Bitcoin gold is set to go live this weekend.
In a new blog post, the developers behind the fork of the bitcoin blockchain said that they would release a formal software client for download at 7:00 PM UTC on Nov. 12. Originally set for a public launch on Nov. 1, the project is backed by LightningASIC, a seller of mining hardware based in Hong Kong, as well as a community of relatively unknown developers.
As reported by CoinDesk, the idea behind bitcoin gold is to keep most properties of the protocol, but restrict the use of specialized chips for mining, or the process by which new transactions are added to a blockchain (while also creating new tokens as a reward).
It's also the latest example of a "airdropped" cryptocurrency that will distribute new coins to anyone who owned bitcoin at the time of the split, or up until the date the ledger of transactions started to differ.
Yet in a move criticized by some observers, the team behind bitcoin gold has been mining blocks in insolation since the new network was formally created last month, with a certain amount of coins being set aside to support development.
In comments, the team behind the effort sought to send a signal of confidence to the market, perhaps owing to concerns circulating around the effort.
"We are extremely grateful for the community around the world who have been contributing hash power to our testnets; besides patiently testing their own mining process, they allow exchanges, pools, wallet developers, and all other service operators to implement and test their support of BTG so that the bitcoin gold community can have a full suite of services at launch time," the project's backers said in a statement.
In the days ahead, exchanges will no doubt be watching the launch. Soon after its August release, bitcoin cash, another cryptocurrency that forked the bitcoin network, amassed a nearly $4 billion market value.
Exchanges and traders will no doubt be watching to see if history repeats.
Gold nugget image via Shutterstock