Well, if you thought Bitcoin hard forks were an interesting phenomenon in 2017, just wait for the rest of 2018 to come to fruition. That’s because there’s a whole slew of forks coming, and the one that’s making the rounds right now is the so-called “Bitcoin Interest” hard fork.
Why “Interest,” you ask? It doesn’t refer to a precious metal like most of the other Bitcoin forks, but that’s quite intentional. With “Interest,” BCI — the fork’s ticker symbol — wants to bring personal banking to bitcoin.
Specifically, the project bills itself as a “decentralized savings community.” Per the coming crypto’s website:
BitcoinInterest (“BCI”) is a frictionless global payment system focusing on three key areas Technology, Community, and Savings. Our payment system has a new integrated savings technology that allows our users to park their coins and earn interest.”
Sounds good, but what exactly is this “integrated savings technology.” Let’s get to the bottom of that and more.
Bitcoin Interest already forked at block 505083, which would’ve been on January 18th, 2018. So those of you who held bitcoin on that date should theoretically have an equivalent amount of BCI now.
Technical specs are as follows:
- Total coin supply: 21 million BCI
- Consensus algorithm: Proof of Work (Updated Equihash)
- Mining: GPU
- Block interval: every 10 minutes
- Block size: 1MB
- Difficulty adjustments: occurs every block
- Segwit: enabled
- Replay protection: enabled
And, of course, BCI claims to empower interest payments. More on that now.
The interest system
Bitcoin Interest isn’t trying to beat out the legacy chain by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, it wants to be a bona fide personal bank for bitcoin investors and miners.
How’s this supposed to work?
Well, the Bitcoin Interest team has reportedly coded two separate rewards into each and every one of its blocks. Of course, the miners get one of these rewards. But the second reward will apparently go to an interest pool that will do payouts for people who “stake” their bitcoins.
Sure, it’s not literal staking as in Proof of Stake cryptocurrencies, but the dynamic is certainly PoS-like on a superficial level, which is certainly an interesting wrinkle for a bitcoin chain.
The latter kind of interest rewards will be divvied out according to the BCI chain’s PoW algorithm. The amount of coins you receive as interest will depend on two basic factors: 1) how many BCI you are holding, and 2) how many BCI others are holding in the same interest pool.
The project certainly looks interesting. To be fair, there were some amateurish typos and phrasings on the BCI webpage, and the team members are unproven.
The interest system sounds very novel and promising, but perhaps it’s best to sit and wait on this one. See how it performs and how others do.
We wouldn’t advise jumping right in, at least just yet. Being overly cautious can oftentimes save you a lot of trouble in the cryptoverse.
The Bitcoin Interest ecosystem may end up working wonderfully. And if it does, you should be able to hop in later with no problems. That’s why we say a wait and see approach is best for now.
Featured Image via Bitcoininterest.io