What is Bitcoin Gold?
Bitcoin Gold, BTG, is a cryptocurrency that began in 2017 as a fork of the Bitcoin blockchain, but has been independent since then.
Because Bitcoin Gold began as a fork, it contains the full transaction history of the Bitcoin blockchain up until the fork, including the exact balances of Bitcoins held in wallets at that time by users and organizations around the world. Anyone who held a Bitcoin balance immediately before the fork held an equivalent balance of Bitcoin Gold immediately after the fork. The original Bitcoin blockchain continued, unaffected and unimpeded by this process. The Bitcoin Gold blockchain began running as a distinct new branch about two weeks later.
As a result of this process, a new cryptocurrency was born.
When was Bitcoin Gold created?
Bitcoin Gold forked the Bitcoin blockchain as scheduled after block 491406 (2017-10-24 01:17:35 UTC).
The new Bitcoin Gold blockchain began actively growing at block 491407 (2017-11-12 at 13:34:01 UTC), about two weeks later.
During those two weeks, the community developed and tested the necessary changes to prevent accidental or malicious complications between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Gold (unique addressing and replay protection), as well as the changes necessary for Bitcoin Gold to run on a completely different network of miners (a change of algorithm to restrict ASIC mining and enable GPU mining).
Technically, Bitcoin Gold was created on 2017-10-24 but not usable until 2017-11-12.
What is the purpose of Bitcoin Gold?
The purpose behind creating Bitcoin Gold was to make mining decentralized again.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s idealistic vision of “one CPU one vote” for Bitcoin had been displaced by a reality where the manufacture and distribution of specialized mining equipment using ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) chips is dominated by a tiny number of entities, some of which have engaged in monopolistic and arguably abusive practices against individual miners and the Bitcoin network as a whole. Changing the PoW (Proof-of-Work) algorithm from SHA-256 to Equihash means that specialized ASIC mining equipment designed for SHA-256 are unable to mine on the Bitcoin Gold blockchain. Equihash runs on commodity graphics cards, or GPUs, which are easily available to the public, but Equihash is prohibitively difficult to implement as an ASIC (see: Equihash). As a result, Bitcoin Gold provides an opportunity for countless people around the world to participate in the mining process with widely-available consumer hardware that is manufactured and distributed by reputable mainstream corporations.
This leads to a more decentralized, democratic mining infrastructure that is both more resilient and more in line with Satoshi’s original vision. Bitcoin Gold was created with that vision in mind.
Is Bitcoin Gold a competitor of Bitcoin?
No. Bitcoin Cash and B2X are hostile forks that use the same PoW algorithm as Bitcoin – SHA256 – which results in a permanent state of conflict over a finite amount of ASIC mining hardware that is required for solving SHA256 proof-of-work. Bitcoin Gold, on the other hand, uses the Equihash PoW algorithm, which cannot be solved using ASICs that have been designed for Bitcoin. This ensures that Bitcoin Gold is not in competition with Bitcoin over limited resources. Instead, Bitcoin Gold has an entirely different mining infrastructure, consisting of general purpose computer hardware (GPUs).
How was Bitcoin Gold initially distributed?
The Bitcoin Gold (BTG) initial coin distribution method was almost exactly the same as that used by the Bitcoin Cash fork of August 1. Everyone who held Bitcoin when block 491406 was mined automatically held Bitcoin Gold at the rate of 1 BTC=1 BTG. (If you had 20 BTC at the time of the fork, you had 20 BTG after the fork.)
If I have BTC in long-term cold storage, where are my BTG?
If you have BTC in a paper wallet, hardware wallet, multi-signature address, or any other form of secure private key storage, you are able to access your corresponding BTG at any time. There is no expiration date for your BTG. If you have BTC in cold storage that you did not plan to touch for many years, do not change your plans because of this fork. Your BTG will still be there decades from now.
How can I get Bitcoin Gold now?
Your options to acquire BTG now are to buy it on an exchange like any other cryptocurrency, to mine it with your own computer hardware (GPUs), or to earn it by trading your goods and services for it. BTG is already trading on many leading exchanges listed on the ECOSYSTEM section of the official website.
If I had BTC on an exchange at the time of the fork, will I get my BTG?
Cryptocurrency exchanges are custodial businesses, which means the exchange controls your private keys, not you. An exchange that was holding BTC on your behalf at the time of the snapshot also controls the corresponding BTG. While they should credit your account with the equal amount of BTG, there is no legal authority that can force them to do so. The Bitcoin Gold home page displays the names and logos of exchanges that have already credited their users with BTG. If your exchange is not shown, it would be wise to consult with your exchange for full information on their policy.
How can I sell my Bitcoin Gold?
You can sell your BTG at any of the exchanges listed on our home page. You can also sell your coins in a private trade with a trusted broker.
Should I buy Bitcoin Gold?
As the developers of this project, it’s not our role to make price predictions or give investment advice.
How do I mine Bitcoin Gold?
You can solo mine BTG using the full node client or you can mine with a pool. Some public mining pools that have worked with us are listed on our home page. We invite you to join our Slack #mining channel for technical help and advice about mining BTG.
How do I run a Bitcoin Gold full node?
The Bitcoin Gold full node client with signed prebuilt binaries is available for download at bitcoingold.org and the source code can be found at https://github.com/BTCGPU/BTCGPU. These are the only two sites affiliated with the Bitcoin Gold development team.