The cryptocurrency industry is constantly growing, changing, and evolving. For alternative currencies, that often means introducing new changes to stay relevant. Verge, one of the many privacy-oriented currencies, has announced a new hard fork that introduces prominent changes.
Why a Hard Fork?
Cryptocurrencies can often evolve in two different ways. Either the developers pursue a soft fork, or a hard fork. In the case of a soft fork, there are no core changes introduced at the protocol level. Most of these developments offer quality of life improvements or minor changes that don’t “disrupt” the ecosystem as a whole.
A hard fork, on the other hand, is very different. This method should only be used to introduce crucial changes at the protocol level. Such changes include a change in coin emission, a new mining algorithm, et cetera. Hard forks can still introduce minor changes as well, but those are usually bundled in with the crucial protocol-level changes.
Given the changes introduced by the Verge developers, the choice for a hard fork makes perfect sense. These are not minor developments, and will effectively break network connections to nodes which fail to upgrade their client software accordingly. Many people would expect this to trigger a potential coin “split”, but it seems unlikely that Verge will see a split because of these new changes.
The Major Changes for Verge
Version 6.0.0 of the core Verge client will introduce 7 new block reward halvings to the current XVG emission schedule. These changes will go into effect following block 3,700,000, which is expected to be hit in the next few days. The first of these new block reward halvings will occur in mid December 2019.
Until block 3.7 million, miners will generate 730 XVG per block. That reward will be reduced to 400 coins for the following 500,000 blocks. By the time block 7,200,000 is reached, miners will only earn 6.25 XVG per block. Considering how Verge initially started out with a 200,00 XVG block reward for the first 14,00 blocks, the altcoin has come a very long way.
Although a hard fork could introduce a chain split and potentially new coins because of that, the Verge developers aren’t too concerned in this regard. There will be no new coins, nor will there be an airdrop. Anyone claiming to airdrop XVG – or assets related to this hard fork – is probably trying to scam users.
As far as users and node owners go, upgrading one’s Verge client is of the utmost importance. Mobile users on iOS and Android don’t need to undertake any specific action, as do Electrum and third-party wallet users. So far, it appears most of the exchanges have upgraded well in advance, thus no real problems are expected in this department either.
What About the XVG Price?
In the cryptocurrency industry, block reward halvings often spark price debates. As fewer coins are brought into circulation every day, one would expect the price per asset to rise accordingly. That is not necessarily the case by any means, as there are plenty of precedents where no action takes place at all.
That being said, this situation can be very different in the altcoin industry. These currencies are more prone to value fluctuations, either for better or worse. How all of these developments will affect the value per XVG, is impossible to predict ahead of time. There is still a lot of uneasy momentum in the crypto industry despite going through two rough years already.