Bitcoin Gold [BTG] has recently been hit by 51% / double spend attacks. The attack was in the middle of May and lasted three days. One important change that addresses this issue is a change in their Proof of Work [PoW] algorithm.
In addressing the topic of attacks, the BTG team said, on June 4th, that they will be using a newer version of the algorithm, called Equihash-BTG for the time being. The team also announced that most of the necessary components for the Network Upgrade had been coded, but needed more thorough testing.
They are still working on improving the mining software so that people can begin mining again, but this has to wait until the Network Upgrade is done. The progress on the update was going good, the team has told the readers to expect an announcement in the next three days.
Other coins have been hit by similar attacks too, like Verge [XVG] and ZenCash [ZEN].
The team is also working on other safety features, like monitoring systems for the blockchain, mining network, and using established channels to rapidly communicate any risks to the exchanges. They are also co-operating with other coin development teams, both to share what they had learnt from the attacks as well as to work together for the safety of the crypto space.
Bitcoin Gold had chosen the Equihash as their algorithm. In early May, there was news that the dominant specialty crypto mining hardware maker, Bitmain, has released an Application-Specific Integrated Circuit [ASIC] miner for Equihash, which would allow it to mine BTG rapidly.
ASICs are cost-effective custom hardware built specifically for ‘mining’. This goes against the entire idea behind bringing about Equihash, a decentralized mining algorithm. The problem with traditional mining, like what occurs with Bitcoin, is that the mining is centralized. People with specialty hardware are the ones who can engage in mining, and specialty hardware requires investment.
So, the equihash algorithm was born, the brainchild of Prof. Alex Biryukov. Their intention was to remove mining from being localized to just a few members of the blockchain located in geographically small pockets. It is based on a computer science and cryptography concept called the Generalized Birthday Problem.
One way of bringing ‘mining’ back to non-specialized PCs was to return mining power back to GPUs, inbuilt in most of the PCs that roll out today. The PoW algorithm and its implementation could be changed so that an exorbitantly large amount of investment is required to efficiently mine said a coin. Equihash, for example, requires a certain ‘minimum’ amount of memory from hardware to run, but it needs several times more memory for efficiency.
Paul, a Twitter user comments:
“Great. It’d be even better if everyone was able to get their BTG and YOU were more committed to making that happen.”
Another Twitterati says:
“Better technology will create all the luck we need :)”