One of the top 50 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization Bitcoin Gold (BTG) is a hard fork of Bitcoin that aims to become more decentralized cryptocurrency for everyday payments.

Bitcoin Gold came into existence in October 2017 after a part of the Bitcoin communitypushed for the hard forkas they felt that the Bitcoin network has become centralized due to the rising importance of specialized mining hardware which became essential if one wanted to mine bitcoins.Bitcoin Gold foundersalso saw the entrance of large companies armed with powerful mining-dedicated computers into the mining market as yet another issue. All of this prompted them to launch the project which would protect the Bitcoins original focus on decentralization and creating a genuine peer-to-peer currency.

To that effect, Bitcoin Gold project launched the network which is supposed to offer a more democratic approach to mining. Instead of favoring large market players with high-end hardware, mining the BTG coins has been made possible with regular or even basic hardware (such as GPU (graphics processing unit). Also, Bitcoin Gold sought to get rid of the application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) which are now accountable for most of the mining done on the Bitcoin blockchain. To make this possible, the Bitcoin Gold team opted for the Equihash hashing algorithm that makes the life harder for ASICs.

The team is also developing its BTGPay solution that helps users find the right BTG-based debit card services for their needs and locations, serves as a marketplace of merchants where shoppers can spend their BTG, and sellers can feature that they take Bitcoin Gold. Moreover, it also operates as a network of partners (solution providers, payment services, eCommerce integrators) to help merchants accept Bitcoin Gold.

Once the fork was completed, all the owners of BTC coins received the same amount of BTG at 1:1 ratio. The number of coins is capped at 21 million, while the market capitalization of 17 million coins in circulation stands at around USD 460 million as of October 2018, compared to its peak of USD 7 billion in late 2017.

In May 2018, Bitcoin Gold fell victim to the so-called51% attackthat allowed attackers to steal around USD 18 million in Bitcoin Gold from several crypto exchanges. This led to the currency being delisted from theBittrexexchange. Still, the BTG coins remain available for buying/selling on other major exchanges such asBithumb,Bitfinex,OKEx,BitFlyerand many others.

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