Network Upgrade Accomplished

Block 536200 has been mined.

Unlocked: New PoW, Equihash-BTG
Unlocked: New DAA, LWMA

Now delivering: greater safety, greater stability, more ASIC resistance

It has been a long, hard couple of weeks, but we made it!

For anyone who doesn’t yet know:

Equihash-BTG, our new Proof of Work algorithm, can’t be mined by current ASIC miners, but can be mined by GPUs. So, this kicks them out of our pools.

The new algorithm also comes with personalization that makes it harder to re-direct mining power through a “hashrate market.” The recent “51%” attacks, which may or may not have involved ASIC miners, were channeled through hashpower rental markets - but with this change in algorithm, there’s no longer a rental market for the algorithm we’re using, and it’s harder to set one up than before. This means more safety.

Meanwhile, LWMA, our improved Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm, makes our blockchain more responsive to shifts in hashpower so that the block time can be more quickly stabilized after swings. The GPU hashpower market is much more liquid than it used to be, as more and more miners adopted “auto-switching” in pursuit of profit instead of supporting specific coin projects. As a result, hashpower can move quickly after a price move in one of several coins, leading to unstable block times. Our improved algorithm will help the blockchain adjust more quickly, providing a steadier flow of blocks.

Both improvements are up and running as expected.

Pools and miners have set up to run the new algorithm.
Exchanges and wallets have updated their software.
Explorers and other peripheral services have been busy upgrading.

We thank them all for their hard work in recent days getting ready for this upgrade… and for dealing graciously with the few snags and hurdles that will inevitably come after an important Upgrade like this.

We know that this milestone isn’t an endpoint… it’s just a waypoint we pass along the way to better things. First, we’ll make sure everything continues to function as expected, and we’ll help the inevitable stragglers get on board with the new code… and then we have a whole bunch of new things we’re looking forward to sharing with the Community!

Always looking forward,
The Bitcoin Gold Organization


Note regarding Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm

We are now past block 536245.

The first 45 blocks after 536240 came rapidly, as expected, because of the manually reduced Difficulty at the time of the fork to compensate for the more difficult PoW algorithm, plus a safety buffer in case of pool problems or slow miner adoption.

The blocks averaged about 2.25 minutes each, during this period.

The new DAA uses a 45-block averaging window, and did not begin adjusting the difficulty until after 536245. After this point, the new DAA is fully functional, and we should see block times track closely to 10 minutes.