2017 can officially be termed as the year of hard forks. Back in August, we saw a hard fork that resulted in Bitcoin cash. Just a month back we saw another hard fork from Bitcoin called Bitcoin Gold. And now Super Bitcoin!
Proposed by Satoshi Nakamoto back in 2009, Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency ever. Back in the day, it used to be the most sophisticated digital currency. But unfortunately, that cannot be said now anymore. Some of the technologies are fairly outdated. That is why Bitcoin is facing massive scalability issues.
The core development team tried to combat this by introducing segregated witness. But this step too split the community into two parts. And that is when the Bitcoin Cash hard fork took place.
Unlike the original Bitcoin which has 1 MB block size, Bitcoin cash has 8 MB block size. According to cryptocurrency experts, 8 MB block size is ideal for cryptocurrencies with SegWit technology.
Last updated on 15th February 2018
Then, back in October, we saw another hard fork that gave birth to Bitcoin Gold. Currently, ASICs are dominating the Bitcoin mining scene. So gone are the days when you could mine Bitcoin with your three GPU rig. The main purpose of Bitcoin Gold is to solve this mining problem.
And they plan to do it by completely restricting ASIC mining. For that, they are using the Equihash algorithm. Equihash, being a memory heavy algorithm, is not ASIC friendly at all. Instead, it favors normal GPU rigs with lots of memory to play with.
Now we are about to see another hard fork of the original Bitcoin blockchain. Super Bitcoin is supposed to be hard forked on 17th December 2017. So let’s learn more about it.
Update: Super Bitcoin has been hard forked and currently trading on various exchanges.
What Is Super Bitcoin?
“Make Bitcoin Great Again” – and you thought this cannot get even more cheesy? The name’s cheesy enough to raise a few eyebrows, let alone the catchphrase.
According to the development team, they are releasing Super Bitcoin SBTC to eradicate all of the issues of the original Bitcoin.
As the website suggests, “It’s an experiment, trying to implement promising solutions that the community has been proposing.” So it feels like Super Bitcoin is all about solving issues raised by the Bitcoin community.
But why didn’t they create a new cryptocurrency from scratch?
Well, there can be many reasons, to be honest. It may be because they like the core structure of Bitcoin but want to improve some aspects. It may also be because they want to take advantage of the Bitcoin brand name.
It’s no doubt that the cryptocurrency community goes completely nuts whenever we see the name Bitcoin. So it’s a great business strategy to include the term “Bitcoin” for marketing purposes. But, forgive me because I digressed from my original plan to talk to you about Super Bitcoin.
The core development team claims that Super Bitcoin will be more scalable than the original Bitcoin. It will also be privacy-focused, which Bitcoin lacks, and the block sizes will be bigger, equal to Bitcoin cash’s 8 MB. The hard fork will take place at block height 498888 on December 17th. Users who keep their BTC at that time will get free SBTC at 1:1 ratio.
The Super Bitcoin team also shows their determination by stating “Talks are cheap, but actions (are) valuable.”
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Super Bitcoin – How Does It Work?
SBTC follows mostly the same principles of Bitcoin but with some twists. Just like the original Bitcoin, it’s a mineable cryptocurrency.
It will also have limited supply like Bitcoin. But while Bitcoin has a supply of 21 million BTC, Super Bitcoin will have 21 million SBTC and 210,000 SBTC more. The 210K SBTC is said to be premined by the dev team. Quite a large amount up for premine – isn’t it?
One of the main drawbacks of Bitcoin is its inability to create and support smart contracts. Vitalik realized this issue and created Ethereum. Ethereum is currently the world’s largest distributed computer network. It supports smart contracts and decentralized applications.
That is why Ethereum is the market leader when it comes to Initial Coin Offering projects. Super Bitcoin also plans to tackle this issue. The development team claims that they will incorporate smart contracts into their cryptocurrency to make it future ready. So if everything goes to plan we may see ICO campaigns built on Super Bitcoin.
Apart from this Super Bitcoin is also looking forward to including features like lightning network, ZkSNARKS and the support for bigger block size. I have discussed the features in detail, down below.
Let’s Talk About The Features In Detail
While Bitcoin cash sounded promising at first it added no value to the original concept except for bigger block size. In that aspect, Bitcoin Gold is more promising.
As this hard fork saw a few changes like algorithm change, block size change, mining difficulty change etc. Super Bitcoin also sounds promising when it comes to features and planned improvements. Let’s talk about them.
In my opinion, the most promising feature of Super Bitcoin is smart contract support. I cannot help but wonder how they are going to do it. Because they are going to be working with original Bitcoin’s blockchain at the beginning. But if they manage to incorporate this feature then it will be a hit!
According to the website, the smart contract feature will be added to the platform on 31st March 2018. After that Super Bitcoin will completely support Turing complete smart contracts.
One of the issues Bitcoin face is slow transaction times. And the lightning network is the ultimate solution to this. This project is still in alpha build and till now, the results are very promising. Super Bitcoin is looking forward to implementing the lightning network.
If the development team manages to do it then, transactions will be hundred times faster, reliable and the whole system will become more scalable. The official website doesn’t have any kind of information regarding implementation of the lightning network.
So it is safe to assume that Super Bitcoin will launch with lightning network implemented from the very beginning.
Unlike Bitcoin which has 1 MB blocks, Super Bitcoin will have 8 MB blocks. I believe this is to facilitate the new features that will be added. As a side note, Bitcoin cash also has 8 MB block size.
According to the official website of Super Bitcoin, it will have the ability to carry out zero-knowledge proofs. So it means it will introduce “Zero-knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge” to Bitcoin. This feature allows verifying transactions without giving away details like wallet addresses.
This is a privacy-oriented feature. This feature is already implemented in Zcash and being implemented in Ethereum. This feature will not be available from the beginning. Instead, it will be added on or before 31st May 2018.
I still have no idea regarding which cryptographic algorithm this cryptocurrency will use. But undoubtedly it won’t be SHA-256 in any case. In my opinion, it will either be Ethereum’s Ethash, the newest release of Dagger-Hashimoto or Zcash’s Equihash algorithm. In both of these cases, mining will be much easier and affordable than Bitcoin mining.
Who Are Behind This Project?
The Super Bitcoin team consists of three people, Ranger Shi, Li Xiao Lai and JiaPeng Lin. All of them are Chinese nationals. Ranger Shi is the chief scientist while the other two are founding members. Although Ranger Shi and JiaPeng Lin aren’t that known, Li Xiao is.
Li Xiao is quite a controversial character and made to news for his ICO campaigns like EOS, ICO.info, and PressOne. Nothing was heard from him after Chinese government banned all kind of ICOs, until now.
Although Super Bitcoin sounds very promising at first, the impression goes away as soon as take a look at their website. It’s vague, to say the least.
It doesn’t have useful information on subjects like what algorithm the cryptocurrency will use, which exchanges will support it, wallet software etc. Moreover, the project doesn’t even have a whitepaper.
Quite surprising for a cryptocurrency that is set to be released this December.
I also find the 210,000 premined SBTC quite alarming too. I wonder whether these many premined currencies are really needed. Even BTC.TOP founder Jiang Zhuoer finds it unethical.
I SUPPORT COMPETITION AMONG FORKED COINS, BUT I DON’T SUPPORT COINS WITH 210,000 PRE-MINE THAT ARE UNETHICAL AND UNFAIR
– JIANG ZHOUER
But the development team counters that it is needed to encourage early developers, operate the foundation and for ecological construction.
To be honest I find this new trend of hard forks and premines a bit disturbing. It’s like an ICO but disguised as a hard fork. Can we call these “Initial Fork Offerings” already, like Jiang calls them?
The project motto is also very unoriginal. I saw Samson Mow wearing a cap stating those exact same words way back in October 2016. I don’t mind a little banter, but you expect a financial project to be more serious than this.
Anyways, it’s still very early to make stern remarks about this cryptocurrency. And only time will tell whether it’s a scam or a gem.
Please keep an eye on our site to know more about Super Bitcoin. We will add more information as they become available.
Update: Super Bitcoin’s official website now provides a bit more information regarding their cryptocurrency. We also have the ability to download multiple wallets for SBTC. There is the default official desktop wallet which you can download.
Currently, SBTC is trading for $27.72 on an average with 24-hour trade volumes somewhere near $856K.