Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and soon… Bitcoin Gold.
When a group of Bitcoin users and companies split the digital currency into two different versions in August, it was an unprecedented event in the technology’s nine-year history. Now just four months after that “hard fork,” as such splits are known, yet another version of the world’s most popular digital currency is scheduled to be created.
Within the next 12 hours, if all goes according to plan, techies and investors will be able to choose between Bitcoin (the original version), Bitcoin Cash, and the latest, soon-to-be-created iteration: Bitcoin Gold. As the deadline looms, Bitcoin companies and exchanges are taking sides on whether to support Bitcoin Gold or not.
While Bitcoin Cash focused on increasing transaction throughput, Bitcoin Gold aims to tackle the problem of decentralization. The algorithm that governs how Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash “miners” create new digital coins for a reward has been monopolized by specialized (and expensive) hardware. Because of this, the average Joe or Jane has essentially no chance of making any money mining these currencies with their home computer. But Bitcoin Gold will use an algorithm known as “Equihash” which is designed so that people can effectively use their graphical processing units, or GPUs—common computer gaming hardware—to profitably mine the coin for the foreseeable future.
Read more: Motherboard.Vice.com