before 2017), at least 14 were similar functional upgrades, and the remaining 3 did not cause major consequences.
1.2 Crazy Fork (2017-2018)
If I have to use one word to describe the blockchain world in those two years, I think it is: crazy. New coins, new projects, new exchanges, new currency circles, new mining machines and mining pools, FOMO (Fear of Missing out, fear of missing out) emotions can be seen everywhere.
Of the forked coins large and small in those years, only 13 are still traded on exchanges, and most of them are on the verge of zeroing. Even Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, once said that in the history of Bitcoin’s fork, except for BCH, most fork projects can be ignored. For example, BSV is a scam. (From Vitalik Buterin’s Endnotes on 2020: Crypto and Beyond)
But let’s loosen the bar a bit and look at the top three forks that are still influential so far: BCH, BSV, and BTG (Bitcoin Cash, Vision, and Gold).
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) August 1, 2017
Among the many ways of writing history, BCH was the first Bitcoin fork in the true sense. What we are facing is the problem of insufficient block capacity in Bitcoin. The 8MB block size scheme proposed by Bitmain was more radical than the previous Segwit upgrade of Bitcoin itself, which eventually led to the split.
This fork is almost unprecedented. In the previous history, despite differences of opinion in the community, it has never caused a split among miners. As the bottom-level validator of the entire Bitcoin, the split of miners means the beginning of a community split, both conceptually and in fact. There is almost no possibility of a merger.
Although such a fork was written into the “prophecy book” at the beginning of Bitcoin’s design, the day has finally come. However, for everyone who held bitcoin before the fork, this day is a day to celebrate. The bitcoin they held before this day is still the same, but a new one is added to the new BCH chain. assets. Such “airdrop” coins that fell from the sky were called “candy” at the time, so that day, every BTC person became a child.
Bitcoin SV (Bitcoin Satoshi Vision, BSV) November 15, 2018
If BCH is the first rebel of the original Bitcoin community, then the traitor is always easy to be betrayed. A year later, the BCH community also split. The new forked coin is BSV, a project that puts the vision of returning to the founders into the name of the token. As a descendant of a radical reformer, he always uses retro as his label, which always brings a bit of irony. Probably because of this, Vitalik called it a hoax.
But this is no problem in the miner-led blockchain era of PoW (Proof of Work). As long as there are miners verifying, anything can be valuable. Just like this time, BCH holders were airdropped BSV “candy” again.
Bitcoin Gold (BTG) October 24, 2017
Since BCH forked Bitcoin for the first time, Bitcoin has been continuously branched out for various reasons. As a classic joke in the blockchain community: every day before a coin goes to zero, everyone is happy. Every fork has a bright and positive reason, and Bitcoin is also becoming more and more valuable in anticipation of fork airdrops.
BTG may be the first fork after BCH, and perhaps the second fork in the history of Bitcoin. But as we all know, the second is something no one remembers, if not for the double-spend event (“double-spend attack”) on May 18th half a year later.
History was made that day. Never in the history of Bitcoin has a single validator controlled more than 50% of the nodes, but on BTG, we witnessed this also long-predicted blockchain event.
1.3 Die down (2019-)
Since 2018, the price of Bitcoin has started to fall. Gradually forking began to be unprofitable. The candy was no longer sweet, so the Bitcoin community started to go quiet and it started to become more and more conservative.
It was not until November 14, 2021 that the Bitcoin community did the Taproot upgrade with the consent of more than 90% of miners. This is probably the most important upgrade since Segwit, which was many years ago.
Although the Bitcoin Layer 2 (L2) Lightning Network had a white paper in 2015, it has been developing slowly.
Today, Bitcoin has a history of 13 years. From a mild evolution in the first 7 years, to a sudden aggressive fork in the middle, to a return to calm in the next 4 years.
I hate to call this change the Bitcoin bubble. After each bubble, it lays the foundation for the development of a longer time scale (the South China Sea bubble gave birth to the development of the Americas, and the tulip bubble developed the modern flower market in the Netherlands), and even Bitcoin, which has developed in recent years, has not been in the latest bull market. Maintained a market share of around 40% and an all-time high, even though the growth rate is far less than that of other token projects
But growth is no longer what Bitcoin is supposed to do. Vitalik and his ethereum, who had a tough bitcoin funding round in 2015, are the new explosive growth drivers for blockchain in 2020. However, this is the next story.
2. Ethereum: Ladder, or Pandora’s Box
On November 27, 2013, Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, announced the Ethereum white paper for the first time, which laid the foundation for the birth of Ethereum. more than 30,000 bitcoins (worth about $18.4 million at the time). In 2015, the Ethereum “Frontier” was launched. This is the initial version of Ethereum. Although there are very few functions available at this time, it has also evolved into a large-scale ecological application in the future, making Ethereum a blockchain technology. One of the most successful projects ever.
From the first version of Ethereum to the first public chain with a TVL of 38.9 billion US dollars, Ethereum has only gone through 7 years, and in the past 7 years, Ethereum has gradually advanced in soft and hard forks. With the concept of “world computer”, at present, The Merge, as the premier event in the development of Ethereum, is attracting the attention of practitioners around the world.
Main public chain TVL proportion data source: defillama
With the approaching date of Ethereum’s merger, the debate about its fork (hereafter referred to as hard fork) has become more and more heated. To understand the current fork, first of all, we need to go back and look at the past development history of ETH. , which forks have you experienced? Compared with this fork, what are the biggest differences? Where will these differences lead Ethereum? Is POS more centralized? In the choice of fork, how will capital ultimately choose?
2.1 History of Ethereum Fork
The most famous fork of Ethereum is the fork caused by the theft of The DAO funds. Like Bitcoin, there have been many hard forks in the development of Ethereum. Modified the block size, or modified the gas fee mechanism, or just a pure “airdrop” fork.
Expanse is the first fork network of the Ethereum blockchain. The details of the fork were first announced on bitcointalk on September 7, 2015. A week later, the fork was completed at the block height of 800,000 in Ethereum. The fork was led by Christopher Franko, a cryptocurrency entrepreneur, and James Clayton, who founded the most popular Crypto community on Facebook at the time.
In essence, this fork of Expanse is to build another contract platform with the help of the existing technology of Ethereum at that time. Although the current Expanse is also active on the social platform, there is basically no ecology on the chain.
Ethereum Classic (ETC)
On June 17, 2016, the star project The DAO, which had crowdfunded 12 million Ethereum at the time, was hacked, resulting in the theft of more than 3.6 million ETH, which accounted for 14% of the entire ETH network at that time. For Ethereum, which had just been launched for a year at the time, this hacking incident could be a matter of life and death for Ethereum. At that time, the solution proposed by Vitalik was that the community would first conduct a soft fork and regard the related transactions as invalid transactions, so that the attacker could not withdraw the stolen ETH, and then initiate a hard fork to transfer the stolen ETH. get back. However, this method of rollback violated the original intention of the blockchain to be immutable, resulting in some miners leaving the Ethereum community during the subsequent hard fork.
In the end, 97% of ETH holders voted in favor of Vitalik’s proposal, and the hard fork passed. This new chain is now ETH, and the original chain was renamed Ethereum Classic, while ETC It is also the most successful fork chain, because it inherits the most original blockchain geek spirit, so many people also regard it as the real Ethereum. The DAO incident at that time severely damaged the confidence of cryptocurrency users at that time, and because of this incident, the DAO concept, which was famous at the time, was also put into the cold palace. Until 5 years later, with the popularity of DeFi, DAO as a governance system It just started to reappear in the public eye.
EthereumFog (ETF) was launched on December 14, 2017. The height of the forked block is 4730660. This is a forked chain born to solve the problems of distributed storage and distributed computing power that Ethereum lacks. Proposed a concept called fog computing (Fog Computing), claiming to provide technology that is more distributed and closer to the edge of the network than cloud computing. In his team’s own words at the time, it was to create an evolutionary version of Ethereum’s “world computer”. EthereumFog gained a lot of attention with the help of the Bitcoin fork craze at that time, but it was only so much. Soon after, the craze subsided, and EthereumFog gradually disappeared from people’s sight.
EtherZero (ETZ) was released on January 19, 2018, with a fork height of 4936270. EtherZero proposed the attractive zero transaction fee and instant payment function, and launched a two-layer network structure, namely the arbitration layer and the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus layer composed of master nodes in the network, which was also in line with the public chain at that time. The architecture is different and also reduces block time to 1-2 seconds. Since the fork was launched, ETZ has been questioned a lot. At that time, the well-known Ethereum token wallet MyEtherWallet said that the code related to Etherzero would threaten users’ Ethereum funds, and Metamask’s official website marked it as a phishing website.
At present, its official website has long been closed, and social media dynamics have stopped updating after 2020, and EtherZero is just a speck of dust in the history of fork.
Ethereum 2.0: Reset Difficulty Bomb Fork
This is a special fork that has achieved community consensus.
“Difficulty bomb” is a mechanism algorithm that adjusts the difficulty of the chain according to the block time. The initial setting is to solve the problem that Ethereum can smoothly switch from the PoW chain to the PoS chain, which is a special mechanism prepared for the current merger. With the increase of block height, the difficulty of mining will increase exponentially. As a result, miners will be unprofitable to exit the PoW chain in order to avoid the coexistence of the new chain and the old chain. However, if the merger cannot be completed before a certain block height, the difficulty bomb will adversely affect its own network performance, resulting in slow block generation on the main network and network congestion. Forked, this year’s EIP-5133 proposal pushed the degree bomb to mid-September, on the eve of the expected merger of The Merge.
Six deferrals of difficulty bomb Data source: bitinfocharts
Looking at the multiple forks of Ethereum in the past, we can see that forking Ethereum may not be difficult, but what is difficult is where to go after the fork. Even though these forks have stirred up huge waves, they have never been Shaking the status of Ethereum is often just thunder and rain.
2.2 The difference between this fork and past forks
Compared with the previous forks, especially the hard forks of ETC, the biggest difference of this fork is reflected in the on-chain assets and ecological development.
When ETC forked in 2016, the market value of Tether (USDT) was only 0.65%. Stablecoins have just begun to enter people’s field of vision. The ecology on the Ethereum chain has not yet started, so there is no need to consider the issue of smart contracts and tokens, and it is technically realized. The difficulty is also lower. Today, not only has stablecoins become a wide range of on-chain assets, but USDT and USDC, which explicitly support the merger, account for more than 10.6% of the entire crypto market value. Moreover, Ethereum is also sitting on a TVL of 38.9 billion US dollars and has the largest ecological network. At present, there are as many as 51.2 million intelligences deployed on the Ethereum mainnet. Even in the inactive period of the bear market, it is still in the weekly 5- The rate of 60,000 new intelligences is growing.
2017-2022 stablecoin development data source: theblock
In the face of the complex ecological applications of Ethereum, especially after the lack of infrastructure such as Chainlink, Curve, and the support of mainstream stable coins, it is difficult for PoW forked chains to make the forked applications run normally. In addition, whether to delete the difficulty bomb or adjust EIP-1559 and other adjustments after the fork, the setting of these new rules requires the development of basic tools such as new node clients and browsers, and also needs to coordinate the new chain miners and the community. Governance maintenance, so how to deal with the above problems will pose a very big challenge to PoW supporters.
2.3 Team and selection
At present, in the face of forks, it can be divided into two camps, the ETH-PoS faction and the ETH-PoW faction.
The ETH-PoS faction is the supporter of this merger and the opponent of the fork, mainly the Ethereum Foundation, as well as several major stablecoins, and leading infrastructure applications, both in terms of funds and influence. , are absolutely dominant.
- Tether: Will support PoS Ethereum according to the official schedule
- Circle: Will only support the Ethereum PoS chain after the Ethereum merger is complete
- Aave: Only the PoS chain is recognized as the main chain, and the Ethereum main network running under the PoS consensus will be used as the new normative governance system
- Curve Finance: Choose a chain with only stablecoin options
- Chainlink: Protocols and services will continue to run on Ethereum, no forks such as PoW are supported
- Paradigm: No one in the Ethereum community wants to keep using PoW other than miners
- FTX: Ethereum futures and perpetual contracts on FTX will track the Ethereum network with PoS after the merger
These protocols are the biggest beneficiaries of the development of Ethereum. Any fork of Ethereum will weaken the existing community and influence, which will affect the price and stability of these application Tokens and bring unpredictable risks, so choose to stand in line PoS is not difficult to understand.
The ETH-PoW faction is the main force driving this fork, mainly some miners, non-head exchanges, etc.
- TRON: Support Ethereum fork and list forked tokens
- F2Pool: Support let the miner community decide and will continue to provide mining pool services for ETH PoW
- Gate: Supports pre-fork and will enable the fork currency exchange function in advance
- Matcha: Supporting Ethereum’s upgrade and potential hard fork
In short, the more deeply bound to Ethereum, the stronger the opposition to the fork, PoS has legitimacy, and the miners who have been kicked out, projects that are not bound and dependent on Ethereum, or need popularity to increase Active exchanges will maintain a strong interest in the forked chain. In one sentence, fork is not a technical competition, but a game of interests.
With the strong support of the Ethereum Foundation, the transformation of PoS has become inevitable. In the face of the strengthening of supervision, in the face of the monopoly of the influence of pledge node operators and the Ethereum Foundation, some people have also begun to question whether Ethereum still adheres to the The blockchain spirit of “Code is Law”? And does PoS make Ethereum more central?
2.4 Is it more centralized after POS?
At present, users’ doubts about the higher degree of centralization of Ethereum after the transition to PoS are mainly reflected in the following aspects:
The Staking network is highly centralized. Currently, a total of 13.33 million ETHs are pledged on the beacon chain, accounting for 11.1% of the total supply of Ethereum. Most of them are hosted by centralized pledge service providers or exchanges. Among them, Lido As the leader, it accounts for 30.9% of the entire beacon chain, followed by 14.7% of Coinbase, 8.4% of Kraken, and 6.7% of Binance. Combined, Staking service providers and CEX account for a total of 63.8%, while For PoS, the proportion of more than 1/3 can basically affect the normal operation of the chain, which may also become the Achilles’ heel of Ethereum 2.0.
The proportion of beacon chain Ethereum pledge service providers Data source: dune
The centralization of staking service providers will bring about a direct decline in the ability to resist supervision, especially under the continuous fermentation of the Tornado incident, more and more users have begun to pay attention to the potential risks in this regard. The technical side is the Ethereum Foundation, Infura, Conscyse and other core organizations, and the asset side is Lido, Coinbase and other companies. It can be said that the giants standing around Ethereum are basically centralized institutions, and they jointly maintain the largest ecosystem in this ecosystem. Compared with Bitcoin, the influence of these core organizations on the public chain has also introduced many uncontrollable factors to Ethereum.
Will Ethereum Staking be recognized as a security after the transition to PoS? After all, Coinbase’s deposit and interest generation has been investigated by the SEC in the past. As the so-called big tree attracts wind, whether Ethereum’s staking service will be targeted by the SEC is also a potential risk. In addition, after the transformation of PoS, whether the Ethereum block-producing node can maintain good anonymity for packaging transactions and the stability in the face of various new attacks remains to be verified.
Ethereum is undoubtedly the center of the current blockchain world, and both its past, present and future affect people’s hearts. Although the Ethereum community does not fork as frequently as the Bitcoin community, there are still a series of forks led by ETC. At the same time, the Ethereum Foundation, with Buterin as the core, is constantly promoting the self-iterative evolution of the Ethereum network with its own influence, just like the merger event we are currently experiencing. At least we can now expect an ETH 2.0 version consisting of a PoS main chain and L2 extensions.
But just as Bitcoin’s problems gave birth to Ethereum, Ethereum’s problems also gave birth to a new generation of blockchains. Some of their founders are directly from the early Ethereum team, some have already practiced the PoS that Ethereum has only turned to now, and some are from another blockchain lineage called alliance chain. And these new chains are the main content of our next part.
3. Blockchain 2.X: The Evolution of New Chains
Although Ethereum brought the blockchain into the era of smart contracts, at that time Ethereum also encountered a development direction similar to that of Bitcoin. High transaction fees and slow verification are only one aspect. More importantly, if the community is allowed to split like the Bitcoin community and adhere to the PoW tradition, it may be inevitable to become “Bitcoin No. 2”, and move on. Calculate one step, history will not remember the second.
The main contradiction is between miners who insist on PoW and project parties (and ordinary users) who want PoS. In those suns and moons, a precarious momentary equilibrium was born. Even as early as 2015, Ethereum proposed to switch the verification mechanism to PoS with a difficulty bomb scheme, but in the following 7 years (2015-2021) this scheme was rejected by miners and delayed 6 times.
This PoW vs. PoS war has been going on for years and even led to a split within the founders of Ethereum. In this rapidly changing industry, every day of waiting for the war to end is an ordeal.
Some people can’t wait, and follow the story of Ethereum and start a new one. And these people have introduced a new power – VC into the blockchain industry because of the lack of start-up resources. This time, the tradition of blockchain has been broken again. With professional investors, the blockchain project has become more like a start-up technology company, with fewer airdrops and less sweet “candy”. At the same time, forks are gradually becoming a thing of the past, and PoW is gradually drifting away.
This time, the story will start from Polkadot and Carnado, founded by two former co-founders of Ethereum, to a series of PoS public chains called “Ethereum Killers”, and finally to another consortium chain that was classified long ago. The descent of the lineage returns to the end.
3.1 Legacy of the past: the former co-founder of Ethereum
Ethereum initially had 7 co-founders in addition to Vitalik. In a later interview, Buterin himself said that it may have been a mistake to have 8 co-founders in Ethereum. In the years when Ethereum was founded, the differences of opinion among the 8 founders became larger and larger, and the other 7 founders also left one after another, and only Buterin remained in the Ethereum Foundation.
Two of them founded Carnado and Polkadot respectively. It is difficult to say whether these two are continuations or variants of Ethereum’s ideas, because all blockchains after Ethereum have more or less the shadow of Ethereum. No matter how special each project party repeatedly emphasizes on its verification mechanism, it is essentially a variant of PoS. And these two projects brought us the earliest examples of Ethereum variants.
Carnado (ADA): Myths
Carnado was founded by Charles Hoskinson. There are various ups and downs surrounding this project, and there are different opinions, but in the end, if you must give ADA a label, the slow development cannot escape.
According to Carnado Memorabilia given by Wikipedia:
- From September 2015 to January 2017, Cardano crowdfunded its ICO, raising $62 million and selling about 30 billion ADA tokens.
- On September 28, 2019, IOHK announced a partnership with footwear brand New Balance to use the Carnado blockchain to confirm the authenticity of the brand’s sneakers.
- In July 2020, Shelley upgraded and launched the delegated pledge function. ADA holders are able to pool ADA tokens with other holders to earn income.
- On April 27, 2021, Carnado announced a partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education to develop blockchain.
- In September 2021, Carnado announced the launch of the Alonzo mainnet, bringing smart contract execution capabilities to the Carnado blockchain. “
This Carnado chronology is very simple, but very complete. Carnado has no smart contracts for the full 6 years since it started funding. And relying on marketing and marketing, it has also maintained a fairly high market value.
Slow development may be another sign of no clear direction. It can also be seen from the chronology that Carnado covers a wide range of fields, and some concepts are still ahead of today, but the concepts that have not been implemented are always expectations, which may maintain the market value, but cannot change the world.
No doubt, they must have done something right.
Polkadot: Once the king of cross-chain
Compared to the enigmatic Carnado, Polkadot is much easier to understand.
Gavin Wood, as the founder, made cross-chain once synonymous with this project. Polkadot and another project, Cosmos, started a new multi-chain modular blockchain direction, and each achieved the ultimate in unified consensus verification with different ideas.
Having raised $140 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) in October 2017 and started producing blocks in May 2020, Polkadot must not be inferior to Carnado in terms of slowness.
At the same time, Polkadot’s level is much higher than similar blockchains in token use case design (economic model) and proposal voting (governance method).
Polkadot is also the first of its kind to feature blockchains.
3.2 Former “Ethereum Killers”
Several other blockchain projects, including Carnado and Polkadot, have been dubbed “Ethereum killers” in 2021. What they encountered was an industry opportunity period when Ethereum could not convert to PoS at that time, but the market demand suddenly expanded: BNB, Solana, Terra, Avalanche… At that time, it seemed that every new chain with high speed and low fees could be used by Hang up the title of Ethereum killer.
Although it was only last year, it seemed like an eternity. Some projects have survived, some have died, and some are still struggling. When the number of species began to increase and the blue ocean turned red, elimination and iteration accelerated.
BNB Chain: Binance Exchange
The BNB chain (formerly BSC) is the earliest (early 2021) Ethereum killer to break out. With the support of the largest centralized exchange, the Defi gameplay started half a year ago was copied to the more efficient BNB chain, which in a sense also confirmed the new public chain Defi model of DEX liquidity mining + lending. This pattern was later replicated by other chains many times. However, the overly rough re-forking of the Ethereum project caused the Defi project on the BNB chain to suffer a large-scale hacking attack in the middle of the year.
Solana: From Defi to NFT
Solana is similar to BNB in many ways – the support of the FTX exchange, the start of the Defi model. Under the bull market rendering of 2021, Solana has created the only 100-fold return of mainstream currencies. The period from the end of 2021 to the end of Defi in 2022 has successfully developed the largest NFT market other than Ethereum. The success of this direction transformation may be the inspiration that Solana brings to the industry.
Terra: Make-or-break Algorithmic Stablecoins
The 2021 yield champion is Terra, which managed to keep Solana in second place. The model of the blockchain token Luna + 20% return algorithmic stablecoin UST has other chains trying to emulate in early 2022. But everything melted away in May of this year, and panic runs and high returns became the straw that broke the camel’s back. As first-hand, I think we should thank Terra for teaching us all a lesson.
Avalanche: Cross-chain Ethereum Project
Before Avalanche, all projects were considering how to develop their own ecological native projects to compete with Ethereum. Avalanche is a public chain pioneer that introduced the Ethereum Defi project on a large scale. Through the Ethereum Compatible System (EVM), leading Defi projects on Ethereum have a version of Avalanche. Traffic drives currency value and exposure, and at the same time pushes up Avalanche’s currency value.
3.3 New Return: The Legacy of the Meta (Formerly Facebook) Consortium Chain
In the blockchain world, consortium chains have been excluded from mainstream blockchains because of the problem of decentralization. But among all the public chains that will break out in 2021, there will be no more decentralized chains like Bitcoin or Ethereum. So from this perspective, it is only a matter of time before the alliance chain returns to the mainstream blockchain in some form.
Therefore, the new hot spots of blockchain in the first half of 2022 will become the new public chains Sui, Aptos and Linera developed on the basis of Libra by the developers of the original Libra blockchain team. They have completed financing and are valued at billions of dollars. It is still in the testing phase.
At some point in 2021, there seems to be a real illusion that Ethereum will be replaced by a new public chain.
The turnaround will also appear in 2021. At that time, there was a worldwide movement against PoW mining. Some countries aggressively determined that the mining behavior was violated and banned it. Bitcoin and Ethereum miners suffered heavy losses. Ethereum has therefore reduced a lot of resistance to PoS.
If this week’s merger goes well, Eth 2.0 is coming. The era of Ethereum is not over yet.
The evolution history of blockchain from the perspective of forks, new chains and upgrades has only revealed the tip of the iceberg of this ecology. The evolutionary history of organisms proves that as long as they keep changing, they can win the chance to survive, and this is constantly repeated in the evolution of the blockchain.
This evolutionary history is also the survival history of the blockchain, which is constantly changing and updating under internal and external pressures. There has always been controversy within the blockchain community about what a blockchain should look like, and the external political, economic and technological environment has also been shaping all aspects of the blockchain. Like everything else, blockchain oscillates back and forth between self-identity and survival pressures, and the choice will ultimately depend on the harshness of the external environment.
All history is contemporary history, so whenever we face a major historical milestone, we humans always like to review history. Soon we will usher in the 2.0 merger and upgrade of Ethereum. As the title of the second chapter, we don’t know whether it is the gate of a new era or Pandora’s box. But we have always been rational optimists out of the confidence of optimism and the realistic denial of all historically pessimistic expectations.
People in this era have witnessed the birth of the blockchain and hope it will take us into the next era.
Attachment 1: History of BTC fork coins (source: https://forkdrop.io/)
- 2014.05.12 CLAMs CLAM
- 2015.03.30 Dalilcoin DLC
- 2015.03.30 Bitcoin Stake BTCS
- 2017.03.03 Qeditas QED
- 2017.08.01 Bitcoin Cash BCH
- 2017.08.01 Bitcoin SV BSV
- 2017.08.01 Bitcoin Clashic BCHC
- 2017.10.24 Bitcoin Gold BTG
- 2017.10.24 Bitcoin Coral BTCO
- 2017.11.02 BitCore BTX
- 2017.11.24 Bitcoin Diamond BCD
- 2017.12.11 Bitcoin@CBC BCBC
- 2017.12.12 BitcoinX BCX
- 2017.12.12 Super Bitcoin SBTC
- 2017.12.12 BitClassic Coin BICC
- 2017.12.12 Oil Bitcoin OBTC
- 2017.12.12 Bitcoin Hot BTH
- 2017.12.15 Bitcoin Pay BTP
- 2017.12.17 Bitcoin World BTW
- 2017.12.18 Bitcoin Wonder BCW
- 2017.12.18 Bitcoin Faith BTF
- 2017.12.18 Bitcoin King BCK
- 2017.12.26 Bitcoin Top BTT
- 2017.12.27 Bitcoin God God
- 2017.12.27 New Bitcoin NBTC
- 2017.12.27 Bitcoin File BIFI
- 2017.12.27 FastBitcoin FBTC
- 2017.12.28 Followed2X B2X
- 2017.12.28 Quantum Bitcoin QBTC
- 2017.12.28 Bitcoin Cash Plus BCP
- 2017.12.29 Bitcoin Holocaust BTHOL
- 2017.12.31 Bitcoin Nano BN
- 2017.12.31 Bitcoin Pizza BPA
- 2017.12.31 Bitcoin Ore BCO
- 2018.01.02 Bitcoin Boy BCB
- 2018.01.12 Bitcoin Candy CDY
- 2018.01.12 World Bitcoin WBTC
- 2018.01.19 BitVote BTV
- 2018.01.19 Bitcoin Smart BCS
- 2018.01.20 Bitcoin Interest BCI
- 2018.01.24 Bitcoin Atom BCA
- 2018.01.25 Bitcoin Community BTSQ
- 2018.01.31 Bitcoin Parallel BCP
- 2018.01.31 Bitcoin Pro BTP
- 2018.02.01 Bitcoin Hush BTCH
- 2018.02.05 Bitcoin 2 BTC2
- 2018.02.12 Big Bitcoin BBC
- 2018.02.20 Bitcoin Cloud BCL
- 2018.02.28 Bitcoin Dollar BTD
- 2018.03.27 Bitcoin Lambo BTL
- 2018.04.01 ClassicBitcoin CBTC
- 2018.04.18 Bitcoin Clean BCL
- 2018.04.20 Smatt Bitcoin SBC
- 2018.04.29 Bitcoin Class BCS
- 2018.04.30 Fox BTC FBTC
- 2018.05.01 Bitcoin Metal BTCM
- 2018.05.17 Bitcoin Reference Line BRECO
- 2018.05.20 Bitcoin Core BTCC
- 2018.05.28 MicroBitcoin MBC
- 2018.06.30 Bitcoin Dao BTD
- 2018.08.21 Bitcoin RM BCRM
- 2018.11.15 Bitcoin Stash BSH
- 2018.11.22 Bitcoin On XAP
- 2018.12.22 Bitcoin Post-Quantum BPQ
- 2018.12.28 Bithereum BTH
- 2019.01.04 BitcoinCash Zero BCZ
- 2019.05.14 Cereneum CER
- 2019.07.19 MimbleWimbleCoin MWC
Bitcoin’s bifurcation history (2009-2018) Sasha Ivanov https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/62895584
The Complete History of Bitcoin Consensus Forks BitMex https://blog.bitmex.com/en_us-bitcoins-consensus-forks/
Vitalik Buterin《Endnotes on 2020: Crypto and Beyond》
Carnado Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardano_(blockchain_platform)
A brief history of Ethereum forks: https://www.ethereum.cn/the-history-of-ethereum-hard-forks
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/blockchain-evolution-history-forking-new-chains-and-upgrading/
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