The newest fork of the bitcoin blockchain is officially live after a rocky start.
Developers for the project, dubbed bitcoin gold, published software for the breakaway cryptocurrency today, releasing the code on GitHub as well. Aimed at blocking the use of specialized chips for mining, the project revealed last week it was eyeing a formal launch on Sunday, weeks after it first initiated a split from the main bitcoin blockchain.
As such, the launch caps a lengthy period of development for the cryptocurrency, which follows bitcoin cash, a near $30 billion network that split off from bitcoin earlier this summer. Bitcoin gold also represents the latest instance of an "airdropped" cryptocurrency forked from the main bitcoin chain, which is distributed to anyone who owned bitcoin at the time of the split.
Now, public mining for the cryptocurrency has begun, with several mining pools opening up in coordination with the launch. Yet the process of distributing the software – no small feat in a permissionless, open-ended environment – came with some complications.
As detailed in the project's official Slack channels, some users had problems connecting their nodes to other computers on the network. Others allege they were receiving spam messages containing links to fake (and potentially malevolent) software clients.
As might be expected, trading interest was heightened in the run-up to the launch, given that prior to the launch, several exchanges launched futures tied to bitcoin gold. The price of those futures has seen significant volatility in the past several days, exceeding $500 in value earlier this weekend.
Currently, BTG futures are trading between roughly $260 and $290, according to CoinMarketCap – a decline of over 30 percent in the past 24 hours.
Gold mining image via Shutterstock