Bitcoin Gold Initiates Hard Fork Split to Create New Cryptocurrency

A cryptocurrency project seeking to chart a new course for bitcoin has officially launched, though the project is not yet live.

AccessTimeIconOct 24, 2017 at 1:42 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:04 a.m. UTC
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A new cryptocurrency has been created through a hard fork of the bitcoin blockchain.

Completing a process that began in July, the bitcoin gold technical team has taken what it calls a "snapshot" of the bitcoin blockchain so it could be recreated and reconfigured with new rules, ultimately creating bitcoin gold at block 491,407 on the original blockchain.

As of now, the process is underway by which the new bitcoin cryptocurrency will be completed and released to existing bitcoin users.

As profiled in our explainer, the project aims to tackle the perceived problem that miners as a group have too much influence over the direction of the bitcoin network. To lessen their control, bitcoin gold replaces bitcoin's current mining algorithm with one that cheaper graphics processing units (GPUs) are able to mine.

The idea stems from the competitive nature of bitcoin mining, which now relies solely on expensive application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). In part because of this, mining has centralized into the hands of large mining companies, which bitcoin gold supporters feel works against bitcoin's key value proposition: decentralization.

Still, while the hard fork has been initiated, that doesn't mean users can yet claim their funds.

Until they can, bitcoin gold developers will operate the new blockchain in isolation, with the first round of block rewards being set aside for allocation to the development team.

According to group representatives, the new cryptocurrency network is aiming to be open to the public by November 1st.

Saw blade image via Shutterstock

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