Bitcoin Gold (BTG) Releases ASIC Resistant Mining Algorithm, Hopes to Stop 51% Attacks
Bitcoin Gold Announces An Improved ASIC Resistant Algorithm
Bitcoin Gold recently announced that they will be changing their mining algorithm to resist new Equihash ASIC miners. The new algorithm, called Equihash-BTG, is in some ways similar to the original algorithm that is still used by Zcash, but is designed to be extremely memory hard.
The news is a bit ironic as Bitcoin Gold was a bitcoin fork that was supposedly created to move bitcoin away from mining centralization and ASICs.
Bitcoin Gold is no stranger to controversies. It was launched shortly after the meteoric rise of Bitcoin Cash, which led many to suspect that it was merely a cash grab attempt. To make things worse, the currency also faced a major controversy in the form of an alleged pre-mine that was designed to pay the creators of the currency a princely sum. They later called this the “premine endowment.”
Why Is The New Algorithm Being Introduced?
Its final goal is to enable more ASIC resistance within the network. The original algorithm was designed to be difficult enough so as to prevent ASIC mining from being profitable “for quite some time”. The idea was to make an algorithm that would require an extremely expensive ASIC in order to mine. Such a device would be so expensive that it would be effectively impossible to profit from. The new updated version of the algorithm will need, “dramatically more memory to run – so much more than we believe [Equihash-BTG] ASICs will be impossibly unprofitable for quite some time”.
The second goal of the system is to fight against 51% attacks from a weaponized hash distributor like NiceHash. Bitcoin Gold could still be facing threats of 51% attacks as their mining algorithm is still designed to be mined by standard GPU hardware, of which sufficient hash rates could still be rented for an attack.
Even though Bitcoin Gold is taking steps to gain its credibility, they will need to differentiate themselves from other popular ASIC resistant proof-of-work projects like Vertcoin.