Bitcoin Atom (BCA) Hard Fork Arrives Today

A new proposal to modify bitcoin’s underlying protocol is full steam ahead, according to the backers of the Bitcoin Atom project.

Bitcoin Atom Hard Fork

An anonymous team of developers will fork the bitcoin blockchain on Wednesday, creating a separate digital currency it says will uphold the founding principles of Satoshi Nakamoto.

Like other forks, the new project aims to improve bitcoin’s underlying infrastructure with a focus on boosting speed and lowering transaction costs. Both speed and cost have been a major inhibitor to mass adoption of the digital currency as a payment method. As it currently stands, bitcoin is an excellent store of value, but is much less useful as a unit of exchange.

As reported by CCN, Bitcoin Atom is proposing to solve the problems of speed and cost by running both on-chain and off-chain solutions. In other words, lightening and atomic swaps.

The team claims it will also include exchange functionalities at the node level, which effectively means nobody can control the system. The Bitcoin Atom website claims it is creating “a truly decentralized bitcoin” based on a so-called hybrid consensus, Lightning Network swaps and built-in hash time-locked contracts (HTLCs).

The project’s leader, who remains anonymous, has described centralization as a less obvious weakness for bitcoin, but a weakness nonetheless. CCN obtained the following quote from the leader:

“Centralization is less obvious but the problem with main transfer of value in crypto world is exchanges. Centralized exchanges can be hacked or disappear or shut down by the regulators, and decentralized exchanges such as Etherdelta don’t trade bitcoin and only trade ERC-20 tokens. Even at that, they can get hacked”, He says.

Based on the project’s website, the new token protocol will be release “as toolkit” by March before Lightning Network implementation commences in late 2018. However, the actual fork is scheduled to take place at block 505,888, which falls on Jan. 24 (today). According to Bitcoin Block Explorer (, block 505,831 was mined seven minutes ago.

Market Information

Bitcoin Atom trades under the symbol BCA, and is currently listed at a price of $466.49 USD on CoinMarketCap. According to the Partners section of the website, the token will be available on the following exchanges: OKEX, Yobit and Exrates. Digital currency wallets Coinomi, Atom Wallet and ESR have also supported the project.

The group’s Telegram page has 2,655 members at the time of writing.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.


Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi