One of the most important Bitcoin forked cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin Gold, has upgraded its network with the help of a hard fork on the 5,36,200 BTG block. The upgrade has resulted in a change of the mining algorithm for BTG.
The algorithm has changed from Equihash to an upgraded version of the algorithm which is named as Equihash-BTG. The upgrade is a strategy to introduce a layer of ASIC-resistance in order to keep ASICs away from the network. This upgrade will also prevent any attempt at centralizing the BTG mining.
So far it is claimed to be successful, but it might result in ASIC manufacturers accepting the new Equihash-BTG algorithms and thus, moving into the future.
Bitcoin Gold is a distributed digital currency, which is a hard fork of Bitcoin, the open source cryptocurrency. Its purpose is to restore the mining functionality with common Graphics Processing Units (GPU), in place of mining with specialized ASIC (customized chipsets) which is used to mine Bitcoin. It adopted algorithms that ASICs cannot mine and had a focus on decentralization of mining.
An ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) is a microchip designed for a special application. In the case of cryptocurrency mining, these chips are built into specifically-designed motherboards and power supplies, constructed into a single unit. Each cryptocurrency has its own cryptographic hash algorithm. ASIC miners are designed to mine using that specific algorithm.
Bitcoin Gold has experienced a 51% attack in May as a result of rented hash power consisting of ASIC miners.
The new algorithm that has been created ensures that there is no rental market for Equihash-BTG miners and hence the upgraded blockchain is more secure. Not only this, BTG Blockchain is more responsive to large hash power shifts because of the presence of difficulty adjustment system called as LWMA.
Many coins perform hard forks to prevent ASIC miners from working on their systems as ASIC miners are purpose-made and built for a very specific algorithm. Updating the algorithm is a step towards countering the ASIC miners and preventing them from working.
ASIC miners comprise a large part of the Equihash rate. Anti-ASIC forks can’t be a permanent solution, but just a temporary one to shake-off ASIC miners by buying almost five to six months of ASIC resistance. Bitcoin Gold has lost 90% hash rate after the announcement of the Anti-ASIC Hard Fork.
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