On November 12, during a tumultuous weekend when Bitcoin saw a challenge thrown down by upstart Bitcoin Cash, another crypto was quietly launched: Bitcoin Gold. Its reception was either ignored or sneered at in the Press. Amidst headlines such as “Bitcoin Gold Fails To Impress Investors” and “Bitcoin Gold Goes Live After Bumpy Blockchain Launch”, it seemed the obituary was already being composed. But should we write off Bitcoin Gold?
One of the strangest things for a coin apparently so pointless and doomed was the hostility Bitcoin Gold received in the run-up to its formal issuance, and not just from the crypto-press. A Twitter scam lured potential customers to malware sites, and someone invested in a full-scale DDOS attack on the Bitcoin team. That is a suspicious whole bunch of attention.
So, why? Firstly it’s an alt-coin, which means that unlike Bitcoin Cash, for example, it’s not a branch of the original Bitcoin chain. Despite the name, holding it doesn’t mean you have Bitcoin. In that sense, it’s not a competitor – but in another sense, it could turn out to be a deadly rival for certain vested interests in the blockchain mining industry.
The reason is that Bitcoin Gold-mining can be done on desktop computers as well as ASICS – industrialised chip arrays that now dominate Bitcoin mining. Bitcoin Gold uses Equihash (like ZCash does) and it is inherently democratic in its coin-creation algos, meaning CPUs/GPUs are more efficient than industrial miners when it comes to Bitcoin Gold. And, like Monero, there is robust-to-total replay protection.
But therein lies the problem and maybe the source of the hostility. The big miners bet everything on Bitcoin Cash. If that doesn’t work (and it might not), they don’t want another rival they cannot control.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin continues its wild gyrations, up again, currently $7,400 from $6,600 yesterday. Poor Bitcoin Gold is down nearly 25% today at $163. Perhaps it’s just worth a look.