21 10 / 2017
So by now you’ve most likely already heard about the upcoming blockchain fork set to occur in October. If you haven’t, the fork is slated for October 25th, 2017 at precisely block # 491407. What exactly is entailed with this so-called “fork” and why is it occurring? The first portion of the question is a lot easier to answer than the one following.
⚂ What’s Entailed in the Upcoming October Fork
Once the fork occurs at block # 491407, there will be a “coin split” (once again) which will result in the creation of a brand new coin: Bitcoin Gold (BTG). Bitcoin will operate as it did, while miners who decide to adopt Bitcoin Gold will begin creating blocks with a new proof-of-work algorithm called Equihash (which is also shared by the altcurrency Zcash - In turn, you’ll want to look for GPUs efficient for Zcash as they will most likely run at similar efficiency if you plan on mining BTG). The original blockchain will remain as is, and a new blockchain will split off the original and will begin recording transactions for Bitcoin Gold. While as Bitcoin utilizes the PoW algorithm SHA256, which is best suited to mine with ASIC miners, Bitcoin Gold will be more suited for GPU mining, similar to ETH or XMR. Also, comparatively, difficulty adjustment for BTC changes every two weeks while as BTG has been set to increase difficulty every block. Its uncertain as to how this will affect mining/profitability for BTG since there are so many unknown variables (miner adoption, possible rapid difficulty increase, etc), however it will be interesting to see how this concept pans out.
In addition to the mining changes, once the fork occurs everyone who has a balance in a BTC wallet that they own the private keys to will get that same amount of BTG once Bitcoin Gold wallets are released. At the current moment, there are no Bitcoin Gold wallets available, and most are slated to be publicly available on November 1st. Be sure to keep this in mind if you plan on holding your BTC to receive BTG, as you’ll most likely need to keep your BTC in your wallet, untouched, for a certain amount of days possibly even up to a whole week or more. Also if you do plan on collecting BTG for your existing BTC balance, be sure to have 6+ confirms before block 491407 is mined. It’s better safe than sorry when it comes to events like this!
So why is this split happening exactly? To tell you the truth, this is a hard question to answer. The developers of BTG state that the reason for the split is to “decentralize” mining by allowing more at-home miners using the video card in their PC, also known as “Democratic mining”. Currently, BTC is predominantly mined with specific hardware, also known as ASIC miners due to their superior efficiency. Due to pricing and availability of such units, this makes it much more difficult for the regular user to mine BTC, which causes a significant portion of BTC to be mined through larger, centralized networks. Since mining is where coins are generated, what ends up happening is that these larger companies and organizations end up controlling the majority of the hashing power, essentially controlling the BTC network. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily, however some can view it as going against the concept of a decentralized infrastructure which was the original intentions of Bitcoin. By changing the proof of work from SHA256 to Equihash, the new coin essentially makes all SHA256 ASIC miners obsolete to mine it since they are no longer able to. Instead, BTG is intended to be mined with optimized graphics cards which can be installed into normal home computers at a reasonable price compared to ASICs. Will this actually solve anything, or will it just cause more confusion and hinder adoption of cryptocurrency in general? It’s very hard to say, but one place to study is the fork before this upcoming one, Bitcoin Cash. As they say, history tends to repeat itself. Either way, we’ll find out here soon how this fork will affect BTC and other cryptocurrencies.
⚂ Will SafeDice Be Offering Bitcoin Gold?
Here at SafeDice, we have elected to offer Bitcoin Gold for investors who have a balance of BTC in their SD wallet at the time of the fork. You will be receiving the same amount of BTG as you have BTC, no more and no less. However, keep in mind that due to how new Bitcoin Gold is and the fact that there just aren’t much details on it yet, we will require some time after the fork to allow users to receive/withdraw their Bitcoin Gold. Unlike Bitcoin Cash, we will not be offering BTG as a playable currency. With that being said, we will most likely offer a separate withdraw page on the site where you will be able to type in your BTG wallet address and receive your 1:1 BTG based on the amount of BTC in your SD wallet at the time of the split. We are currently working on the logistics of this, so please bare with us while we ensure that the coins are distributed in a safe and secure manner. We will update this post as updates are made in regards to Bitcoin Gold. As usual, we thank you for playing at SafeDice and be sure to stay tuned here at our blog for further details on the BTG fork!
Please Note: The upcoming BTG fork is completely different than the upcoming Segwit2x fork slated for November! We will have further details on the Segwit2x (B2X) fork in November once details are more solid.
- thesourc3 (SD Mod)