A new cryptocurrency called bitcoin gold (BTG) officially separated from the bitcoin blockchain this morning – and the project's website has been under denial-of-service attacks ever since.
Aiming to be a more egalitarian derivative of the popular cryptocurrency, one able to be mined with less specialized hardware, the first step on the bitcoin gold roadmap was to take a "snap shot" of the blockchain as a means of a creating a replica with new rules. As detailed in CoinDesk's explainer, BTG now plans to distribute free cryptocurrency in such a way that it is available to anyone holding bitcoin at the time of the fork.
But hours later, it seems like the website is still being bombarded, preventing those who wish to keep track of the cryptocurrency's progress. Complicating matters is that the new blockchain is not yet public, and block explorers or other common tracking tools have yet to be released.
Still, denial-of-service attacks are a common occurrence in the launch of cryptocurrency projects, especially those that prove controversial or divisive, and bitcoin gold meets this definition. Behind the project is Hong Kong-based LightningAsic CEO Jack Liao, who is openly critical about bitcoin mining in its current form, and the companies that profit from the activity.
It's probable that his opinions could make bitcoin gold a target for attacks, but as well as this point of contention, the project has been the cause of some other criticism.
There's a few other sources of outrage – including that bitcoin gold hasn't quite solved the risk of "replay attack" – which refers to transaction complications that may arise when two incompatible versions of the bitcoin blockchain are unable to distinguish each other.
That said, the cryptocurrency is still under development, and there has yet to be official word from the project on the cause of the outage.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.