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What is the BTCP-Rebase and why are we doing it? An Explanation

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This article is also available in German and Chinese language.

If you have been following the news in the Bitcoin Private universe lately, you most likely came across the  highly anticipated “Rebase”.

Everybody involved in BTCP in one way or another has high hopes for a successful and timely release of the latter. On this blog, we strive to keep you updated to our best abilities. Regardless, we also get asked a lot why we are doing this Rebase in the first place and what this actually means for the BTCP blockchain.

To answer that question, we need to take a look at the history of BTCP and its ancestry.

The figure below shall help you understanding the explanations herein.

Let’s begin with Bitcoin Private’s ancestry.

Zcash and Zclassic

Not too long ago in 2015, a group of developers realized the importance of encrypted transactions. It was clear to them that pseudonymity as it is offered by Bitcoin cannot meet the requirements of commerce. Can’t blame Bitcoin really, since a full zero knowledge encryption had just been invented in 2014, called zk-Snarks. Said encryption allows the secret-bearer to never reveal his secret and still prove his validity.

So Zk-Snarks was implemented into an entirely new blockchain offering zero-knowledge transactions. For the sake of convenience and safety, the developers did not build the entire blockchain from the scratch but instead made use of the codebase of Bitcoin. The latter is represented by the dotted line connecting Bitcoin’s and Zcash’s codebases in the figure above.

As a result, the arising Blockchain has many features similar to Bitcoin such as the limitation to 21 Million coins and other. The outcome of this project was called Zcash and started operation in 2016. In the figure above, the original codebase of Bitcoin is represented in white color. The zk-Snarks encryption is represented in green color. Hence, Zcash showing white and green bars.

Shortly thereafter, developers disagreed over the fact that Zcash included a 20% founder’s tax for newly mined coins. The disagreement climaxed in a fork of the still so young blockchain, meaning a “divisional blockchain” was created. The outcome of this fork was called Zclassic. Zclassic comprises an almost identical code, yet with literally 22 lines of code less than Zcash, namely the strings of code covering the challenged founders tax and a so-called slow start which aimed to an artificial scarcity of Zcash.

Naturally, Zclassic also comprises the original Bitcoin codebase, hence the white bar in the figure above. Also here, the green bar represents the zk-Snarks encryption feature.


In the meantime, Bitcoin experienced many updates. The most relevant were aiming to make Bitcoin fit for the Lightning network such as SegWit support and others. The complete list of developments can be found here. With reference to the figure above, said updates of Bitcoin blockchain are represented in a gradual shift of color from white to blue. Blue represents the Bitcoin blockchain including all the new features.

Forking Bitcoin Private

When the idea of Bitcoin Private came to life mid December 2017, it was clear that the zk-Snarks encryption is the best possible solution as it offers a perfect protection of privacy. It was also clear that one day Bitcoin Private should become a member of the Lightning Network family; a feature no other privacy coin has planned implementing as of today.

At the time of the fork – seen from a codebases’ perspective – the situation is as follows: there is an old version of Bitcoin with zk-Snarks encryption (Zclassic) and a new version of Bitcoin without encryption (BTC) available.

Problem: how to combine the best of those two blockchains?

Solution: an entirely new approach was crafted. It was decided to merge-fork both Bitcoin and Zclassic simultaneously. The idea was to start with the old Bitcoin DNA comprising zk-Snarks and to catch up with Bitcoin later down the road. Accordingly, the codebase of Zclassic was chosen initially and only the addresses and balances of Bitcoin were sourced into the fork. The latter is also represented in the figure above.

As a side note, one outcome of this merge-fork was that both Zclassic and Bitcoin addresses holding coins needed to be compensated with Bitcoin Private coins. That is why the current circulating supply of BTCP is almost at the maximum of 21 Million coins. To tackle this problem, a so-called “Unclaimed Coins Removal” will be conducted probably mid 2019, gradually deleting the 14 Million yet unclaimed BTCP and feeding them back as miner’s rewards.

Bitcoin Private’s codebase: from Fork to Rebase

As shown above, the (active) codebase currently consists of the old Bitcoin codebase currently without the encryption feature. Hence the white color of the bar.

The importance of the Rebase is now fairly obvious.

The Rebase will not only include (most) of the latest features of Bitcoin and the encryption of Zclassic but much more. Bitcoin Private aims to accomplish a large set of individual features such as ASIC mining resistance, Sapling (making encryption much faster), “Unclaimed Coins Removal”, private transactions from Electrum and mobile and much more.

After the Rebase, Bitcoin Private will have its very unique set of tools that will render it entirely different from its ancestors Zclassic and Bitcoin.

When Rebase?

Good things don’t happen over night.

Bitcoin Private chose the hard way, meaning no enrichment of founders via a founder’s tax and no closed pre-mining of coins prior to starting the blockchain. Beneficial for the community and the public perception but of course adversely for funding highly skilled developers. However, due to the captivating skillset of Bitcoin Private and its noble approach, the idea itself attracts skilled people from all walks of life, helping the community to grow and prosper.

The Rebase is currently tested by means of a Testnet, which progress is documented publicly here.

As soon as anything new arises in this matter, we will of course inform you on short notice.

From our best knowledge, Rebase is envisaged to happen within the next weeks or few months.




By Team, 14. December 2018


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Dr. Michael Plevan
The success of Blockchain and Bitcoin Private stands and falls with its community. In order to achieve widespread adoption, we need investors, miners, and people who are open and outspoken about this technology. I would like to serve as a source of information and contact for questions.
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