Your All-Round Guide to Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
Cryptocurrency forks are regular occurrences in the crypto space. Bitcoin has witnessed many iterations through this activity. One of Bitcoin’s most anticipated forks, Bitcoin Gold, occurred sometime in 2017.
While there are several intentions behind hard forks, including the opportunity to scale up as the customer base grows or as a result of a disagreement in vision and objectives between developers, Bitcoin Gold noted that its purpose for the fork is to “make Bitcoin decentralized again.”
At first glance, this goal seems somewhat counter-intuitive. Bitcoin is indeed decentralized; it isn’t under the control of any entity or group; neither is it regulated by the government.
So what exactly could Bitcoin Gold’s aim be? BTG was not talking about central issuance when it highlighted decentralization. Instead, it was referring to Bitcoin’s mining process.The creators of BTG explained that by utilizing a new algo for the mining process (in this case, an algo which is known as Equihash), Bitcoin can now become less disproportionate in favoring mining operations. Bitcoin Gold is a newly released cryptocurrency that has been garnering increasing adoption by crypto fanatics around the world because of its multiple usabilities and also because it is a derivative of Bitcoin.
In this article, you will get an in-depth review of what Bitcoin Gold is all about, how it is being mined, the necessary tools for mining, and other relevant information about the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin Gold 101
Bitcoin Gold is a hard fork derivative from Bitcoin, however, it has a more decentralized mining infrastructure compared to Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Gold is represented with BTG and has a total token pool of about 18 million BTG.
The BTG mainnet was released on the 12th of November 2017 after a beta testing version was successfully run.
BTG functions on a Proof-of-Work algo running Equihash, which can be mined through the use of General Purpose Computer Hardware. ASICs cannot use this digital asset created for Bitcoin, which reduces competition over insufficient resources from Bitcoin.
The evolution of Bitcoin Gold
Jack Liao and several other developers established BTG in November 2017. The founding team is supported by a group of experienced developers who are tasked with updating the system regularly. The founding fathers sought to bestow BTG users with the ability to mine using ubiquitous GPUs.
BTG was modeled in a manner to decentralize mining and also to authenticate Bitcoin transactions.
Bitcoin Gold’s Timeline
BTG is yet another Bitcoin derivative that has had its fair share of security threats and attacks. Shortly after its launch, the cloud site was receiving more than 10 million requests per minute, which caused the system to get clogged and crash. The DDoS attack was handled swiftly, however, that didn’t stop the mining community from lashing out at BTG over gross incompetence. This caused the BTG token to drop in value.
In May 2018, BTG was a victim of a grand hack scheme, which saw the perpetrators make away with about $18 million in cryptocurrency from the network’s holdings.
Subsequently, the network was accused of hiding a 0.5% mining charge from the mining community. This caused the Bitcoin community to deny BTG of their support, causing the price of the token to plummet even further.
BTG was priced at $456.25 at release but has sustained a downward trend since that period. It sustained a dropped to the $100 level in January 2018. It has been downtrend after downtrend ever since.
At the time of writing, BTG is valued at $6.70 (98.5% decrease since its original price at debut) and has a daily trading volume of $17,695,392. Like Bitcoin, it has a total supply of 21 million tokens and currently has about 18 million tokens in circulation.
BTG has a market capitalization of $117,192,656 and dominates 0.05% of the total market space. It is ranked at the 41st position in the market based on market capitalization.
The Technology Backing Bitcoin Gold Technology
BTG operates on SIGHASH_FORK_ID replay protection. It implements a new algo that evaluates the hash of a transaction and delivers 2-way replay protection. It also nullifies Bitcoin transactions on the BTG blockchain and vice versa.
The equihash algo inhibits the centralization of BTG to disallow small groups of wealthy investors to manipulate the price of this cryptocurrency, thereby providing stability to BTG prices.
Also, Bitcoin Gold uses DigiShield V3 to maintain a 10-minute interval between the creation of Bitcoin blocks to sustain difficulty.
Bitcoin Gold’s Blockchain
The BTG blockchain is a decentralized peer-to-peer system that runs on the PoW consensus mechanism. It uses the Zhash hashing algo and new tokens are dispensed at every new block.
As with the crypto giant, Bitcoin, the system undergoes a halving event every four years. Bitcoin, as well as Bitcoin Gold, is set to undergo another halving this year.
BTG shares similar characteristics with Bitcoin because it is a derivative of it. For example, the block creation time of BTG is ten minutes with a block size of 1 megabyte. This is the same with Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Gold Nodes
Nodes are the anchor of any network. BTG has two nodes; full nodes and light nodes.
Full nodes, also known as Full Validation Nodes, are the most important nodes. They download and disseminate the complete transaction history of the blockchain. They also authenticate transactions and blocks on the system. To use the full node, you will be required to download the full blockchain, which is over 200 gigabytes at the moment.
Light nodes, however, are the most active nodes on the system. They download a section of the blockchain and ensure that it is updated regularly. Light nodes, unlike full nodes, do not fulfill any validation purpose.
Features of Bitcoin Gold
1- It has a decentralized system: The PoW algorithm decentralizes the mining process on BTG’s blockchain and inhibits the use of specific technical chips for mining. Users can mine BTG using GPUs in a purely decentralized setting.
2- Replay production: This feature protects users against cyber attacks. It safeguards against transaction, duplication, and loss of funds by ensuring that transactions on one chain are invalid on others.
3- Insurance against huge swings: Deviation in the aggregate percentage of hash power can be avoided by adjusting the difficulty algo, which also safeguards against considerable swings in hash power.
4- Special addressing setup: BTG has altered the style of its address to avoid it getting mistaken with Bitcoin’s address. This helps deter the unintentional transfer of BTC to a BTG address, which could lead to the permanent loss of funds.
Trading Bitcoin Gold
One of the factors that determine the success of a digital asset is its accessibility to public exchanges. Based on the information on BTG’s website, the digital asset is readily available for trading bitcoin on several exchanges. Some of these exchanges include Bithumb, Bitfinex, Binance, Tdax, Indacoin, and a host of others. BTG is also tradable against several other cryptocurrencies and offers a wide array of usabilities.
BTG’s website lets us know that BTG is currently available on 45 markets and 34 exchanges as of January 2018. As BTG continues to grow in widespread use, more exchanges will begin listing the asset on their platforms, giving it an even wider reach.
Storing Your BTG Tokens
Bitcoin Gold can be stored on various mediums. One well-known storage medium is its default wallet; BTG Core Wallet v0.15.1. However, this wallet consumes a great deal of space and memory, unlike other third-party wallets which are small in size and do not require as much storage space. Some of these third-party wallets include:
- Ledger Wallet
and many more.
The Distinguishing Factors Between BTG and Other Cryptocurrencies
BTG has some awe-inspiring qualities that help it stand out above the competition. Listed below are some of these qualities:
1. All wallets and transactions are pseudonymous. BTG users can track the movement of tokens, where the transaction originated from and its destination.
2. BTG can be traded on 34 exchanges and can also be traded against a selection of 72 different cryptocurrencies.
3. BTG mining is open to anyone with a computer system with GPU graphics cards. BTG is based on a social equality principle, unlike other Bitcoin derivatives.
4. BTG has a Lightening Network integrated into its system, which significantly reduces transaction fees and increases the number of transactions executed per second.
BTG might take over from Bitcoin mining firms by producing an alternative mining algo which is not vulnerable to ASIC-based optimization. This will give rise to a more accessible mining platform, which will invariably boost investment in security.
BTG’s Dedication to Transparency and its Safety Measures Against Cybercrime
Asides from making Bitcoin decentralized again, BTG’s creators were also concerned with matters relating to distribution, security, and transparency. BTG’s website mentions that hard forking Bitcoin’s blockchain will deliver a fairer and more efficient digital asset to interested cryptocurrency users.
Also, in today’s world, digital currencies are always the target of cybercriminals and bad actors, and so BTG has taken firm steps to ensure the security of the funds and information of its customers. The security measures include replay protection and distinct wallet addresses.
Launch and Controversy
After BTG was released, the creators performed what is popularly known as a “post-mine.” This involved the retroactive mining of 100,000 tokens after the forking event. This was done through the instantaneous mining of about 8,000 blocks, which were earmarked for administrative use and for growing the network.
5% of that 100,000 tokens were reserved as bonus payments for the six primary executives of the firm. Everyone that owned a Bitcoin at the time received a BTG token. Which means, for every single Bitcoin, one BTG token was allotted. This was how BTG got distributed.
In March 2018, BTG had achieved 253 reachable nodes. Germany had the most concentration of nodes followed by the US and France.
Bitcoin Gold Mining
Unlike regular Bitcoin mining, which requires sophisticated tools and adequate expertise, mining BTG requires only a computer system and a Graphics card.
Miners use the computer system and graphics cards to validate BTG transactions. When a transaction is authorized, the miners are rewarded with a block for the task.
In mining, there are two distinct types; solo mining and pool mining. Solo mining involves mining cryptos by yourself, whereas pool mining involves joining a mining firm or network to mine blocks collectively.
Solo mining generally requires several powerful computers with different top-notch video cards. Pool mining, however, is less demanding as resources are pooled together to achieve the same objective. In pool mining, block rewards are shared between miners in the pool according to the percentage of work done, whereas in solo mining, all rewards go to the individual miner.
Requirements for Mining the BTG Blockchain
Let’s say you’re interested in mining BTG, here are the necessary tools you might need:
1. A functioning computer system.
2. A crypto wallet to receive and transfer tokens.
3. Mining software to enable your computer to solve blocks.
4. A registered account on an exchange to trade your mined BTG for other cryptos or fiat.
Necessary BTG Mining Hardware and Software
BTG mining can quickly be done using graphics cards. Still, you will need to assemble a mining PC with the listed auxiliary components:
1. A processor: You don’t necessarily need a super-fast processor, a standard Intel Celeron will do.
2. A motherboard: A mining motherboard that has several PCI ports for your graphics cards are quite common, any standard motherboard selection will do in this case.
3. Random Access Memory: A minimum of 4 gigabytes will be necessary for mining.
4. Storage: A decent SSD is required for storing your OS and mining software. You can also run your system on an external hard drive. However, it slows the boot time of the system.
5. Power: One graphics card requires a minimum of 800W so you would need to calculate the number of graphics cards being used and supply power accordingly.
6. Casing: Normal ATX case cannot support more than 4 graphics cards. If you’ll be using more than that number, then you’ll have to customize a casing.
You could also decide to buy your mining case off designated websites. If you’re considering doing so, you’ll need to buy PCI-E riser cables; these allow you to connect numerous graphics cards on the same motherboard.
Furthermore, there are designated websites, like PCPartPicker, that helps you organize and assemble your mining equipment at a cheaper rate. However, the parts don’t come with a warranty, so you’ll have to replace broken or malfunctioning parts from your pocket.
PCPP also helps assess whether your selected components will work together and function efficiently.
Even though it is technically feasible to mine BTG using just your default computer processor, it might not be an efficient option. Normal processors, unlike graphics cards, are very slow and, in most cases, will not reap even the least mining rewards. This could leave you at a loss as you will not make back the expense of running a mining system, which makes processor mining extremely unproductive.
Unlike Trading Bitcoin, which requires a dedicated software like Bitcoin Trader, Bitcoin Revolution, Bitcoin Evolution, Mining BTG requires the right mining software. This software links your computer to the network or pool and allows you to begin the hashing procedure. Listed below are a few compatible BTG mining software:
1. EWBF Miner.
2. Claymore’s AMD Miner.
Advantages of BTG
1.Unlike Bitcoin, Bitcoin Gold was created with one thing in mind; equality. BTG can easily by mined by any interested party provided they possess the necessary equipment.
2. Because BTG is mined with GPUs, it doesn’t require much capital to start up, unlike its big brother. This boosts decentralization.
3. Since it is a fork of Bitcoin, you will possess the same number of BTG tokens as BTC that you had before the fork.
Disadvantages of BTG
As with everything on this earth, BTG has its shortcomings. Here are a few weaknesses worth mentioning:
1. It stalled the release of its source code, which incited distrust in its users.
2. The BTG team always seem to be unsettled in their actions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What differentiates Bitcoin from Bitcoin Gold?
Bitcoin is the pioneering cryptocurrency in the world while BTG is a fork of Bitcoin.
What is BTG?
BTG, a fork of Bitcoin, addresses mining problems by switching the SHA-256 algo in Bitcoin with its Equihash algo instead.
What is the purpose of BTG?
According to their mission statement, the BTG aims at “making Bitcoin decentralized again”.
How do I claim a BTG token?
The quickest way to get a BTG is by buying it on an exchange that trades the cryptocurrency.
How do I sell my BTG token?
You can sell your BTG tokens on any of the exchanges listed in this article. You could also engage a brokerage in private trade and sell your tokens.
Should I invest in BTG?
That question should be directed at your financial advisor. However, if you don’t have one, do a little “soul-searching” to find out if BTG is really for you.
When did the BTG fork event happen?
BTG was officially announced in November 2017.
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