If you follow crypto even with one eye half open, you have probably heard of the concept known as a hard fork. As it relates to blockchain technology, a hard fork is a radical alteration of a network’s protocol that makes previously invalid blocks and transactions valid, or vice-versa. In other words, a hard fork creates a diversion in a blockchain by adopting new rules to the code, where since its implementation, one path follows the new, upgraded blockchain, and the other continues along the old chain.
This is how the world witnessed the inception of something like Bitcoin cash, Bitcoin gold and other cryptocurrencies that have deviated from the OG network. However, contrary to the popular misconception, hard forks occur beyond Bitcoin and have become a widespread practice for the crypto world to implement changes when necessary to the existing chains. In today’s editorial, we will consider two of the latest upgrades to the first two cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, Bitcoin and Ethereum, amid a growing meme token superstar Big Eyes Coin, smashing its presale records.
Bitcoin: Tap[for]Root Or How Lightning Network Embraced Brave New World
Bitcoin’s Taproot fork represents the most significant upgrade to Bitcoin’s network, finalized in November 2021 to optimize issues with scalability, privacy, and smart contract functionality. Introducing a new address type enabled Bitcoin spending to look identical regardless of what kind of transaction is being made. As a result of reducing the transaction size of each block, Taproot allowed more extensive and complex operations to be deployed on the network that was previously unfeasible or almost impossible.
With Taproot, Bitcoin’s Lightning Network harnessed the full power of its true potential and became a proper scaling technology for the first cryptocurrency ever created. In addition, Bitcoin’s Taproot expanded the usage of Bitcoin as a medium of exchange by authorizing the Lightning Network and other complex wallets as well as contracts to enjoy greater efficiency at lower transaction fees.
While the upgrade most certainly is a massive improvement for Bitcoin Maximalists and the rest of the crypto flock, there is a hidden danger lurking in blockchain networks. Namely, it is difficult to tell when the efforts of Taproot will be visible to the industry as it could take months, or even years, before everyone will fully adopt every diverted chain on the network. To put some statistics into perspective, it took roughly two years for Bitcoin’s last comparable upgrade, SegWit, to reach 50% adoption.
Ethereum: What The Merge Or ETH 2.0 Means For The Community
Ethereum’s Merge was completed as of September 15th 2022, arguably representing one of the most substantial upgrades in Web 3.0 history. In a nutshell, Ethereum’s Merge tackled what is known as the “consensus mechanism”, transitioning the network from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus. Under the former consensus, miners confirmed each subsequent block added to the Ethereum network by solving complex cryptographic computation problems, thus consuming massive amounts of energy.
However, under the new consensus, instead of solving the aforementioned equations, validators stake ETH into a smart contract on Ethereum. As a result, the staked ETH acts as collateral if the validators are caught in malicious activity that can damage the network’s well-being. Since anyone could become a validator (one would need 32 ETH to do it), control over the network is distributed amongst many more participants than under PoW configuration, thus making the Ethereum network more secure by embracing decentralization to the fullest extent possible. Or does it?
Although most of the crypto flock expected the Merge not only to solve Ethereum’s problems, such as the network’s high fees and occasional congestion but also to skyrocket it into the new era, the reality is somewhat more puzzling. While it is true that the network became much more carbon-neutral than before, there is another potentially more detrimental danger than the carbon footprint.
Namely, some analysts claim that the Merge’s fundamental flaw is hidden in the very thing it attempts to combat (aka concentration of power between validators). Indeed, there is a possible scenario where a small number of wealthy individuals or groups of people control the majority of the stake and have disproportionate influence over the network’s future. At the time of writing, five organizations own 64% of the network’s stake power, indicating that the seizure of control could theoretically be implemented even right now.
Big Eyes Coin: Marriage Of Convenience Between DeFi And NFTs
Despite being the new kid on the crypto block, this juggernaut project is rising among the crypto ranks faster than a hot knife through butter. It generated a lot of buzz among the crypto community even before it was fully launched, counting over 50 thousand subscribers on Twitter and nearly $8 million in presale. What makes Big Eyes Coin stand out is a very unusual sales proposition it employed that, judging by the project’s numbers, truly resonated with its fanbase on a massive scale.
For starters, its aesthetic side is radically different compared to its close competition. Unlike most of the projects that are either dog-themed or ape-derivative, Big Eyes Coin went with a cute anime-inspired Japanese cat. It could have been a close call since the crypto community rarely embraces new changes, especially when it comes to meme coins. Still, against all odds, Big Eyes Coin thrived faster than Dogecoin or Shiba Inu during their inception stage precisely because everyone can’t get enough of the cute cat.
However, what probably attracts people to purchase the project’s native token, BIG, during the presale, is the clever amalgamation of DeFi and NFTs under the broader Big Eyes Coin ecosystem. It’s no secret that decentralized finances are not a cheap endeavor, where swapping, lending, or staking could be very costly. Knowing this, Big Eyes Coin introduced a special tax for its NFTs, where each subsequent sale will give 4% to the original seller, while 5% is distributed to the holders of BIG tokens. In doing this, the project not only maintains the liquidity of its token but also enables all the aforementioned DeFi services to be completely free of charge.
What to make of it
Since both Taproot and Merge are still on the verge of reaching their full potential, it will only be a matter of time before all the nodes are upgraded. As a result, this will make it more difficult for blockchain observers to discriminate between senders and receivers when the Taproot upgrade is complete.
At the same time, Ethereum’s Merge will make transaction fees more manageable, leading to the network’s prosperity in the realm of DeFi. And while we anticipate these significant changes, there are bonus tokens available when you purchase BIG with Big Eyes Coin’s promo code BEYES562 that you can use anytime. Be sure to check it out, as the current presale stage won’t last forever.
*This article has been paid. The Cryptonomist didn’t write the article nor has tested the platform.