Earlier in the year, there were shockwaves sent around the cryptocurrency world thanks to the announcement that the blockchain—the fundamental foundation of Bitcoin—would be split, creating an entirely new currency; Bitcoin Cash. Bitcoin Cash is still surviving and has definitely made a name for itself. Perhaps that is what brought about the most recent fork.
According to a number of sources, including the widely-respected CoinDesk, today brought with it yet another fork of the Bitcoin blockchain. Like last time, this would create a brand new currency, however unlike Bitcoin Cash, which functions a lot like traditional Bitcoin, Bitcoin Gold is going to function a bit differently and aims to reach a different end.
This will probably come as little surprise, but in the immediate wake of Bitcoin Gold becoming an accepted fact, the price of Bitcoin fell by somewhat considerable margins. While the widespread view is that this is nothing more than a momentary reaction and that Bitcoin will bounce back, it goes to show you just how wary some people are of forks like this. What’s more, it begs the question of whether forks are a good, bad, or neutral thing for more established cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin.
Upon the creation of block number 491,407 on the Bitcoin blockchain, an alternative currency was created by way of a fork in the blockchain. Bitcoin Gold is now little more than 24 hours old, but is already gaining interest from people all over the world. The purpose of Bitcoin Gold is to alter the way in which miners are rewarded for their efforts in order to create a cryptocurrency that is more decentralized than even Bitcoin.
At the core of Bitcoin Gold is an effort to ensure, perhaps more so than Bitcoin currently is, that the currency itself will be truly decentralized. It will do this by no longer allowing the most powerful mining machines to be used. These are referred to as ASICs, and in recent years there have been increasing concerns about a few entities controlling a majority of the computing power, thus eating away at the idea of true decentralization. If Bitcoin Gold can create an environment where there are more and more individual miners, the idea of a truly decentralized currency will be realized.
While the hard fork between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash was fixated upon creating a network(s) that is able to accommodate more users, Bitcoin Gold’s aim is to restore decentralization.
When it comes to the differences between Bitcoin Gold and traditional Bitcoin, there are a few worth noting. For one, the actual cryptocurrency will have been created before the currency will be available in open-source form to the public. Though this is not nearly as significant, about 1% of the tokens mined prior to the network going live will be given to the development team as payment for their efforts. Once this disbursement is made, Bitcoin Gold will be available to the public.
It is unclear how Bitcoin Gold will actually alter the overall Bitcoin network and public perception of cryptocurrencies overall, but this announcement has been met with some mixed reviews. Most people are skeptical as to the coin’s realistic chance of surviving, while others are downright fed up with forks such as this one. We are going to reserve judgement for the time being, but Bitcoin Gold seems to have made an initial splash, if nothing else.
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