If you didn’t know it, Bitcoin had two major community-driven hard forks in 2017. The first one happened in August resulting in the formation of Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The next one happened in October, leading to the formation of yet another Bitcoin crypto – Bitcoin Gold (BTG).
What’s Bitcoin Gold?
Bitcoin Gold (BTG) is an open-source blockchain cryptocurrency that splintered off the main Bitcoin platform after a hard fork over apparent centralization of mining. The forking officially happened on 24 October 2017 at block height 491407.
Bitcoin split again! Any explanation
Bitcoin Gold’s main concern that led to the decision to fork BTC revolved around the mining process. The team behind the fork wanted to decentralize mining; to make Bitcoin easier to mine using GPU equipment rather than through the specialized and expensive ASICs. The main concern was that ASICs locked out average miners who could not afford to acquire Application Specific Integrated Circuits.
Here are the differences between Bitcoin Gold and Bitcoin (BTC)
There are two main areas in which Bitcoin Gold (BTG) differs or tries to set itself apart from the original coin Bitcoin. Let’s have a look and find out whether Bitcoin Gold is really different from its largely successful parent.
Bitcoin Gold uses Equihash proof-of-work hashing algorithm while Bitcoin uses SHA 256.
- By electing to use the Equihash hashing algorithm, Bitcoin Gold becomes ASICs- resistant thereby allowing miners with GPU hardware to carry out mining.
- The monopolization or ‘centralization’ of mining by large farms is avoided; the equipment needed to mine using Equihash must have a bigger RAM, exactly what the ASICs lack.
- This hashing algorithm helps to decentralize mining, a point the Bitcoin team advocated for before the fork.
It’s worth noting that Bitcoin Gold adjusts mining difficulty after every block while Bitcoin does so after every two weeks.
Bitcoin Gold has replay protection while Bitcoin (BTC) does not.
- Replay protection is when transactions are rehashed to prevent a scenario where the same transaction is broadcast from BTC to BTG or vice versa. It is vital as it protects users against replay attacks.
- When a fork of an existing blockchain occurs, users find themselves with the two currencies; the new crypto giving existing users some coins in what is called an “airdrop”.
- An attacker can exploit a lack of protection to steal both the BTG and BTC from a user who only wanted to transfer BTC and not BTG from their wallet.
- By implementing full replay protection, Bitcoin Gold secures users on its network.
Bitcoin Gold Market Cap and Price
Bitcoin Gold has a market cap of $1975113176 (Friday, 9th Feb, 2018.). The total circulating supply is at 16,913,924 BTG and is trading at the price of $130 (Friday, February 9, 2018).
BTG had an ATH price of $524 on the first day of trading. However, its price took a dive to fall to a low of $74 by February 6, 2018. It picked up again to close the day at $100 on February 8.
Bitcoin Gold, which is mineable as we have seen, now ranks 14 on CoinMarketCap.com out of the 1514 cryptocurrencies. The price is now up 50% to $153.41.
How to get Bitcoin Gold?
You can do mining, which is not very expensive bearing in mind it uses GPUs. Solo mining won’t be that profitable, given the mining difficulty. So, I advise you join one of the mining pools allowed on the BTG network. The block reward for a successful mine is 12.5 BTG per block.
Alternatively, you can buy BTG from any of the exchanges that provide for buying and selling. This is an easier option because all you need is to have some cash.
- Go to one of the exchanges (Bitfinex is my favorite) and get an account.
- Get a wallet (you can start with BTGWallet online).
- Buy BTG and store in your wallet.
Is BTG a worthy investment?
Well, the short answer to this question would be that it is. But that is a tricky terrain, going by the unpredictable volatility of cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, considering it forked successfully from Bitcoin (BTC), I’d safely say that if you have some money to spare, try it out.
Like the illustrious Bitcoin, BTG will have 21million coins only. It, therefore, means the value of Bitcoin Gold is only likely to go higher once the Max supply is reached.
That’s long term. In the short term, Bitcoin Gold will find it difficult to compete with the established cryptocurrencies. It will gain value, but it won’t blow off the roof. A good strategy would be to buy and hold; the potential is always there for a crypto to go a wild ride.
Bitcoin Gold is a successful fork of Bitcoin (BTC). It’s already available on numerous platforms and can be used as a store of value or payment of goods and services. To learn more about BTG, visit our guides’ page. Invest wisely!