Bitcoin Gold (BTG) is one of the more prominent coins affected by the upcoming Equihash algorithm specialized miner, or ASIC. But this time, the community reacted immediately, calling for a hard fork to disable the machines.
Some coin projects were careful to select mining algorithms that were inaccessible to the ASICs available at that time. However, creating a new ASIC may be profitable, especially given the current rise in altcoin prices. So far, Bitmain has moved beyond the SHA-256 mining rigs for Bitcoin, and has produced miners for the Scrypt algorithm, as well as CryptoNote and Equihash.
Coin projects, however, have a way to make the expensive, complex machines obsolete - and this is what Bitcoin Gold intends to do.
The BTG asset may become inaccessible to ASIC for now, but the team expects other machines may be built.
“ASIC-resistance is central to our mission. Bitcoin Gold, BTG, was conceived while watching the struggle between ASIC miners and the rest of the Bitcoin community. The fundamental reason for BTG’s creation was to help wrest back the crypto space from the relentlessly monopolizing tendencies of ASIC mining.”
The designing of an Equihash ASIC affects many prominent coins, including ZCash (ZEC), Komodo (KMD), as well as the notorious ZClassic (ZCL). Some projects, like ZCash, have given indications that ASIC mining may be acceptable and inevitable in the long run.
The opinions on ASIC resistance are becoming more polar. Some believe that GPU-mined coins are vulnerable to attacks, especially from ASIC designed in secret. For some networks, 10 or 15 powerful machines could achieve a 51% attack, or at least accelerated mining.
Others believe ASIC mining is hijacking and centralizing the coin, putting the network in the hands of large entities able to afford the hardware.