November 18, 2017

Bitcoin Splits Again, Creating a New Cryptocurrency Called “Bitcoin Gold”

After we have witnessed the splitting of the Bitcoin digital currency earlier this year in August, as a result of the formation of a new hard fork named Bitcoin Cash (BCC), now a new iteration of the cryptocurrency has been formed. Called Bitcoin Gold (BTG), it is an upgrade of its protocol that’s aimed at speeding up transactions.


First, there was Bitcoin, then Bitcoin Cash and now there’s Bitcoin Gold. Compared to the pre-existing Bitcoin, BCC stressed on high speed and volume of transaction. It also increased the block size to 8MB and removed SegWit2x proposal.

What Is Bitcoin Gold? What are its Features?

Bitcoin Gold is a fork of the Bitcoin blockchain. BTG aims to achieve decentralized mining operations by using a different algorithm which uses cheaper graphics processing units (GPUs). Instead of powerful mining machines called ASICs used in bitcoin, users can mine it with standard gaming graphics cards, similar to how mining is done with ethereum.

Features of Bitcoin Gold (BTG)

  • BTG implements a new PoW algorithm, Equihash, that makes mining decentralized again.
  • A hard fork of Bitcoin is the most fair and efficient method of creating and distributing a new digital asset.
  • Bitcoin Gold will implement full replay protection, an essential feature that protects users coins from being spent accidentally.

Why Is Bitcoin Splitting For The Second Time?

It’s a widely known fact that as more Bitcoins are being mined, due to the increasing difficulty, more and more capital is being needed for performing mining operations. As a result, countries like China, where electricity is a lot cheaper, are dominating the Bitcoin mining business.

To understand this, we should first know how the bitcoin system works. Transactions by users are gathered into “blocks” that are turned into a complex math solution. So-called miners, using high-powered computers, work these solutions out to determine if the transaction is possible. Once other miners also check the puzzle is correct, the transactions are approved and the miners are rewarded in bitcoin.

The need for high-end machinery has meant that mining is controlled by a small group of people with powerful computers. Jack Liao, the CEO of the  Hong Kong-based mining equipment manufacturing company ‘LightningAsic,’ along with some developers and miners, came up with bitcoin gold as a way to change this dynamic.

Bitcoin Gold’s lead developer is someone anonymous by the name of h4x3rotab and he/she claims that Bitcoin Gold is also a real blockchain to pilot Bitcoin upgrades.

Bitcoin gold’s innovation makes it easier for people without special hardware to mine the digital asset, according to its website. The idea is to allow bitcoin gold to be mined by more people with less powerful machines, therefore decentralizing the network further and opening it up to a wider user base.

Bitcoin Gold had decided to stop following the main blockchain and start implementing its own rules.


How to mine Bitcoin Gold? When can I mine it?

After the split, everyone who owns bitcoin will receive bitcoin gold, meaning those who own bitcoin will now hold one bitcoin gold for every bitcoin.

The planned Bitcoin Gold hard fork has taken place before the expected October 24, midnight. However, you can’t mine BTG right away. The first round of blocks will be allocated to the development team. After November 1, the code and mining software is expected to be open to the public.

How is bitcoin gold trading?

Since bitcoin gold was issued, its price has plunged over 66 percent, trading at just over $161 per coin, according to Coinmarketcap data.

Bitcoin gold, the new digital coin has faced teething problems in the few hours it has been around. The website for bitcoin gold suffered a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack), a type of cyber security attack when a server is overloaded with requests.

Bitcoin gold also faces hurdles for wider acceptance. Many major cryptocurrency exchanges have not begun trading in bitcoin gold yet. Coinbase, one of the largest online cryptocurrency exchanges, has said it won’t support bitcoin gold because of questions about its software.

“Coinbase cannot support Bitcoin Gold because its developers have not made the code available to the public for review,” Coinbase says. “This is a major security risk.”

The cryptocurrency community appears divided over whether splits are good for the future of bitcoin.

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