Last moth, in turn of unfortunate events, Bitcoin Gold (BTG) succumbed to the malicious double spend attack when a miner gained 51 percent control of the network, making it the third altcoin to suffer losses from such kind of attack after Monacoin and Verge.
For those who do not know about 51% attack:
51% attack refers to an attack on a blockchain, usually bitcoin’s, for which such an attack is still hypothetical, by a group of miners controlling more than 50% of the network’s mining hashrate, or computing power. The attackers would be able to prevent new transactions from gaining confirmations, allowing them to halt payments between some or all users.
Owing to this 51% attack, Bitcoin Gold (BTG) team is contemplating a hard fork as a solution to avoid 51% attacks in the future and the menace of ASIC miners thronging its network. Bitcoin Gold team confirmed that planned network upgrade is in progress and the necessary components are ready.
In the official announcement released on June 4, the team noted:
“Most of the necessary components for the Network Upgrade have been coded, but need more thorough testing. We are still working on improving the mining software so that as many people as possible are free to mine as soon as the Network Upgrade happens. Until the mining software was ready, we weren’t able to thoroughly test the new components on a testnet. We’re now making good progress and expect to be able to establish a firmer timeline for the Upgrade shortly, which we intend to share in another update three days from now.”
“We’re doing this for two reasons: we need to address the threat of ASIC miners coming into the Equihash mining space, and we need to take steps to improve the security of our blockchain in light of the recent 51% / Double Spend attacks.”
In October 2017, Bitcoin Gold appeared as a hard fork of the main Bitcoin blockchain, taking place at block 491407. The forked network launched an alteration to the hash algorithm which is used to mine Bitcoin. It played spoilsport and made Bitcoin application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) useless.
In the new upgrade, the team is changing the existing Equihash algorithm with the new Equihash-BTG. This will increase the memory required by ASIC miners to perform mining activity and thus will make their mining business unprofitable.
The statement also informed that the company is giving seven days notice before they start testing out the new network and more security measures that depend on the feedback from their ecosystem partners.
The cryptocurrency has also developed monitoring systems for the blockchain and their mining network, and have established channels to communicate to exchanges in case of an attack.
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