Its original release date pushed back, Bitcoin Gold (BTG) is finally about the drop. The possibility of GPU mining on a Bitcoin chain is interesting, but is it compelling enough to outweigh BTG’s drama?
Bitcoin Gold Mainnet Goes Live
Bitcoin Gold’s developers have implemented numerous fixes that are now officially ready to go, per the team. Accordingly, the devs just announced the Bitcoin Gold mainnet would be launching on November 12, 2017, at 7p.m. (19:00 UTC). The source code was released on November 13, with Trezor announcing work has begun on their splitting tool.
The team’s finalizations reportedly include a per-block difficulty refinement, a unique A / G address prefix format, BIP143-backed full replay protection, Equihash Proof-of-Work full implementation, and a host of other lesser fixes.
BTG’s caused a stir in the community for striving to bring GPU mining to a Bitcoin chain. GPU mining is distinguished from the specialized ASIC mining rigs used to mine the incumbent Bitcoin chain on the basis that users can use basic computers and laptops to perform GPU mining.
BTG’s interesting goal, then, is to “decentralize” Bitcoin mining by taking the majority of the network’s hash power away from industrial mining farms and back into the hands of everyday, individual miners.
In a new statement, the BTG team was deferential, showering thanks upon these same miners who have been making Bitcoin Gold’s testnets possible so far:
“We are extremely grateful for the community around the world who have been contributing hash power to our testnets; besides patiently testing their own mining process, they allow exchanges, pools, wallet developers, and all other service operators to implement and test their support of BTG so that the bitcoin gold community can have a full suite of services at launch time.”
Early Hiccups Not Easily Forgotten, Though
While BTG finally seems to be living up to the project’s initial promises, there’s no question that the project’s team has been wracked by scandal and drama over the past few weeks.
Along with charges of overall incompetence and disorganization, the community’s largely been flabbergasted over how the Bitcoin Gold team has handled its pre-mining debacle.
First, the project’s devs said they’d be pre-mining the coin; then they said they wouldn’t and yet they ended up seemingly doing it anyways without informing the public.
Indeed, the BTG team declared their chain would be splitting off around October 25, though web investigators have determined the split likely occurred in late September or early October—the implication being that, if true, the devs pre-mined the coin for weeks.
If this situation really were the case, then the BTG team could’ve mined anywhere between 100,000 and 200,000 BTG coins.
Considering this general mood of concern, notable exchanges like Coinbase and Bittrex came out against supporting Bitcoin Gold, saying that the BTG team’s initial refusal to publish the project’s code was one among several red flags.
So, while the Bitcoin Gold project seems like it’s back on track, for now, there’s no denying that the project’s road to the present has been nothing short of choppy.
The team will have to engender a great deal of further stabilization before the community can truly forgive and look past BTG’s initial problems.