Bitcoin Gold Responds to Empty Blocks ‘Attack’ Threat: ‘Forks Are Part of Crypto Politics’

Recently, a cryptocurrency mining pool dubbed ‘SharkPool’ threatened to mine empty blocks on altcoins that use the “bitcoin” name, as it considers these “acts of war” against what it believes is Satoshi Nakamoto’s true vision – Bitcoin Cash SV (BSV). One of the threatened altcoins was Bitcoin Gold (BTG).

During an exclusive with CryptoGlobe Ari Kuqi, the co-founder of the firm behind SharkPool, revealed that this week it would mine empty blocks on either Bitcoin Diamond (BCD), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Bitcoin Private (BTCP), and Bitcoin Interest (BCI).

These, Kuqi claimed, were “appetizers” for a potential attack on Bitcoin Cash ABC – which seemingly took the BCH ticker on most crypto exchanges after the hard fork. Its strategy, which can be seen as an attack, would consist of mining empty blocks on these blockchains to then sell the rewards it got for BSV.

This would stop transactions from going through on the networks, if SharkPool managed to have a majority of the hashrate, creating a transaction backlog and potentially disincentivizing users from using the crypto. Moreover, by selling its rewards for BSV, it would put selling pressure on the token, helping its price drop.

Speaking with CryptoGlobe Alejandro Rogojo, the co-founder of one of the threatened altcoins, Bitcoin Gold (BTG), claimed that the cryptocurrency’s team is continually monitoring its blockchain but didn’t focus too much on the threat as it believes “the main reason for it is a lack of knowledge.”

He added that the team promotes bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin gold (BTG) with “the same effort,” and that he expects SharkPool to research them before “performing any attack.” This research Regojo claimed, will see them realize BTG is “not a problem for Bitcoin.”

When asked what he would tell SharkPool is he could, the developer stated:

Forks are part of crypto politics. There are very clever people behind the big blocks ideology and I personally love this debate. But if “hurt[ing]” Bitcoin is a tool for your success, I don’t have anything to say.

Regojo added that since BTG is frequently targeted by hackers, it’s still aware it may be targeted. As CryptoGlobe covered, Bitcoin Gold’s network went through a hard fork earlier this year to prevent 51% attacks, after $18 million were stolen when hackers managed to use superior hashrate to double spend coins.

After the upgrade, BTG is no longer mineable with ASIC machines used in cryptocurrencies like BSV, the Bitcoin Cash implementation SharkPool backs. While this could mean the majority of the pool's hashrate won't be able to mine on Bitcoin Gold's network, the pool has claimed it had over 500 sign-ups from other miners. How many may be able to mine on BTG's unique equihash-BTG proof-of-work algorithm is unclear.

Part of the funds were reportedly stolen from cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex, which decided to delist it along with Bitcoin Private and BitShares. Bitcoin Gold’s team responded to being delisted from Bittrex, claiming it was only delisted after declining to pay 12,372 BTG.

Despite the risk, BTG is notably up in the last 24 hours. According to available data it’s currently trading at $21.64 after rising nearly 12%.

Bitcoin Gold's price chart

When asked if he believes Craig Wright is indeed Satoshi Nakamoto, he revealed he doesn’t have any strong feelings on it, but added it’s “very sad what is going on,” as he claims “bad actors [who] don’t care” are using BTC as a tool to get to where they want to.

When asked about the recent correction that saw bitcoin dip below $5,000 for the first time since October of 2017, he noted it was related to the BCH hashwar, and that he doesn’t care about prices as he’s “still developing  new services and technologies in this awesome ecosystem.”

This article has been updated to clarify BTG isn't mineable with ASIC machines.