Bitvote is a bitcoin hard fork abbreviated under the symbol BTV. Here’s our review of everything you need to know about this hard fork.
What Is BitVote BTV?
BitVote BTV, found online at Bitvote.one, is yet another bitcoin hard fork. The project forked successfully from the core bitcoin (BTC) blockchain in January 2018. A whitepaper was released online on January 23.
BTV uses the CryptoNight algorithm. The developers chose that algorithm because they feel it corresponds best to Satoshi’s original vision of one CPU equaling one vote. That’s why it’s called Bitvote – it’s designed to create a better voting system for bitcoin.
Bitvote will operate as a foundation that supports “sustainable development of communities.” That foundation will also implement features like smart contracts, Lightning Network, community voting, and more into the Bitvote network.
The project is led by a team of anonymous developers.
Basically, Bitvote seems like a version of Bitcoin with the CryptoNight algorithm. That’s the major difference here. Below, you’ll find all of the advertised features from the official Bitvote.one website:
One CPU = One Vote:
Bitvote uses the CryptoNight algorithm to achieve one vote per CPU. This balances hashrate distribution and achieves true decentralization. Obviously, the original bitcoin whitepaper emphasized this quality. However, today’s bitcoin network is controlled largely by three mining companies who control millions of CPUs.
The project is led by the BTV Foundation, a non-profit institution that aims to promote the development and maintenance of Bitvote.
Bitvote has improved wallet safety and has no double hashing problem, which means the hard fork has replay protection. This protects users from malicious threats and double spending accidents.
Higher Block Size:
Bitvote expands the block size to 8MB. The hard fork also supports SegWit.
Bitvote has not yet implemented the Lightning Network. However, Lightning Network support is listed as a major feature. Payment channels give better flexibility to the BTV network, allowing transactions to be processed off-chain before being added on-chain in batches.
Bitvote will reportedly support smart contracts in the future.
Ultimately, the only features on the current hard fork, as of January 21, 2018, are CPU mining, block size expansion, and replay protection. The Lightning Network will reportedly be introduced by June 2018, with smart contracts arriving in December 2018. The “block mark voting system” will be added in May 2019.
It’s also important to note that there’s no pre-mining for Bitvote. A miner is still in development, but will be released soon. The pool software has been released at Github: https://github.com/bitcoinvote/node-open-mining-portal.
The Bitvote whitepaper mentions even more ambitious goals for the platform. The developers want to add zk-SNARK Zero Knowledge Proof to the network, for example, allowing transactions to be completed in a secure and anonymous way. Bitvote also wants to add cross-chain transactions that would allow you to bridge multiple blockchains together for secure cross-currency transfers.
Who’s Supporting Bitvote?
Bitvote’s whitepaper lists a number of exchanges and mining pools that have already declared support for the project.
- CoinEx and Hypex, for example, are listed as affiliated exchanges.
- Meanwhile, the whitepaper lists Dwarfpool, Mining Pool Hub, NanoPool, and VPool as affiliated mining pools.
- Trezor, BitGo, Jaxx, BitPay, and Coinbase are also listed as “affiliated wallets”.
Ultimately, it’s not clear what Bitvote means when it calls these services “affiliated”. We can’t find much information about Bitvote support on any of these websites or pool sites.
Who’s Behind Bitvote?
Bitvote’s “team” section doesn’t list any information. The team is listed as “Mysterious Team – Bitvote Dev.” No further information is available. There are Chinese and English versions of the whitepaper available online, so the team may be based in China.
BitVote BTV Conclusion
Bitvote successfully hard forked from the main bitcoin (BTC) blockchain at block height 505050, which took place on January 21. Initially, the fork supports CPU mining, 8MB blocksizes, and replay protection. Over the course of 2018, Bitvote will add Lightning Network, smart contracts, and more.
The main goal of Bitvote is to implement the CryptoNight consensus protocol. This helps the blockchain achieve 1 CPU = 1 vote, the voting system envisioned in the original bitcoin whitepaper.
There’s no team information available online. However, the project’s whitepaper goes into more detail about the development goals: http://www.bitvote.one/bitvote.pdf.