Bitcoin Gold Hard Fork Will Block New ASIC Miners And Prevent Future 51% Attacks
Bitcoin Gold (BTG) is set to undergo a hard fork as announced in an official update on June 4th.
According to the team, the hard fork will solve two pressing matters: the never-ending threat of ASIC miners flooding the network and the outdated security of the blockchain, especially now after 51% attacks have overwhelmed other blockchain system such as ZCash and Verge.
The network was also subjected to a very grueling 51% attack in which a hacker managed to steal $18 million worth of BTG tokens.
“We’re doing this for two reasons: we need to address the threat of ASIC miners coming into the Equihash mining space, and we need to take steps to improve the security of our blockchain in light of the recent 51% / Double Spend attacks.”, the team stated.
Dealing with the pesky ASIC miners, checkmate
Even though Bitcoin Gold rendered Bitcoin application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) pretty much unusable when it first rolled out as a hard fork of the main Bitcoin blockchain back in the fall of 2017, Bitmain, one of the biggest fabricators of ASIC chips, seems to have caught on.
With the introduction of the new Antminer Z9, Bitmain has opened the door for anyone to mine cryptocurrencies based on Bitcoin Gold’s Equihash Proof-of-Work algorithm. The team aims to counter this “chess move” by upgrading their algorithm to a newer version called Equihash-BTG. In short, it will make ASIC mining attempts “impossibly unprofitable.”
“We will not allow that to happen. ASIC-resistance is central to our mission,” the team firmly stated.
Protection against 51% attacks
According to the team, these changes will have one other beneficial effect, namely, the network will become a lot safer after the hard fork takes place. The team hinted at the fact that due to these changes, the network’s hash power won’t be large enough for anyone to be able to take advantage of it.
The hard fork is expected to take place quite swiftly as the team noted that “most of the necessary components for the Network Upgrade have been coded, but need more thorough testing. We are still working on improving the mining software so that as many people as possible are free to mine as soon as the Network Upgrade happens. Until the mining software was ready, we weren’t able to thoroughly test the new components on a testnet. We’re now making good progress and expect to be able to establish a firmer timeline for the Upgrade shortly, which we intend to share in another update three days from now.”