Like it or not, forking bitcoin has become an efficient approach for blockchain teams to receive quick money.
How many forks will we have? Are there services support them?
A Glimpse at Forked Coins Already Existing
Bitcoin Cash (BCH), the first bitcoin fork, was only listed on Viabtc when it first came out. Most of the bitcoin community, if not all of them, thought it was just a joke at first. The emergency difficulty adjustment (EDA) mechanism BCH adopted led to unstable block times, but since the November 13 upgrade and recent price spikes, it is safe to say that BCH has survived and is enjoying more support from exchanges and wallets.
Ordinary wallets supporting BCH include: Bitcoin.com, Electron Cash, Coinomi, Webmoney, Strongcoin, Stash, Jaxx, Bitpay, BTC.com. Hardware wallets: Ledger, Trezor, Keepkey. Paper wallets: Cashaddress, Walletgenerator. Mobile wallets apps: Bitcoinindia, Mobi and more. Official BCH wallets: Bitcoin ABC, Bitcoin Unlimited, XT, Parity, and Bitprim.
Bitcoin Gold (BTG), the GPU-friendly forked coin based off of bitcoin, was created on October 25 to compete with BCH and to fight mining centralization, according to its creator Jack Liao.
Ordinary wallets supporting BTG: Coinomi, Bitpie, Guarda, Freewallet. Official BTG wallet: BTGWallet.online. Hardware wallets: Trezor, and Ledger. News.Bitcoin.com spoke with Ledger’s Vanessa Rabesandratana who shared how to claim BTG at Ledger.
However, unlike previous forks such as Bitcoin Cash (which made me 0.8 BTC, currently worth about £4k), this one seems to have been very disorganised. It has been weeks since the official blockchain snapshot was taken and only now is there an official wallet available – and that’s painful and resource hogging to use.
The process to claim is a bit fiddly so you need to decide if it’s worth the effort of claiming – in fact, I would say that unless you own at least 0.1 BTC it’s barely worth it because you’ll lose too much in fees.
To begin, check to see if you’re eligible for the new BTG coins – essentially that means you held Bitcoin in a wallet you controlled (i.e. for which you have the private keys) on Monday 23 October 2017 (officially Block 491407).
(Just as a matter of interest note the value of that account showing there, 0.0227 BTC, has a value in the screenshot footer of £102.60. Now, less than a month later, it’s £134.37).
We go to the Addresses tab and look for the address that holds our BTC. If you have done many transactions it may be split across addresses – in this case you will have to make multiple claims. Right-click on the appropriate address and choose Copy Address to get it into the clipboard.
Go to the Bitcoin Gold Website and paste it into the claim box (‘Check Your Address Balance Before Block 491407’). With a bit of luck you’ll get a confirmation similar to this:
The BTC Balance column may be empty if you’ve moved out your BTC since, which is fine. In fact, this process of claiming BTG will expose the private keys of your Electrum Wallet so you are advised to move out your BTC to a new wallet anyway; this is just to avoid the small possibility of hacking.
(Note: We will be using a respectable intermediate wallet so the risk is fairly low – I won’t go through the process here for simplicity since the amount risked is also low. However for my personal BTC stash I won’t use the source Electrum Wallet again without wiping it first).
At this point you need to decide if you want to claim or not. In this case the claim is worth 0.0227 x $149 = £3.38 so it’s not really worth it (fees will be about £4), but I’ll go through it anyway to illustrate the method.
The process is relatively straightforward, if a bit fussy. You install the Coinomi app on an Android phone and give it your private keys so that it can access your new BTG. Coinomi is used as it’s one of the few respectable wallets that currently support BTG.
There is an infographic available that covers this part of the process quite well:
One thing that’s not made clear is how to get your Electrum private key in a form that Coinomi can recognise. To do that, in Electrum go to Wallet -> Private Keys -> Export, enter your password and wait a few seconds. Look for the line that matches the address of your BTC in the left column, and the key is in the right column – you need to type this into Coinomi as described in the infographic.
When it asks, hit Confirm and you should see your new Bitcoin Gold:
Open an account on the HitBTC exchange if you don’t already have one – again it’s one of the few exchanges that support BTG. It doesn’t have a great reputation so I wouldn’t recommend using it for large amounts of BTC.
Go to the Deposit page (via the menu in the top bar) and click Deposit in the BTG Bitcoin Gold row. In Coinomi select the Send tab and type in the Wallet address from HitBTC and press Use All Funds. If it asks you to confirm coin type select Bitcoin Gold, then Send, enter the password and Confirm.
You’ll see the amount leave your Coinomi Wallet. Soon after you should see a wait cursor (rotating yellow circle) appear on the BTG line in HitBTC next to Main Account. Once the BTG appears, click on the arrow next to it to move it into Trading Account so you can sell it.
Click on Exchange in the top menu bar. To sell BTG look under Instruments for the BTC tab – click on Name to get the altcoins into alphabetical order and select BTG. To sell at a good price is, of course, an art in itself – you can use the chart on the left to judge whether it’s a good time to buy or not (has it just gone down or up, for example, what is the trend, etc.). However since i think BTG is generally going to trend downwards, as more people work out how to sell their free coins, let’s just sell immediately.
In the Sell BTG box click on your Balance to select all your BTG. Review the current Price (in BTC) and the resulting Total (in BTC). If you’re happy, press Sell Limit. You should get an acknowledgement and the BTG should be sold within a minute or two – you can confirm this in the My Trades tab under the chart. Note a small amount of BTG may not get sold and just be left behind in your BTG account (so-called ‘dust’).
If the market is falling your BTG may not get bought, for obvious reasons. If so you can find your BTG trade in the Active Order tab, cancel it, and try again at a lower price.
Your new BTC will now show in the top menu bar, and its equivalent value in dollars (USDT). To withdraw it click on the Account tab and in the BTC line press the arrow next to the BTC Trading Account value to move it into your Main Account. Press Withdraw and enter the amount to transfer.
At this point you enter the address where you want the BTC to go – if it’s back to your Electrum Wallet then you would find the address there by selecting the Receive tab to display it – copy and paste the address into HitBTC and press the Withdraw button.
As ever there will then be a delay as the transfer takes place and the BTC appears in your Electrum Wallet. (In fact, in the example I’ve shown here the amount of BTC gained from the trade isn’t enough to pay the fairly high minimum fee – £2 – to move the BTC out of HitBTC so I’m leaving it there until I can add more to it with further forks or airdrops).
And there you have it – your original BTC coins have increased by an amount equal to the value in BTG of the same amount of BTG coins, less trading fees.
Although it’s not worth going through this process with a small amount of Bitcoin, as demonstrated, it can be quite lucrative with a larger amount of Bitcoin. My personal account gained about £400 and some people will have made much, much more (“to whoever has, to him more shall be given…”) and all effectively for free.
In a new blog post, the developers behind the fork of the bitcoin blockchain said that they would release a formal software client for download at 7:00 PM UTC on Nov. 12. Originally set for a public launch on Nov. 1, the project is backed by LightningASIC, a seller of mining hardware based in Hong Kong, as well as a community of relatively unknown developers.
As reported by CoinDesk, the idea behind bitcoin gold is to keep most properties of the protocol, but restrict the use of specialized chips for mining, or the process by which new transactions are added to a blockchain (while also creating new tokens as a reward).
It’s also the latest example of a “airdropped” cryptocurrency that will distribute new coins to anyone who owned bitcoin at the time of the split, or up until the date the ledger of transactions started to differ.
From $0 to $2,900 – and seemingly everywhere in between.
Bitcoin gold, a new fork of the bitcoin software, may not have been officially launched (or distributed to users), but that isn’t stopping the cryptocurrency markets from seeking to determine its potential value (or profiting from its eventual existence).
In an interesting twist on a typical distribution, a number of exchanges are now listing a token that represents a claim on the future delivery of bitcoin gold (in advance of it becoming available to all bitcoin users). Ahead of that event, however, traders are seeking to value the asset, which proposes an alternative to the difficulty of competing for rewards on bitcoin’s mining network.
Still, it’s safe to say there’s disagreement so far.
In interview, analysts expressed a reservation about bitcoin gold, both when speaking about its developer team, and when characterizing the protocol’s potential market opportunity.
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.
Bitcoin Gold (BTG/Bgold) is an upcoming hard fork of the Bitcoin blockchain that’s scheduled to occur on October 25th.
Bgold has nothing to do with the yellow metal, so it shouldn’t be confused with BitGold, the gold investments and payments firm. Bgold is equally unrelated to both the previous hard fork, Bitcoin Cash (BCH/Bcash), which occurred on August 1, and the upcoming SegWit2X (S2X/Bizcoin) hard fork, which is scheduled for mid-November.
Why Bitcoin Gold?
Bitcoin Gold will alter Bitcoin’s proof-of-work algorithm from SHA-256, which is currently dominated mostly by Chinese ASIC miners, to the Equihash algorithm. Equihash is employed by the Ethereum, zCash (Classic), Zencash, and Hush cryptocurrencies. Equihash is mostly mined by graphics cards (GPUs).
It looks as if Bitcoin will experience at least two more “coin-splits” soon, which (more accurately) will result in the creation of new coins.
On October 25, Bitcoin Gold (Bgold) will split off from Bitcoin to create an ASIC-resistant cryptocurrency. A few weeks later, a significant group of Bitcoin companies wants to hard fork according to the SegWit2x plan as defined in the “New York Agreement” (NYA), which will probably result in yet another new coin.
If this all plays out, there could be three distinct blockchains and three types of coins within about a month of publication of this article. One blockchain would follow the current Bitcoin protocol; for the purpose of this article, that coin will be referred to as “BTC.” The second blockchain will follow the Bgold protocol; in this article, that coin will be referred to as “BTG.” The third blockchain will follow the SegWit2x protocol; that coin will be referred to as “B2X.”
The good news is that each BTC will effectively be copied onto both the Bgold and the SegWit2x blockchains. If you hold Bitcoin private keys at the time of the forks, you should be able to access your BTG and B2X coins as well.
The bad news is that such forks can be somewhat messy and risky. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to lose your BTC or B2X, and maybe your BTG.
After the hard fork on August 1 that produced Bitcoin Cash, many bitcoiners have been waiting for the possibility of a fork taking place this November with the Segwit2x plan. However, a lot of bitcoin proponents don’t know about another fork called “Bitcoin Gold” (BTG) that’s scheduled to take place on October 25th.
Yes, you read that correctly bitcoin enthusiasts might see another hard fork this October that produces another token called Bitcoin Gold. The project first announced on Bitcointalk.org in July was created by Jack Liao, the founder of Lightning ASIC a mining firm based out of Hong Kong and an anonymous developer named “h4x3.” The forked protocol aims to change bitcoin’s consensus algorithm allowing users to mine the currency with graphic processing units (GPU) among other changes. According to the development team, Bitcoin Gold will use the Equihash algorithm used by the altcoin Zcash rather than bitcoin’s original SHA256.