Anyone who wields bitcoin will soon be able to receive a fresh cryptocurrency.
Spil of block 491,407 on the bitcoin blockchain, another alternative version of the protocol will be launched, resulting ter a variant that’s being branded bitcoin gold (BTG).
The project, which seeks to improve bitcoin’s technology by switching how its competition for prizes is conducted, is the 2nd to launch since August via an increasingly common process called a “hard fork.”
Readers may reminisce the term from the launch of bitcoin contant, the alternative version of the bitcoin protocol that spurred global headlines for unexpectedly creating billions of dollars ter value, seemingly out of skinny air.
Looking ahead, many industry observers are expecting the same results this time around, however there may be reasons for enthusiasm to be tempered.
What is bitcoin gold?
Ter brief, bitcoin gold aims to achieve two goals:
- Very first, bitcoin gold wants to switch how mining works by making it so the most powerful mining machines (called ASICs) can no longer be used.
- 2nd, by attracting more people to this system overheen time, it hopes to free the bitcoin network from the large companies that suggest thesis products, and it argues, guideline undue influence on the network.
Instead of scaling bitcoin to support more users, bitcoin gold tweaks bitcoin te an effort to “make bitcoin decentralized again.” This, proponents argue, will make the network, designed to opoffering an egalitarian way to send payments digitally around the globe, more accessible to users.
And while created via the same mechanism, bitcoin gold differs from bitcoin metselspecie ter a few ways, most notably te its distribution.
- The bitcoin gold cryptocurrency is set to be created te advance (prior to the code being open-sourced to the public).
- About 1 procent of the total cryptocurrency tokens mined before the blockchain goes public will be used to pay the bitcoin gold development team.
- Once this distribution is overheen, the team claims it will launch the cryptocurrency so that users can redeem their coins.
Of course, while it aims to become the de-facto version of bitcoin, others might consider bitcoin gold an “altcoin” – the term has long bot used to denote any cryptocurrency launched using bitcoin’s existing code, but that has an alternative market or use case.
Do I have bitcoin gold?
All bitcoin owners will receive the cryptocurrency at a rate of 1 BTC to 1 BTG, setting the stage for possible market activity.
But, that’s not to say it’s totally intuitive to retrieve.
One quirk is that it’ll be lighter to redeem the funds from wallets or exchanges that recognize the cryptocurrency. The easiest way, then, to retrieve the bitcoin gold is to stir bitcoin to a wallet or exchange that supports bitcoin gold, or to hold bitcoin te a wallet where you own your private keys (rather than holding them with an exchange).
To date, 20 exchanges and wallets promise to support bitcoin gold once it launches, according to the project’s webstek.
Albeit one of the most popular U.S.-based exchanges, Coinbase stated on October 20 that it does not support bitcoin gold due to skepticism about how developers have made project information available to others.
“At this time, Coinbase cannot support bitcoin gold because its developers have not made the code available to the public for review. This is a major security risk,” the postbode reads.
This is perhaps something to keep an eye on spil the project progresses. Albeit the project will officially fork on Monday night, it’s not yet open to anyone and everyone, and there’s still slew left on the developers’ to-do list.
Who is behind bitcoin gold?
The team behind the hard fork emerges to be a relatively puny group.
Hong Kong-based LightningAsic CEO Jack Liao, who’s an outspoken critic of the state of bitcoin mining, very first broached the idea of bitcoin gold back te July.
His company LightningAsic sells mining equipment, including GPUs, the type of computing hardware bitcoin gold is supposed to rely on.
Since very first introduced earlier this summer, the team has expanded to include pseudonymous lead developer h4x3rotab, spil well spil a team of five other volunteers who are now working on developing and promoting the cryptocurrency ter their spare time.
The project can be tracked on Github and on the community Slack group.
How do people feel about bitcoin gold?
All that said, for those interested te exploring or using bitcoin gold, it’s worth noting that it has generated its share of controversy.
Satoshi Labs CEO Marek Palatinus, who launched bitcoin’s very first everzwijn mining pool, is skeptical the project will actually work to decentralize mining spil planned.
And he’s not the only one to throw shade at the fresh project.
Bitcoin developer Rhett Creighton is working on alternative bitcoin gold “protest fork” software that seeks to pursue the same idea but without setting aside some of the fresh cryptocurrency for development.
If more than 51% of miners choose to use his software, the so-called pre-distribution to developers will be erased, he told CoinDesk. “It’s up to the miners to determine what they want,” he added.
All ter all, it’s unclear if business and mining groups will ultimately support the project, and if they do, how much value the alternative blockchain could create.
For example, while a list of toughly 50 businesses and miners support the so-called Segwit2x fork, similar support hasn’t bot seen for bitcoin gold. Likewise, tho’ bitcoin metselspecie began with support from vocal miners and exchanges, bitcoin gold has arguably yet to benefit from such early activity.
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which helped organize the Segwit2x agreement.
The leader ter blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a rigorous set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests te cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.