Will the real Bitcoin please stand up?

But the scalability problem remained, so it wasn’t long before another part of the community proposed a similar change that led to another fork, called Bitcoin Classic. It differed from XT on block size (2MB vs 8MB) but shared the same eventual fate -- irrelevance.

Bitcoin Unlimited came soon after, proposing variable block sizes of up to 16MB. Suffice to say, it didn’t live up to its name.

A soft fork stirs a rebellion

In 2015, one of Bitcoin’s core developers, Peter Wuille, proposed a way to allow transactions to take place more quickly not by increasing the block size but by conducting them off the actual blockchain and later settling them in bulk on the chain. It was given the frankly terrible name Segregated Witness. There was plenty of resistance, but in the end a majority of the nodes agreed on the changes and SegWit became a soft fork.

The resentment remained, though, and Bitcoin’s adoption of SegWit spawned many more hard forks down the road.

Bitcoin Cash

The first of these was Bitcoin Cash. To this day is the most successful cryptocurrency born from a hard fork. This proposal, like BitCoin XT, allowed the blocksize to be increased to 8MB. It also increased the rate of transactions to 60 a second, higher than XT’s 24 but not earth-shatteringly so.

Why then did Bitcoin XT fade into oblivion while Bitcoin Cash has gone on to become the world’s 12th largest cryptocurrency, worth more than $11 billion? Perhaps Bitcoin Jesus has the answer.

Bitcoin Gold

Bitcoin, which was designed to be decentralised, is arguably centralised in one way -- through its miners. Because of the size of the network, only very powerful computers validate transactions and bring home the encrypted bacon. This has led to a sort of arms race, and China now accounts for around 65% of all bitcoin mined globally.

Created in 2017, Bitcoin Gold aimed to solve this problem by changing the mining algorithm in a way that any individual user with an ordinary computer could mine Bitcoin. It has enjoyed moderate success and is currently the world’s 65th largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of about $1.8 billion.
Let's move on to other big developments of the week


Six startup unicorns in four days - This underlines how crazy busy the past week was in terms of deals. To put things in context, about 11 unicorns were born in India in all of 2020, which was a record milestone in itself. India's 2021 tally currently stands at 10 unicorns.

Unicorn Wave
GIF Credit: Tenor

On Monday, Meesho landed $300 million in a round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 at a valuation of $1.4 billion.
On Tuesday, Credit card repayment platform Cred secured $215 million financing at a valuation of $2.2 billion. The round was co-led by Falcon Edge and existing investor Coatue Management.
On Wednesday, Prosus Ventures and TPG Growth led a $350 million investment in Pharmeasy parent API Holdings at a valuation of $1.5 billion.
Also on Wednesday, Groww earned its unicorn tag after snagging $83 million from Tiger Global and others.
On Thursday morning, ShareChat raised $502 million from Tiger Global, and Lightspeed Venture Partners, Snap Inc. and Twitter, ascribing the homegrown social media platform a valuation of $2.1 billion.
Later on Thursday, Conversational messaging platform Gupshup raised $100 million from Tiger Global, pushing the company's valuation to $1.4 billion.
Startup Unicorns

The week also saw other large funding deals along with a big-ticket acquisition by edtech giant Byju's:

Online food delivery platform Swiggy has raised $800 million from investors led by Falcon Edge, Amansa Capital, Think Investments, Carmignac and Goldman Sachs. The deal is expected to value the Bengaluru-based company at $5 billion, sources told ET, a notable increase from $3.7 billion valuation, when Swiggy last raised funds in February 2020. This fundraise comes at a time when arch-rival Zomato is planning to tap the public markets in the next few months.
OFB Tech, the parent firm of business-to-business (B2B) platform OfBusiness, landed $110 million financing led by Falcon Edge Capital, at a post-money valuation of $800 million. The round, which was a mix of primary and secondary transactions, also saw participation from existing investors Matrix Partners India, Creation Investments, and Norwest Venture Partners.
Byju's made its largest-ever acquisition, with the purchase of offline tutorial chain Aakash Educational Services Ltd (AESL) in a cash and stock deal estimated at $950 million. This buyout is among the largest acquisitions by an Indian startup — bigger than Snapdeal’s purchase of Freecharge for $400 million in 2015 and Flipkart’s acquisition of Myntra for an estimated $330 million in 2014. The edtech major is also making a big international push with the launch of a new product - Byju’s Future School.

deals digest


60% startups set to relook Haryana operations over job reservation law

There are about 700 tech startups in Gurugram which are just under five years old. Several will find it difficult to comply with the law.

Kids' shows cast a spell on thousands of adult viewers
Kids Shows

Consumption of kids’ content on video streaming platforms such as Netflix surges as adults spend more time with kids courtesy of work-from-home during the pandemic.

E-commerce firms confident of riding out the Maharashtra lockdown

Most e-commerce firms are ready to get their staff tested, as mandated by Maharashtra’s latest Covid-19 guidelines. Online grocery firms are already witnessing a surge in orders.

Indian IT likely to post best Q4 results in five years, attrition a concern

Acceleration in digital technologies, improved demand following the pandemic, ramp-up in previous deal wins and migration to the cloud are driving revenues of IT services companies.

Wikipedia working on getting more women editors, content on women

The aim is to highlight the gender gap and bring more visibility to women - both in terms of the number of articles on women and the number of women editors contributing to the site.

Sourse: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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