A quick Google query defines “Fork” as “the place where the road forks,” a branch off, division, separation, divergence or manipulation using, you’ve guessed it, a fork. Urban Dictionary has a bit of a different take on the word but for the matter at hand what Google provided is sufficient.
You may have recently encountered the offshoot of Bitcoin, officially dubbed, Bitcoin Gold. Joining the already “forked” Bitcoin Cash, it demands our attention as we try to explain what all these different names exactly mean.
The movement toward Bitcoin Gold began in July, their technical team took a snapshot of the bitcoin blockchain in the purpose of redefining and reorganizing block 491,407 of the blockchain into a new cryptocurrency born out of the original, and in the coming weeks, Bitcoin Gold will be available for investment and purchase. In fact, anyone who already owns Bitcoin will be able to receive this new cryptocurrency.
Our crypto-curious audience may recall the “fork” terminology from the earlier launch of Bitcoin Cash, the alternative version of bitcoin configuration that earned tech and financial headlines for creating billions in revenue and value, again, out of “nothing.”
A way of scaling the blockchain, “crypto-forking” is a process of joining two code concepts into a new infrastructure facilitating transactions similarly to the original bitcoin network. On August 1st, a group of developers involved in crypto mining, claimed they are splitting off Bitcoin to make their version of the cryptocurrency. They called it Bitcoin Cash. Calin Culianu, a code contributor to the Bitcoin Cash implementation, contended that many users disagree with the lines taken by the people behind May-July’s SegWit2x proposal which purported to increase Bitcoin’s transaction capacity.
The forking idea is brought upon by the growing competitiveness in bitcoin mining which by today’s standards require quite a bit of capital, municipal level electricity bills and hardware. At least if you are to have a hope of getting your hands on enough bitcoins to equate a return-on-investment. Understanding the key elements behind the optimization of the blockchain and transaction structure is beyond my technical savviness so, begging your pardon, I will move on to explain how Bitcoin Gold, the new fork in the road, is about to offer a unique opportunity for cryptocurrency speculators.
The new cryptocurrency, according to the developers’ group, is aiming to be open to the public by November 1st.
This is where things get very interesting. At least if a comparable value to Bitcoin Cash is to be attained in Bitcoin Gold. Latecomers can now purchase Bitcoins in a variety of exchanges and platforms offering both speculative investment and exchange services, thus, buying a fraction of bitcoin value is enough to position a new investor in a good position before the launch of the new cryptocurrency branch. Bitcoin Gold wants to secure the decentralized nature of the bitcoin network by having a more egalitarian approach to send and receive payments. While it is operating on the same principal and mechanism, Bitcoin Gold is set to be created in advance (before the open-source being released publicly).
Another key difference is that about 1% of the total cryptocurrency tokens mined before the public release will be used to pay the development team. So far, according to Coinbase, 100,000 Bitcoin Gold coins will be mined by the team before the software is set loose to the public. Once this distribution is over, the team will launch the cryptocurrency so that users who had opted in early to Bitcoin Gold will be able to redeem their coins. All bitcoin owners will receive the new cryptocurrency at a rate of 1 BTC to 1 BTG creating a new, separate market, for bitcoin which is claimed to be more efficient and less prone to manipulation by big mining interests.
20 exchanges and wallets committed to supporting the digital currency upon launch, with the notable exception of US-based Coinbase, which position is basically “moar info pls.” It is important to note the huge back push by the established order concerning referring to Bitcoin Gold. On a personal note, BTG is currently valued at about $160 or 0.02 BTC. However risky it may be, if we are to see another surge in value, as seen in BTC itself and Bitcoin Cash over the past year, it is quite possible that in this case, I will bet against the crowd and go with the fork.
I happen to have set aside $500 for this, about 0.08 BTC worth, and I will not go broke if it misfires. If you do not have the money to invest, avoid at all costs.
Stay with what works for you. Be a Vulcan about it.