The Bitcoin Gold fork is right around the corner. What does this mean for Bitcoin? What is Bitcoin Gold anyway and why should I care? Will it be better than “normal” Bitcoin? I am glad I asked those questions for you, read on to find out more!
I am personally not a big fan of whimsical Bitcoin forks. They dilute the cryptocurrency scene and confuse the general public and those that are looking to enter the market. It is trying to use the Bitcoin name in an effort to use its success and promote your own altcoin and agenda. There are other perfectly good coins to use as trial and testing grounds (has anyone heard of Litecoin?) or just making your own coin from forking a codebase and doing your own thing. Just do not include the name “Bitcoin” in the name! Anyway I digress. On to the details. (Hey this does have an editorial tag after-all!) The BTG fork is supposed to occur on October 25th (Source), however, according to their own GitHub repo the fork has already happened:
“Bitcoin Gold (BTG) is a new proof-of-work cryptocurrency that will be hard forked from the Bitcoin blockchain on October 1 at block height 487427.” (Source)
While this is not damning evidence it certainly is an eye raiser. Has the fork happened or not? It does make quite a big difference if the point is already past. If everyone buying and holding Bitcoin will be left out if the snapshot has already taken place, what is the point? The original Bitcointalk threads about Bitcoin Gold are not useful as there is little real information and very few answers. The only real clear thing is that they want to change Bitcoins algorithm from SHA256 to equihash. For those who do not know, this would supposedly lead to better decentralization by obsoleting the current Bitcoin Application Specific Integrate Circuits (ASIC) miners and make the coin “ASIC resistant)”. (Thread 1, Thread 2)
Up until now this just looks like a crappy altcoin because of the lack of anything useful. But wait, there’s more! The good stuff was found by the user /u/EnviousArm over on his Reddit thread. He dug up a web archive of the Bitcoin Gold website from a few months back and now things start to look bad:
“BTCGPU will create 16000 blocks after forked from No 478558th Blcock. […]
it will be sold to ico investor.” (Source)
Okay now things look pretty bad. They tried to hold (what I can only assume) was a totally failed and pointless cash-grab-ICO. They have attempted to scrub all of this information off of the internet as well and hide it from public knowledge. Based off of their first reported block number and the current Bitcoin block height (489069 as of the time of this article) and at the reported 12.5 BTG per block that would be a premine in their pockets of 131,387 coins; and that is not even counting the most-likely continuing reduced difficulty and nethashrate. As a result, they could very easily have over a quarter of a million of coins premined by this time. (Source)
The Just Plain Ugly
If all of the previous was not enough to keep you away from Bitcoin Gold, here’s /u/EnviousArm’s updated list of everything we know to date that makes this coin worth of staying far away:
- Unfinished pow implementation
- Replay protection not implemented (You might lose your Bitcoins if you try to transfer or sell your airdropped Bitcoin gold be careful!):
- No change of difficulty algorithm implemented (they will compete with other GPU-mined coin for hashpower)
- No commits merged to main public repo in last 21 days
- Without the difficulty fix alone, this coin will crater rapidly.
- Source, all credit to /u/EnviousArm
In addition to all of this, the “promise” of a new coin is causing the market to behave very erratically, as I wrote about here! This thing is just an all around bad bet for everyone.
In Summary: Bitcoin Gold will not turn out like Bitcoin Cash. I will be ignoring this one entirely.