Bitcoin Hard Fork | Bitcoin Gold Responds to Critics

Yesterday, the Bitcoin Gold project sent an official response regarding all the accusations that are currently circling the web. The project developers discuss each accusation, starting first with the fact that replay protection has not yet been blended to the code stating that there has only been one volunteer developer operating on this project so far. The response reads:

“Recently we have been targeted and attacked by people who don’t understand the importance of decentralization in the Bitcoin network, this deceptive attack was made by using a snapshot of our site from months ago. Compared with the PoW change, replay protection is a relatively simpler code change — We have consistently stated that BTG must have replay protection before launch.”

The team has also stated that a new change to the difficulty adjustment algorithm has not yet been merged into the code and as far as the Equihash implementation goes, the team says the consensus change has not yet been achieved.

Furthermore, the announcement also shed some light on the pre-mine issue, one of the most criticized factors. According to the team, the project’s pre-mine was just a fundraising idea, conceived in July. However, the BTG response says the team might not remove the pre-mine code and emphasizes that the project is made up of “volunteer contributors.” The announcement reads:

“The early fundraising idea did not reflect the collective vision and creativity of the expanded team, that’s why the idea that was first described in July was taken down from the website.”

The Project Red Flags

Last week, a lot of people in and outside of the developer community have been examining the upcoming hard fork and found many concerning factors surrounding the project. The Bitcoin Gold hard fork is supposedly scheduled to take place on the 25th of October. With only thirteen days left until the team tries to fork the Bitcoin network, users continue to find faulty aspects of the project, making bitcoin proponents everywhere skeptical.

A big negative aspect which was previously reported by Core Media is that a developer of Bitcoin Gold, named H4x3rotab, is anonymous. At present times, the Bitcoin community has reached a size where it is perfectly fine to unmask the project developers, and this is what most projects do because it gives them credibility.

Also this week, one individual did a reverse Whois background search on the BTG website and noticed that the owner of the site owns a lot of cryptocurrency domains, which indicates a strong lack of commitment to one specific project. The person also realized that the project’s new consensus algorithm is unfinished and replay attack protection is yet to be added. Work has also been light as there hasn’t been much development done around the original code, a concerning prospect for a project that’s just two weeks away.

An Insight into the Next Bitcoin Forks

As previously mentioned, BTG wants to change the proof-of-work algorithm used in Bitcoin and that is going to require a hard fork which is set to take place on the 25th of October. The algorithm chosen by the team is Equihash, a memory-hard algorithm that’s ASIC-resistant and was first used by ZCash. The idea is to give mining back to the users who own CPUs and GPUs, taking the practice out of industrial mining operations and putting them back into the hands of regular users.

The Bitcoin Gold developers also plan to create a testnet sometime in mid-to-late October, prior to the actual hard fork. They plan to make their software available soon. The project is being led by Jack Liao, who heads the Hong Kong-based mining firm LightningASIC.

On November 18, 2017, another fork is expected to be implemented in Bitcoin by the Segwit2x working group. This hard fork is the second part of the SegWit2x agreement, which aims to increase the block size limit from 1MB to 2MB.

Earlier this year, a group of 58 companies led by Digital Currency Group (DCG) that represents 83% of hashing power and 20.5 million bitcoin wallets agreed on a proposal known as SegWit2x, a proposal that aimed to activate the Bitcoin Core development team’s scaling and transaction malleability solution and increase the Bitcoin block size to 2MB shortly thereafter.

However, the Bitcoin Core development team, the Bitcoin open-source development community, businesses, investors, and many users have condemned the strategy employed by the group of companies to run the hard fork in November without reaching consensus as a community, and also criticized the centralization of consensus and development by the SegWit2x group. Still, the majority of hash power currently supports SegWit2x and the upcoming hard fork that will take place in November.