Bitcoin gold, the cryptocurrency fork of the bitcoin blockchain, launched on November 12. The cryptocurrency fork was originally slated for a public launch more than a week before, on November 1, but was delayed. The project will be backed by LightningASIC, a mining hardware seller headquartered in Hong Kong, as well as a community of developers worldwide.

Bitcoin Gold to Restrict Chips for Mining

What is the difference between bitcoin gold and the original bitcoin? On the surface, the two will be fairly similar. In fact, bitcoin gold aims to keep most properties of the original protocol. It will, however, restrict the use of certain specialized chips for mining, and it will make changes to the way in which transactions are added to a blockchain. This new project is also an example of a so-called "airdropped" digital currency, as it is one that will distribute new coins to any prior bitcoin owners who held the original cryptocurrency at the time o the split. These users will receive bitcoin gold up until the date the ledger of transactions started to differ between the two cryptocurrencies.

Activity Before the Official Launch

Bitcoin gold has come with a fair degree of controversy already, even prior to its launch. The development team was found to have been mining blocks in isolation since the new blockchain network was formally created in October, setting aside a certain number of coins to support development. This move garnered some criticism by others in the industry. The team behind this particular effort was hoping to send a sign of confidence to the broader cryptocurrency market. "We are extremely grateful for the community around the world who have been contributing hash power to our testnets; besides patiently testing their own mining process, they allow exchanges, pools, wallet developers, and all other service operators to implement and test their support of BTG so that the bitcoin gold community can have a full suite of service at launch time," the project's developers indicated in a statement.

It's likely that the launch of bitcoin gold will rock the rest of the cryptocurrency market, although the exact impact is one that investors will have to wait to see. Exchanges will likely be monitoring the launch closely. For comparison, shortly after bitcoin cash was released in August, it accumulated a market value of about $4 billion. It's likely that traders will be anticipating the possibility of a similar result in this case, although it is by no means guaranteed.

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