There is a lot of interest in the price of bitcoin gold and how it compares to the more established bitcoin.

Bitcoin gold was created following a hard fork (or simply another version) of the bitcoin blockchain that occurred in October 2017. Blockchain forks have become quite common and can take place for a number of reasons — to improve a protocol’s security, to make it easier to scale or simply because of developer conflict or a difference in opinion.

In this instance, the bitcoin fork was led by a group of volunteer developers who argue that the bitcoin protocol has become too centralized. While it may sound counterintuitive, with bitcoin being the first decentralized cryptocurrency that’s not linked to any bank, country or government body, the founders of bitcoin gold are not alone in voicing concerns about the centralization of the bitcoin mining process,

With the purpose of creating more mining distribution, the creators of Bitcoin Gold decided to prohibit the most powerful mining machines from the process (that proponents argue have become too centralized in the hands of large private companies). 

Redistributing minging power helps to secure the blockchain (because there are more miners spread over a larger geographic distance). Simpler mining also provides more incentives for more people to contribute to the system over time.

Bitcoin gold price

The bitcoin gold price, like other cryptocurrencies, has fluctuated up and down since it was created in October of 2017.

So far 17.4 million bitcoin gold are available in the circulating supply. Like bitcoin, there will only ever be 21 million bitcoin gold created.

The bitcoin gold price reached $456.25, its all-time high, on December 20, 2017.

Who are the people behind the project?

Bitcoin Gold is the brainchild of Jack Liao, the CEO of LightingAsic and BitExchange. He’s been an outspoken critic of the consolidation of the bitcoin mining sector for some time before announcing the BTG fork.

Interestingly, Liao’s company LightingAsian sells mining equipment, exactly the right type that’s required for mining Bitcoin Gold. This hasn’t slipped the critics’ eye and further feeds the ongoing controversy surrounding the blockchain.

The BTG team has expanded significantly since its launch a year ago and now counts around 20 people.

The advantages and disadvantages of bitcoin gold

The primary goal of this alternative blockchain is to democratize the bitcoin mining process. The team behind bitcoin gold have chosen to open up mining to more people by replacing bitcoin’s algorithm with a different solution. As mentioned, the chief idea here is to take the power away from the big miners who use specialty equipment to mine faster and distribute it to a whole network of ordinary participants. According to the bitcoin gold team, this gives ordinary users a fair opportunity to mine with common hardware.

Bitcoin Gold remains a free, open source software project. The fact that it’s built by volunteer developers and bitcoin enthusiasts around the world is a sign of potential growth in the future. However, the support from the wider bitcoin community has been slow to pick up, as many remain unsure of how much value the alternative blockchain can create, or what the price of bitcoin gold will be in the future.

While “decentralizing bitcoin” was the team’s primary reason for executing the hard fork, they have also made effort to address issues relating to transparency, distribution, and privacy protection. The team implemented additional safety and protective measures to provide customers with more security and protect their coins, including replay protection and unique wallet addresses.

Unfortunately, these measures were not enough to fight off a combination of a 51% attack and a double-spend attack in May 2018. The hack has caused the project a lot of criticism, as it showed the network isn’t ‘ASIC resistant’ after all. As a result of the attack, a Seattle-based trading platform Bittrex has lost over 12,000 BTG and eventually delisted bitcoin gold from their exchange.

The BTG team claims they’ve taken every step to help exchange platforms fend off hackers by warning them about the attacker’s wallet address as well as urging them to raise transaction confirmation thresholds. 

The future of bitcoin gold

In their whitepaper, the creators of bitcoin gold explain passionately that the protocol was designed to “inspire innovation in the Bitcoin ecosystem and give value to the vision of decentralization.” Since it’s using a different algorithm, BTG isn’t really in direct competition with bitcoin or bitcoin cash.

The mining system is the currency’s most promising feature and might be the main factor that will drive up the price of bitcoin gold in the future.