Occasionally, a cryptocurrency will experience a hard fork. A hard fork is when the code in the network changes so much that the new version is no longer backward-compatible with earlier blocks. Users then have to change their software and follow any other protocols that mean they can use the new network.
Bitcoin Private (BTCP) came about as the result of a hard fork. It was community-driven back in March 2018 and also combined a hard fork from ZClassic (ZCL). The founder of ZClasssic, Rhett Creighton was the main developer of Bitcoin Private.
Rhett, along with others, wanted to create BTCP in order to combine both the popularity, security, and flexibility with the privacy-rich features of ZClassic thereby creating a better cryptocurrency.
Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin Private
Normally, when a crypto has a fork, it is what’s known as a standard blockchain fork. Whereby the crypto splits off and an extra ‘branch’ is created. However, BTCP was different because it wasn’t just a fork, it was a fork merge. The forking and merging of two different cryptocurrencies is highly unusual.
The overall process has been described by Medium.com as “a hard fork of ZClassic, which combines the unspent transaction outputs (UTXO) of ZClassic and Bitcoin into a new blockchain called Bitcoin Private. This means that the addresses and their Bitcoin amounts will be combined with ZClassic addresses and their amounts.”
As per the BTCP whitepaper, the merged blockchain was supposed to support transparent and shielded transactions. Just like how Bitcoin operates, the sources, destinations, and value of funds for Bitcoin Private are transparently and safely stored on the blockchain.
However, because of the shielded transactions, these details are encrypted into a separate block section which means they are verifiable and more difficult for third parties to decipher thus increasing privacy.
Unfortunately, despite the concept being a good one, the crypto failed and is no longer trading on any exchanges. The idea was to have 20.3 million coins with 700,000 coins kept back for mining purposes. The initial 20 or so million were distributed among Bitcoin and ZClasssic holders as a way to incentivize its use and get people interested enough to mine.
The result was a poor response and Bitcoin Private gets added to the list of a myriad of other failed attempts to change to reinvent Bitcoin.
How Is Bitcoin Private Different from Bitcoin?
Around 5 years after Bitcoin was initially created, it started to become more popular. More investors were putting their money in and more people started mining just while sitting at home in their living rooms.
The increase in popularity was a huge positive, it caused the value to increase and for people outside the community to finally take note of the possibility of using a decentralized currency in everyday life one day in the future.
However, the Bitcoin block size was small and mining was slow. The high cost and slow speeds were both increasing the more people joined in. Transaction volumes increased and became slower. A backlog built up and processing times became farcical.
This sudden increase highlighted how unprepared Bitcoin and the network were to work as a global, popular, everyday currency.
On top of these problems, the rise of power-hungry ASIC-based mining brought Bitcoin's decentralization ethos into question. The kind of mining power needed was becoming feasible only for professional mining companies or mining pools. Every day people were unable to afford or run the rigs needs and were being pushed out of the community.
Bitcoin Private wanted to do away with these problems. Making mining easier, transactions faster, and allowing individuals to be part of the processes again without needing heaps of money.
Additionally, the coin would allow users to have more anonymity than Bitcoin. Something many in the community wanted since Bitcoin is more pseudonymous rather than anonymous.
On paper, it seemed like BTCP was exactly what so many had wanted for a long time, however, it never gained traction among the community and was quickly abandoned altogether.
The Errors of Bitcoin Private
Initially, when the coin launched, it ranked in the top 50 coins in market capitalization at around $550 million. It had a great start and was looking like it would be the first real success story of a Bitcoin fork.
However, there were a couple of issues with BTCP that users in the community couldn’t get past.
Firstly, the coin wasn’t growing its reputation organically over time through actions and proof. Rather, the coin was basing its reputation on the reputation of Bitcoin.
People love and trust Bitcoin so they can instantly love and trust Bitcoin Private, right? Of course not.
Secondly, only 3.4% of the 21 million total coins were to be used as a mining reward. But since a huge part of Bitcoin is the mining and not just the trading, this meant there wasn’t much incentive to mine when there were only 700,000 available anyway.
The negativity surrounded BTCP hard and fast and within a year the whole project was over.
Will There Be Another Bitcoin Private in the Future?
While the Twitter account of BTCP is still active, their coins aren’t trading on any exchange nor have there been any plans announced for a second run.
Most Common FAQs About Bitcoin Private
Is Bitcoin Private a Cryptocurrency?
Yes and no. When it was developed, it was a cryptocurrency. However, given that the idea has been abandoned and the coins taken off exchanges, you could say it isn’t a cryptocurrency anymore.
Did Satoshi Nakamoto Develop Bitcoin Private?
No. Satoshi Nakamoto had no involvement with the development of BTCP. This crypto was developed by the founder of ZClasssic, Rhett Creighton
Can I Buy BTCP?
No. There are no coins listed on any exchanges nor are there any ways to mine any that may still exist.
Important Points to Takeaway
- Bitcoin Private (BTCP) came about as a result of a hard fork and merge between Bitcoin and ZClassic
- The goal was to combine the popularity, security, and flexibility of Bitcoin with the privacy-rich features of ZClassic to make a better coin
- Ultimately, BTCP failed to gain traction as the community didn’t want to invest in something that was using Bitcoin’s reputation and only offering 700,000 coins for mining
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