Bitcoin Gold is a fork of the Bitcoin blockchain that will occur on October 25, 2017. At the predetermined block height, Bitcoin Gold miners will begin creating blocks with a new proof-of-work algorithm, and this will cause a bifurcation of the Bitcoin blockchain. The original Bitcoin blockchain will continue on unaltered, but a new branch of the blockchain will split off from the original chain. The new branch is a distinct blockchain with the same transaction history as Bitcoin up until the fork, but then diverges from it. As a result of this process, a new cryptocurrency will be born.
The purpose of Bitcoin Gold is to make Bitcoin mining decentralized again. Satoshi Nakamoto’s idealistic vision of “one CPU one vote” has been superseded by a reality where the manufacture and distribution of mining equipment has become dominated by a very small number of entities, some of which have engaged in abusive practices against individual miners and the Bitcoin network as a whole. By changing Bitcoin’s proof-of-work algorithm from SHA256 to Equihash, all of the specialized SHA256 mining equipment will be obsolete for mining the Bitcoin Gold blockchain. Thus, Bitcoin Gold will provide an opportunity for countless new people around the world to participate in the mining process with widely-available consumer hardware that is manufactured and distributed by reputable mainstream corporations. A more decentralized, democratic mining infrastructure is more resilient and more in line with Satoshi’s original vision.