Bitcoin Gold (BTG) Hard Fork Implements New Mining Algorithm

Bitcoin Gold changed its existing Equihash PoW algorithm to Equihash-BTG in a bid to stop ASIC miners and double-spend attacks.

Bitcoin Gold (BTG) said on Wednesday it has successfully upgraded its network in a hard fork changing its current proof-of work (PoW) algorithm from Equihash to Equihash-BTG in an attempt to keep away ASIC miners and prevent double-spend, or 51%, attacks. BTG also upgraded Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm (DAA) to make its blockchain more responsive to shifts in hash power.

The full upgrade happened at block 536200 which after being mined, unlocked Equihash <144,5> or Equihash-BTG. All miners updated their systems as required by a hard fork, BTG team said.

The upgrade was supported by several exchanges including OKEx, Binance, HitBTC and Bitfinex.

In May, Bitcoin Gold speeded up the planned full update after its network suffered multiple 51% attacks, which lead to the theft of more than USD 18 million from various trading platforms.

The so-called double-spend attacks happen through hashing power. If a single company controls more than 51% of the hashing power, it can manipulate the entire network.

The Equihash-BTG algorithm uses a new pool that is aimed to be safer.

 “The new algorithm also comes with personalization that makes it harder to re-direct mining power through a “hashrate market”, BTG team said in a statement.

BTG was created as a hard fork from Bitcoin (BTC) in October 2017 with the aim to allow ordinary miners to use their computers for “creating” coins and to stop the process of mining monopolization by several big players that is typical for BTC.

Several months after the BTG release, Chinese coin miner Bitmain developed Antminer Z9, a specially designed application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for mining Bitcoin Gold.

“The recent “51%” attacks, which may or may not have involved ASIC miners, were channelled through hash power rental markets - but with this change in algorithm, there’s no longer a rental market for the algorithm we’re using, and it’s harder to set one up than before,” Bitcoin Gold organization explained.

Bitmain is the leading Bitcoin miner with more than 42% control of the BTC pool as estimated in June.