The public’s appetite for forked coins seems to be diminishing. Data shows that around 6.6 million BCH has been claimed to date, compared to just 2.2 million BTG. There’s still time for more bitcoin gold to be claimed, but thus far most holders have been deterred from doing so. Reasons include BTG’s low value compared to BTC, and the perceived risk of splitting bitcoin via a third-party tool in order to claim forked coins.
Forked Coins: Free Cash or a Waste of Time?
Of the bitcoin forks to have occurred this year, bitcoin cash has been the most popular. In terms of uptake, value, and adoption, BCH is the market leader by far. This much can be gleaned simply by looking at the market prices and trading volume of bitcoin cash versus that of its successors, bitcoin gold and bitcoin diamond. Newly crunched data now shows the extent to which bitcoin cash has outmuscled its younger siblings.
Data researcher Antoine Le Calvez has been tracking the movements of BCH and BTG on forks.network since the coin splits came into existence. His figures show that three times as much bitcoin cash has been claimed as bitcoin gold, which was born three and a half months later. A series of charts track the amount of BTG and BCH that were moved following the respective forks. In other words, they indicate the amount of each coin that was claimed by bitcoin holders. That figure stands at 2.2 million for BTG but 6.6 million for BCH.
Has the Public Had its Fill of Forks?
The available data for coin splits doesn’t take into account coins that have yet to be claimed. Notable holders of large amounts of bitcoin such as Coinbase have yet to issue BCH to their account-holders, and it is uncertain whether the broker’s BCH holdings will show up as “moved” – i.e claimed – at this moment in time. When bitcoin cash was created, there were just under 16.5 million BTC in existence. With one study suggesting that 4 million BTC are lost or locked up forever, that leaves around 12.5 BCH and BTG up for grabs. From this, it can be extrapolated that around 53% of the world’s available bitcoin cash has been claimed versus just 18% for bitcoin gold.
But Wait, There’s More…
One other interesting tidbit to emerge from forks.network pertains to the number of unspent transactions (UTXO) for BCH and BTG. Bitcoins, or parts thereof, are stored in wallet addresses as UTXOs. Thus, it’s common to have multiple unspent transactions for a single address. When the user sends funds to a different address, these UTXOs can be bundled up and sent in one batch.
At the time of the BCH fork, there were 53 million unspent BTC outputs, which had risen to 56 million by the time of the BTG fork. Today, the number of UTXOs for bitcoin gold that have been moved stands at just under 1 million, versus 4.8 million for BCH. Given that bitcoin cash has been in existence for three and a half months longer than bitcoin gold, this isn’t surprising. When the unspent outputs for both coins is measured from November 16 (when BTG was created) till the present day, the figure stands at 1.6 million for BCH versus BTG’s 966,000. In other words, bitcoin cash is being moved more readily than its younger sibling.
Bitcoin gold didn’t get off to the best of starts thanks to tales of fake wallets stealing coins, an overly generous pre-mine and dodgy code uploaded to the BTG Github. Despite bitcoin gold failing to match the success of bitcoin cash, it doesn’t appear to have diminished developer enthusiasm for forking bitcoin. The likelihood of bitcoin holders sharing that enthusiasm, when presented with such offerings as “bitcoin god”, seems slender. With bitcoin surging past the expected dollar value of new coins in a matter of minutes and eating alts for breakfast at the height of its bull run, everything else just seems like a distraction.
Will you be bothering to claim future bitcoin forks? Let us know in the comments section below.
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