Yet another hard fork in the Bitcoin blockchain will be giving birth to a new Bitcoin derivative named Bitcoin Atom (BCA). The Bitcoin Atom (BCA) fork is coming up quickly, at Bitcoin block #505 888, estimated to occur on January 25, 2018. At the press time, the hard fork will probably go through in the next 2-3 hours as the existing data according to Block Explorer shows it to have reached the block number 505870.
Bitcoin Atom (BCA) is a SegWit-enabled Bitcoin hard fork, which is expected to address several of Bitcoin’s scalability issues. Also it will be hosting features like atomic swaps which allows users to instantly exchange tokens at minimal cost without the need of centralized exchanges or any other intermediaries. For very instant and cheap transactions, the project also aims to integrate Lightning Swaps (LS). This means that Bitcoin Atom will be seen implementing both on-chain and off-chain mechanisms to solve the dual problems of cost and speed.
The leader of the team, who prefers to remain anonymous said:
“Centralization is less obvious but the problem with the main transfer of value in the crypto world, is exchanges. Centralized exchanges can be hacked or disappear or shut down by the regulators, and decentralized exchanges such as Etherdelta don’t trade bitcoin and only trade ERC-20 tokens. Even at that, they can get hacked.”
In addition to handling issues connected with speed and cost of transactions, Bitcoin Atom will also be using a hybrid consensus model by combining Proof of Stake (POS) and Proof of Work (POW). These two are different types of algorithms to arrive at a consensus, or agreement, to determine whether a transaction is valid or not before being added to the blockchain. Bringing of the hybrid model in work is expected to decrease network threat associated with the possibility of miners sabotagethe system, and in addition, will also increase network stability.
All Bitcoin holders, who possess their private keys at the moment of the fork, will receive Bitcoin Atom at the rate of 1 BTC = 1 BCA. It’s necessary to either control Bitcoin private keys or store BTC with one of the partners in order to claim and transact Bitcoin Atom. Some of the cryptocurrency exchanges, which have extended their support to Bitcoin Atom, include OKEX, Yobit, Exrates, More TBA.
Wallets supporting Bitcoin Atom include MyAtom Wallet, ESR Wallet, Bitcoin Atom, Coinomi and More TBA. The Bitcoin Atomic futures have already started trading on Yobit exchange and at the press time, is currently trading at a price of $406.50, according to CoinMarketCap.
Bitcoin’s scalability issues have evolved as the major barrier to its progress and further mainstream adoption. The costs of a single Bitcoin transaction have shot to as high as $30 in past few months and hence the investor community are waiting for the solution from developers.
Bitcoin’s blockchain network currently offers a throughput of 3 transactions per second. With SegWit implementation, this will double to 6 TPS. However, this is still much lower than what its rival Ethereum has to offer, which is 20 TPS at the moment. In such a way, if Bitcoin wants to remian at the forefront of this crypto mania, quite serious work needs to be done in order to finally solve scalability issue.