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56. BITCOIN GOLD (Published: 10th Oct, 2017)
At the beginning of the year it was only Bitcoin, August onwards we have Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash and it looks like November onwards we will have three different versions of Bitcoin. The Bitcoin blockchain is set to go through a second hard fork on 25th Oct giving birth to Bitcoin Gold (BTG). Existing private key holders of Bitcoin balance at the time of fork will be credited with an equal amount of Bitcoin Gold on November 1st, similar to the way Bitcoin holders received dividend during the birth of Bitcoin Cash.

The team of developers, miners and other key contributors to the project is led by Jack Liao, CEO Of Hong Kong mining firm LightningASIC. He is accompanied by Chinese mining tycoon and owner of Jinse.com (Bitcoin news portal) and, the project’s anonymous lead developer that goes by the name of H4x3rotab. The fork aims to protect Bitcoin ecosystem by creating a totally decentralised Bitcoin. The fork is another battle between the mining cartel and Bitcoin’s core developers. At one hand mining cartels are seeking for more hashpower, while at the other hand Bitcoin’s core developers are working towards decentralization.

The project developers hope to open up mining to more participants by replacing the Bitcoin’s mining algorithm with the one (Equihash) that enables mining via GPUs. Zcash uses the same algorithm, and it is resistant to ASIC chips. Bitcoin Gold will therefore compete with Ethereum for mining hardware, despite being closer in design to Zcash. It appears to be a smart move as Ethereum project is planning to switch its Proof of Work mining algorithm to Proof of Stake in 2018. Bitcoin Gold has also altered its difficulty adjustment, of which their blockchain will measure and adjust the difficulty with every block found.

The project still has a lot of roadblocks to cross before it reaches the proposed fork. The team has yet not released the mining software, mining pool and block explorer, further the project doesn’t have a wallet yet. The biggest criticism of the project is the developer’s decision to mine the new blockchain themselves for some time after the fork — thus keeping all the mining rewards. H4x3rotab mentioned on the project’s slack channel that the number of blocks they plan to mine would not be more than one percent of the total supply.

Despite the talks of hard fork, China banning the Bitcoin exchanges & ICOs and recently South Korea also banning the ICOs, the price of Bitcoin has managed to keep up to 4300 levels. The news flow followed a two to three weeks of huge volatility in cryptocurrency space but the price of Bitcoin recovered and recently crossed the 4500 levels. The fork doesn't look to have a major impact on the Bitcoin price. However it is interesting to note that Bitcoin Cash has been tanking down quite a lot in last few weeks. After the fork Bitcoin Gold will become a new member of Cryptomover’s Bitcoin Forking Index. It would be interesting to watch if Bitcoin Gold can have an entry similar to Bitcoin Cash. It would highly depend on how many versions of Bitcoin will market look to adopt and, if the intentions of Bitcoin Gold are genuine.

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