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The Bitcoin Gold hard fork has taken place

A new cryptocurrency was created today via a hard fork on the Bitcoin blockchain. Bitcoin Gold (BTG) was created after block 491,407. Below is a table comparing the key splits that have occurred (or will occur) in the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain, including the newly created Bitcoin Gold:

According to the table, the supply of BTG is limited to 21 million units; the same as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and the potential SegWit2x split.

Bitcoin Gold will use a different proof of work algorithm to the original bitcoin. While bitcoin uses the SHA-256 algorithm, BTG will employ an algorithm called Equihash. Bitcoin Gold developers and enthusiasts see this as the new currency’s main improvement over the original bitcoin. The Bitcoin Gold website claims that the use of Equihash will allow any user from around the world to mine the cryptocurrency using a standard GPU (graphics processing unit). They further claim that this will help to decentralise and democratise the mining process, making the system’s infrastructure more sustainable and more in line with what Satoshi Nakamoto originally envisioned.

Bitcoin Gold’s block size will remain at its current level of 1MB, i.e. the same as that of the original bitcoin. New block will be created every 10 minutes on average (again, same as bitcoin). However, the difficulty of creating the next block will be revised after every individual block, as opposed to every 2 weeks on the Bitcoin network.

It’s important to note that a lot of cryptocurrency enthusiasts are sceptical about the Bitcoin Gold split. One subject of debate is that the Bitcoin Gold codebase contains a prerequisite of 8,000 blocks (100,000 BTG). This is evidenced by information that appeared on a cryptocurrency forum:

I don’t know how accurate this information is, but it’s fair to say that the current situation surrounding Bitcoin Gold is uncertain. It’s because of this that several exchanges have stated that they won’t be supporting the new currency, including the US-based Bittrex. While Bittrex did say that all its clients with a bitcoin balance would be credited with an equal balance in BTG, there’s no guarantee that BTG will be made available for trading.

Bitcoin Gold is expected to go live on the 1st of November. In my view, this split has yet to have much of an effect on the original bitcoin. Much more important for the cryptocurrency market is the proposed SegWit2x hard fork that is currently pencilled in for the 16th of November.

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