Bitcoin Gold (BTG), the controversial cryptocurrency that launched to little fanfare with the idealistic goal of “making bitcoin decentralized again” by creating an ASIC-resilient mining ecosystem, wherein the gap between GPU/CPU mining and ASIC mining is smaller, keeps making headlines. This week a BTG developer, Martin Kuvandzhiev, allegedly hid a 0.5% fee into a BTG mining pool, sending the funds directly to his wallet.
According to rumors on Bitcointalk, the developer added a 0.5% mining fee to his pool that transfers funds directly to his wallet, as the whole cryptocurrency’s known premine of 8,000 blocks could’ve been kept by BTG creator Jack Liao.
Reports further suggest some mining pools removed the code as it was publicly available. On the Bitocintalk forums, one user speculates:
This explains why so many blocks found didn’t show up as paid to the finder, also why Suprnova’s chain was out of sync, perhaps Suprnova found this code removed it, and that pissed off dev-team,
Speaking to Bitcoin.com, Kuvandzhiev stated that the code was open source, and as such wasn’t hidden from pools who would like to remove it. He also pointed out that other pools are closed source. He added that 0.5% it wasn’t a lot for a developer that “made it possible”:
0.5% for a regular miner is less than a $1 a month. Don’t act like it is too much. The other software has 1 – 2% fees and are closed source, you cannot remove it
He used the opportunity to clarify BTG’s premine period, stating that 60% of it is time-locked for next three years. Moreover, he pointed to those who made the 0.5% fee code public, suggesting most were pool operators who would profit from the story by drawing miners to their pools.
Kuvandzhiev further clarified that he dropped the mining fee for the pool.gold mining pool to 0%, until they’re unable to pay for servers. His plan is to then poll its users on whether it should add a fee to support servers or not.
Mining pool shuts down
Although the controversy surrounding Kuvandzhiev’s 0.5% fee didn’t lead to his pool’s demise, another Bitcoin Gold mining pool decided to shut down in light of the project’s controversies and technical difficulties.
The BTG Pool, run by MinerTopia, was reportedly shut down due a loss of “time and resources” on the project, as some reported DDoS attacks on pools, failed fork attempts, and technical difficulties
Right after Bitcoin Gold’s hard fork, the project’s website was also hit with a “massive” DDoS attack that took it down.
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