Bitcoin Gold (BTG), the cryptocurrency that emerged as a hard fork of the main Bitcoin blockchain in October 2017, on Thursday made personal history with its first and much anticipated hard fork.
Bitcoin Gold’s developers said the motivation for the fork is to reduce the risk of 51 percent attacks in the future and protect the coin from the threat of ASIC miners flooding its network.
The hard fork, changing the current proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm from Equihash to Equihash-BTG, was implemented on block 536,200. This will not result in the creation of another token, as is the case in most other hard forks. Rather, it will replace the old chain to allow for new updates to take effect.
There were no reports of bugs or any faults within the BTG blockchain in the hours following the hard fork. The team is emphasizing that the transition was smooth and there should be no cause for concern among coin holders.
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The team behind Bitcoin Gold has previously criticized “the monopoly manufacturer currently operates,” referring to major Chinese ASIC producer Bitmain, saying it is abusive to individual miners and the industry at large. This disagreement was one of the main factors of the original BTG hard fork last year.
The team decided that the best way to prevent this from happening is to tamper with the BTG algorithm to adopt new parameters that require much more memory for the ASIC to run and thus causing mining attempts to be unprofitable.
The network upgrade will also help prevent “double spending” attacks, in which transactions are reversed after being confirmed. The news should come as a relief to the BTG community after the numerous attacks occurred over the past few months. A total of 388,200 BTC has been stolen, which equals $18.6 million worth of funds.
According to coinmarketcap.com, Bitcoin gold is currently the 30th largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $516 million.
Commenting on the fork, BTG team said in a statement: “The new algorithm also comes with personalization that makes it harder to re-direct mining power through a “hashrate market.” The recent “51%” attacks, which may or may not have involved ASIC miners, were channeled through hashpower rental markets – but with this change in algorithm, there’s no longer a rental market for the algorithm we’re using, and it’s harder to set one up than before. This means more safety.”