The team behind Bitcoin Gold has announced that they have overcome yesterday’s cyber attack and the cryptocurrency (BTG) is already a matter of speculation on several exchanges.
According to futures trading, investors are currently valuing the newly forked version of Bitcoin at around $150, varying between $100 and $200 on various platforms, including Bitfinex, HitBTC, Binance, YoBit and more. While the low volume means that this is not an exact indicator of the price of BTG once it hits the market, it does show that it is not going to completely disappear for a while.
As with previous cryptocurrency hard forks, the community is split over the value of the splintering, mainly regarding whether it will bring healthy competition or just brutal infighting.
Bob Summerwill, chief blockchain developer at Sweetbridge, said: “There have been years of fear, uncertainty, and doubt within the Bitcoin community about the ‘risk’ of hard forks. It is apparent to me that most of that noise has been coming from groups that favor coercion and censorship over free markets and the right to secede.
There is no such thing as a ‘bad fork.’ You don’t have to cheer one team or the other. Experimentation and competition are good. Let the market decide, and participate where you see value.
My most valuable learning experience from the ETH/ETC split was that minority chains are viable. If a crypto community has irreconcilable differences, then you can go your separate ways and that is just fine.
The ETH/ETC split was very healthy for the community. The Ethereum community moved on to mainstream adoption, and the Ethereum Classic community took control of its own destiny and took the code the way they wanted as well. I think that the chain splits will be healthy for the Bitcoin community for the same reason.
Splits happen periodically in all open-source communities. Having everyone collaborating in a single project is ideal, but sometimes there are genuine differences of opinion, and network effects are not enough to keep everybody together, so a group secedes. This is how humans work. It is a beautiful thing.”
Sol Lederer, Blockchain Director at LOOMIA, commented: “These forks are very bad for bitcoin. We are looking at a possible fork on Oct 25th with Bitcoin Gold, and another one next month for SegWit2x. Saturating the market with different versions of bitcoin is confusing to users, and discredits the claim that there are a limited number of bitcoins–since you can always fork it and double the supply.
What’s deeply troublesome is that these spinoffs sprung from a relatively minor squabble in the bitcoin community on how to handle the blocksize limit. Instead of coming to agreement, the community, developers, and code are fracturing into different groups. We’re learning that while a blockchain gives you consensus on a distributed ledger, it does not give you consensus on the codebase, that is what code to run. This does not bode well for bitcoin’s future, where it will face new and bigger challenges requiring further upgrades to the codebase.”
Rob Viglione, co-founder of ZenCash, said: “Open-source ecosystems are designed to evolve, whether that’s through in-project improvements or forks in which the entire code base goes in an incompatible direction. Evolution is a messy process, so it doesn’t always turn out well, but sometimes that’s the only way to have big breakthroughs. It’s not yet clear whether swapping SHA-256 for Equihash mining is sufficiently value-added to warrant a new coin, especially since Zcash already did that last year (in addition to introducing zk-SNARKs), but that’s ultimately up to the stakeholders.”
Taulant Ramabaja, CTO at ULedger, commented :“We can expect many more bitcoin forks such as these in the future. Ultimately the Bitcoin ecosystem has a triangle of 3 veto powers. 1) the Miners, 2) the Exchanges, 3) the Wallets (without key ownership). For any fork to become dominant in the future, a sufficiently large part of all 3 need to jump ship. This is highly unlikely and therefore Bitcoin favors the status quo.
That said, once Bitcoin Lightning based exchanges and wallets come online this picture can change drastically as the role of exchanges and wallets will change.”
Luis Cuende, co-founder and Project Lead of Aragon, reacted: “I like the end goal of decentralizing the currency as much as possible, but Bitcoin Gold doesn’t seem like a technically sound answer at all. At this moment in time it doesn’t even have replay protection, which makes the fork absolutely reckless and extremely unsafe for all Bitcoin users.”
The stated aim of Bitcoin Gold is to “make Bitcoin mining decentralized again”. The project is meant to disrupt the current mining market in which the manufacturing and distribution of mining equipment has become dominated by a handful of companies.
The developers say that by changing Bitcoin’s proof-of-work algorithm from SHA256 to Equihash, all of the specialized mining equipment will be obsolete in terms of mining the forked blockchain. Thus, Bitcoin Gold will provide an opportunity for new people around the world to participate in the mining process with widely-available consumer hardware.
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