United Bitcoin incites controversy with its complicated acquisition system

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In recent Bitcoin news, on December 12, developer Jeff Garzik launched a Bitcoin Core (BTC) based fork called United Bitcoin (UBTC) after the failure of Segwit2x. At block height 498,777 the snapshot occurred and the UBTC network started off like a typical fork; however, it turns out claiming the tokens is rather complicated.

Blockchain experts are hard at work planning for the development of cryptocurrency Bitcoin fork, United Bitcoin.

A development team consisting of  Jeff Garzik, his partner at the blockchain company, Bloq, chairman Matthew Roszak, and Bitbank Group’s Songxiu Hua announced plans for a UBTC project. The team planned to create a credit currency system pegged against fiat currencies incorporated with a native smart contract feature.

The network is based on the Bitcoin Core blockchain as it looked prior to December 12 with all active wallet holders entitled to receive UBTC at a 1:1 rate. Meanwhile, inactive wallets will go towards the UB Foundation to further blockchain development.

The UBTC team have been publicizing their project’s goals. In one video  Garzik  asks his audience “If I could start with a clean slate what technologies would I include?” Matthew Roszak says that United Bitcoin will encompass three important concepts: technology, community, and tokenomics by relying on cross-industry innovation.

As of now, the United Bitcoin network has only minimal infrastructure and community support.

In fact, there are only two miners who are processing UBTC blocks. One is an unknown entity and the other is the mining pool BW.com who has more than 70 percent of the network’s hashrate. The network’s total hashrate is only 50,811.47 TH/s with block intervals ranging from an hour and a half to the occasional 20-40 minute block.

With only 20 pending transactions right now, the network obviously has very, very few users as compared with a cryptocurrency like Ethereum. Blocks are averaging roughly 20-100 transactions with most block sizes well below 1MB. To put that in perspective, UBTC has the capacity for 8MB blocks!

United Bitcoin already has its own full node wallet client for Linux, Windows, and Mac operating systems.

Further, its source code is readily available for review. According to the distribution repository, a lightweight client release is due soon. There are three other wallets which support the UBTC protocol. Most compatible exchanges are based in Asia. Most of those remain unknown and exchange very little trade volume with the exception of Okex. According to Coinmarketcap statistics, one UBTC was worth $82 USD on
February 13, 2018.

The United Bitcoin project has one extremely controversial feature drawing ire from hardcore cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

Its opt-in airdrop feature would basically force a Bitcoin holder to provide some form of identification in order to obtain UBTC. Even without that step, in order to just get started with UBTC, one must supply a valid e-mail address and cell phone number. Then, the registrant has to also have a valid Bitcoin address in order to receive the 1:1 distribution.

Also controversial is the aforementioned Foundation’s claiming of “unused addresses” in which inactive addresses will be used for future development. To deescalate tensions, the development team is allowing an extended grace period so Bitcoin holders can claim their UBTC.

These identification requirements and the development team’s choice to claim Satoshi Nakamoto’s and the inactive addresses of other whales, makes UBTC a very controversial fork so far. On top of these already problematic issues, the network has little infrastructure, so, this bit of blockchain news isn’t going to go over well with most in the cryptocurrency community.

(For more information about Bitcoin forks, read Bitcoin fork accepts the mission of protecting anonymity.)

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