Bitcoin Gold Developer Under Scrutiny For Allegedly Hiding Mining Code

The bitcoin gold development team is under fire once again as the currency’s mining community has discovered a hard-coded hidden fee protocol found within one of the bitcoin gold developer’s mining pool code. Miners say that BTG core developer, Martin Kuvandzhiev (StarbugBG), added a hidden 0.5 percent fee into the btgmine.org pool code that pays the fees directly to his wallet.

Also read: Bitcoin Gold’s Confusing Mainnet Launch Has a Rough Start

Mining Community Lashes Out at Bitcoin Gold Developer Martin Kuvandzhiev

Bitcoin Gold Developer Under Scrutiny For Allegedly Hiding Mining CodeAs we reported last week the bitcoin gold(BTG) mainnet went live, and mining is now open to the public. When the project first launched it was reported that the mining pool Suprnova had an issue with a chain split situation. The mining community reveals that Suprnova and other BTG pools have stripped the hidden fee protocol from their mining software. According to rumors across forums the creator of BTG, Jack Liao, allegedly kept the pre-mine of 8,000 blocks for himself and speculators believe it provoked Kuvandzhiev to add the code which transfers a hidden fee to his Bulgarian mining pool.

“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,” explains a Bitcointalk.org user.

Bitcoin Gold Developer Under Scrutiny For Allegedly Hiding Mining Code
A screenshot of the BTG Slack channel shows blocks being found but zero BTG payouts.

A Fee for Contributing a BTG Open Source Mining Pool

Additionally, a complaint was sent to the team’s Github repository called issue #180“Beware of hidden fee hard-coded into z-nomp fork advertised by the devs.”

“Looks like ‘StarbugBG’ (Martin Kuvandzhiev) snuck a little easter egg in the form of a hidden 0.5% fee directly paid to his wallet via coinbase tx into the pool code he suggested everyone use,” details the Github issues creator.

However, Kuvandzhiev explains that the open source code wasn’t hidden and other pools are closed source. “Which is better?” asks Kuvandzhiev “Only one working pool which is closed source or an open source pool code that everyone can edit with 0.5% for the dev that has made this 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.

Bitcoin Gold Developer Under Scrutiny For Allegedly Hiding Mining Code
The mining pool issue has been known by developers and miners for two days but the news has just reached the public. Many unhappy developers and miners on Github express their opinions about the hidden fee setting.

Following the Controversial News, the Developer’s BTG Pool Closes Operations and Bitcoin Gold Markets Lose Significant Value

As soon as the news hit social media, forums and the team’s Slack channel the BTG mining community was in an uproar. Further, the currency’s markets have dropped in value significantly, as one BTG was $250 yesterday, and has since dropped to $150after the mining pool fee scandal was revealed. Alongside this, the mining pool btgmine.org allegedly run by Kuvandzhiev has closed its operations.

“Please note, btgmine.org is shutting down — Please relocate your miners to alternate pools at your earliest convenience,” notes the pool’s website.

News.Bitcoin.com has reached out for a response from the bitcoin gold team and its lead developer “h4x3rotab.” “I’d like to help — Though maybe I don’t have enough time to answer all the questions in details,” explains the developer to news.Bitcoin.com via Slack. Since then the BTG team has yet to respond to our question concerning the mining pool incident created by the programmer Martin Kuvandzhiev.

What do you think about the hidden fee issue the mining community is complaining about? Let us know what you think about the bitcoin gold project in the comments below.  


Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoin.com, Github, Pixabay, and the BTG Slack Channel.


Need to know the price of bitcoin? Check this chart.

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Bitcoin surges in Zimbabwe as military seizes power

Bitcoin climbed as much as 10% on Zimbabwe’s Golix exchange on Wednesday after the country’s armed forces seized power.

The price of the cryptocurrency in the Southern African nation jumped as high as $13,499, almost double the rate at which it trades in international markets, according to prices cited on Golix’s website.

Demand for Bitcoin in Zimbabwe has surged amid a shortage of hard currency. Golix processed more than $1 million of transactions in the past 30 days, compared with turnover of $100,000 for the whole of 2016, according to data on the exchange’s website. Zimbabwe doesn’t have its own currency, with the government adopting the U.S. dollar and South African rand, among others, as legal tender in 2009 after hyperinflation rendered the local dollar worthless.

Golix, an unregulated platform that also trades other cryptocurrencies, has been in operation since 2014. Prices for Bitcoin are set by supply and demand, according to Taurai Chinyamakobvu, co-owner of the exchange. Sellers are paid in U.S. dollars deposited electronically, which can only be converted at a steep discount on the black market.

Click here to read more on the situation in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s army moved into the capital, Harare, on Tuesday after a week of confrontation with President Robert Mugabe’s government and said the action was needed to stave off violent conflict in the southern African nation that he has ruled since 1980.

Deep Crisis

The events unfolded as Zimbabwe is in deep crisis. The economy has halved in size since 2000, an estimated 95% of the workforce is jobless and as many as 3 million Zimbabweans have gone into exile.

While most major currencies are legal tender in Zimbabwe, cash-strapped importers and retailers buy dollars — or any currency easily converted to dollars — at premium prices by paying the seller electronically. A dollar buys about 8 South African rand, compared with the market exchange rate of 14.36 on Wednesday. Zimbabwe’s unpopular “bond notes” — promissory notes issued by the central bank and officially pegged to the dollar, are worth as little as 50 U.S. cents on the black market.


Read: Thousands of Bitcoin being traded in South Africa every week

Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin Black Friday

Black Friday, the internet’s annual day for rampant consumer excess, is looming. On November 24, an online spending spree the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the last one, and which won’t been seen till the next, shall commence. As Black Friday’s profile has risen in recent years, so has that of its sister event, Bitcoin Black Friday. But with many cryptocurrency owners choosing to hodl rather than spend, will this year’s BFF be a damp squib?

See also: Bitcoin Goes UK Chic, Juliettes Interiors First Luxury Retailer to Accept Cryptocurrency

It’s Friday, Friday

Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin Black Friday
Black Friday is on its way.

On Thursday November 23, Americans celebrate family and food by gathering their nearest and dearest and piling their plates high. The following day, the U.S. – and increasingly the rest of the world – fire up smartphones, tablets, and laptops, and load up on Black Friday bargains. Traditionally its been the credit card that’s borne the brunt of the strain, but for the past few years bitcoin has also been an option.

Bitcoin Black Friday was launched by crypto enthusiast Jon Holmquist in 2012, initially as a means of raising awareness of bitcoin. By his own admission, the cryptocurrency has been doing just fine in the awareness stakes of late; most people with the capacity to shop online have at least heard of bitcoin. For owners of the cryptocurrency, however, many of whom have seen their portfolio double, triple, or even 10x in value this year, parting with those precious coins – even for an event as monumental as Bitcoin Black Friday – is a big ask.

Spend and enjoy instant gratification or hodl in the hopes of deferred gratification as bitcoin rises further? It’s a dilemma.

Bitcoin Black Friday Welcomes its Crypto Brethren

For this year, BFF’s founder has welcomed all cryptocurrencies into the fold, writing “While the title of the event is still Bitcoin Black Friday, I think other digital currency communities should be able to participate.” Jon Holmquist told news.Bitcoin.com:

The goal for this year is simply to provide a fun event for the Bitcoin community to participate in and support merchants who accept digital currencies. One extremely important change this year is that BBF, irregardless of the name, is now currency agnostic. If a merchant only accepts Bitcoin Cash, they can be listed.

So for those comfortable with the idea of splurging some satoshis on discounted gear, what sort of bitcoin bargains are there to be had?

Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin Black Friday
Just some of the discounted wares at Spendabit.

Spend a Little with Spendabit

Bitcoin shopping aggregator Spendabit specializes in rounding up products that can be purchased with bitcoin. It currently lists over 400 stores and several million products. On Friday November 24, the site will be launching a new section detailing vendors offering bitcoin-only discounts. (To entice merchants to be listed on the site, Spendabit is also offering its own Black Friday subscription deal.)

black fridayThere are also various bitcoin-friendly stores running Black Friday promotions including Overstock, where there are flash deals on everything from engagement rings to orthopedic dog beds. Elsewhere, Etsy (which has an entire section of bitcoin members) is running Cyber Week promos that include key rings, art, Xmas decorations, clothing, and accessories. To pay with BTC, select “Other” as payment method at checkout and then contact the seller to complete the process.

Gamers, meanwhile, can avail themselves of various Black Friday deals at Steam, including 55% off Dying Light and up to 80% off Steam Controller games. Don’t forget to check out the deals being offered by smaller stores too, many of which are listed at Spendbitcoins.com. Finally, if all this talk of spending has gotten you in the mood for a spot of retail therapy, we’ll finish by rounding up some of the best bitcoin merchandise to be found on the web. In the absence of a copyright holder to protect the brand, hobbyists and entrepreneurs have been free to do what they like under the bitcoin banner. The results are invariably bizarre, creative, and amusing.

Say It with Bitcoin, Pay It With Bitcoin

As crypto clobber goes, this tee scores an easy 9.8 on the geek scale. One for the true neckbeards.

Inside the Weird and Wonderful World of Bitcoin Merchandise

And here’s a slightly less esoteric version for the next generation of bitcoiners:

Inside the Weird and Wonderful World of Bitcoin Merchandise

Real Men Control the Keys to Their Bitcoin Wallets

And so do real women. This retro poster would sit beautifully above the tri-screen battlestation you use to monitor your crypto bags in real time.

Inside the Weird and Wonderful World of Bitcoin Merchandise

Magic Internet Money

The internet is awash with apparel referencing all your favorite bitcoin memes from “To the moon” tees to “Hodl me” pacifiers, but r/bitcoin’s magic internet money is still one of the best. Encase your laptop in this painstakingly designed sleeve. Over 9,000 hours in MS Paint.

Inside the Weird and Wonderful World of Bitcoin Merchandise

I Survived the Bitcoin Crash

It was painful at the time but at least we can laugh about it now. Here’s hoping we don’t have to issue a 2018 version of this tee.

https://www.zazzle.co.uk/i_survived_bitcoin_crash_april_2013_t_shirt-235502856164312583

Bitcoin is Dead

One for the bitcoin bears. Who wants to send a tee to Jamie Dimon?

Inside the Weird and Wonderful World of Bitcoin Merchandise

Satoshi’s White Paper

Show your devotion to the Church of Satoshi by wearing the bitcoin bible on your chest.

Inside the Weird and Wonderful World of Bitcoin Merchandise

Nakamoto for President

If Kanye West and The Rock can toy with running for president, why not Satoshi? Sure, we don’t know if he’s a he, or a single entity, or an American citizen, or even alive, but let’s not allow such trifling details to spoil the sentiment of this fine apparel.

Inside the Weird and Wonderful World of Bitcoin Merchandise

The Cult of Satoshi

The mysteriousness of Satoshi inspires some truly weird and wonderful artwork. Often it’s not so much the imagery as the underlying concept that causes the mind to boggle. This Etsy effort depicts “the spirit of Satoshi Nakamoto hurdling over the moon on his epic honey badger mount carrying trophies of the world’s vanquished fiat currencies”. Obviously.

Inside the Weird and Wonderful World of Bitcoin Merchandise

Become a Bitcoin Baron

Just because you’re a crypto minnow doesn’t preclude you from larping like a bitcoin whale. The Bitcoin Empire Card Game allows you to “build your cryptocurrency empire and sabotage your opponents”. It’s basically trading without the pain of having your 1,000 BTC short liquidated. One to play with all the family around the table after Christmas lunch.

Inside the Weird and Wonderful World of Bitcoin Merchandise

Finally, All Things Decentraland’s cryptoart section is a rabbit hole of lost productivity that will mesmerize and distract you for days.

Inside the Weird and Wonderful World of Bitcoin Merchandise

Many of the sites featured here accept payment in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but there are plenty of other places on the web where your satoshis are good. There’s even a Crypto Pet store that takes bitcoin, litecoin, dash and, of course, doge. The world of bitcoin merchandise is a strange one indeed, but the cryptocurrency community would be all the duller without it.

Whatever happens on Black Friday, bitcoin holders should be able to sleep easy. It wasn’t always that way, as Viacoin dev Romano points out:

Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin Black Friday
As one Twitter user put it, “It’d be great if for #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday we could buy Bitcoin discounted like everything else”. Now there’s an offer that all bitcoin newcomers could get behind.

Will you be spending bitcoin on Black Friday? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, All Things Decentral, Redbubble.com, Zazzle, Thesaltyporcupine.com, and Etsy.

Bitcoin’s Encryption Not Flawless?

Apparently quantum scientists have predicted that by 2027 there will be a quantum attack method that can hack any Bitcoin blockchain. I am not a quantum hacker myself so I can’t say if it’s possible or not, but I have read several articles on quantum computing. Whenever there is a new form of computing or some technological upgrade, you will have people attempting to hack / break this tech. Obviously Bitcoin chains are the freaking honeypot of a hacker’s wet dream. It’s not regulated, it’s a tough challenge, and you can read more below

bitcoin.com

Key protocols securing technology under-girding bitcoin are “susceptible to attack by the development of a sufficiently large quantum

computer,” researchers mostly from Singapore claim in a recently-released paper, Quantum attacks on Bitcoin, and how to protect against them (Quantum), made available through the Cornell University Library. Also read: Is Bitcoin at Risk as Google and […] The post Bitcoin’s Encryption Could be Broken by 2027, Claim Singapore Quantum Experts appeared first on Bitcoin News. Bitcoin’s Encryption Could 

be Broken by 2027, Claim Singapore Quantum Experts

Why Aren’t There More Women in Bitcoin?

Take a look around the crypto community, both in meatspace and online, and it would be fair to say that the majority of participants are male. This is borne out in a recent survey of 2,000 Americans which shed light on the makeup of the bitcoin space, highlighting a stark gender divide. In fact Google Analytics data estimates less than 4% of bitcoin users to be female. The question is, why?

Also read: Millennials Are Big On Bitcoin (But Over 65s Not So Sure)

Welcome to the Boys’ Club

As news.Bitcoin.com reported earlier this week:

Twice as many men own or have owned bitcoin and are almost three times as likely as women to buy bitcoin in the next five years. Men also have a more positive view of bitcoin (17% versus 7%).

Why So Few Women in Bitcoin?

Tech industries are inherently male-dominated for reasons that include boys being introduced to gadgets at a younger age, leading to just 16% of computer science undergraduates being female. Despite initiatives designed to encourage more girls to code, the number of female computer science undergraduates in the UK has actually dropped in the last 10 years. Attributing other reasons to the absence of women in tech is highly contentious, as fired Google engineer James Damore discovered to his peril this year.

Boys and Bitcoin

Why Aren’t There More Women In Bitcoin?In its earliest days, bitcoin was a wild west that evoked memories of the dawn of the internet – another piece of tech whose earliest innovators and adopters were predominantly male. A degree of technical knowledge was required to fully utilize the web back then, and the same holds true of bitcoin even today. While the UX of bitcoin has since improved thanks to development at the application layer, cautionary tales of lost private keys, coins sent to wrong addresses, and phishing attempts are still abound. And those are the sort of mishaps that can befall even experienced operators.

For newcomers, there’s a lot to learn, and that’s not including the dogma surrounding bitcoin and competing claims on which chain is “true”. If bitcoin’s earliest adopters are drawn from industries which are historically male-dominated, it follows that later adopters will be less tech-savvy. Newcomers of both sexes, then, find themselves with a mountain of knowledge to climb.

Why Does Bitcoin Need More Women?

Why Aren’t There More Women In Bitcoin?It shouldn’t need stating that the more inclusive bitcoin is, the better. The cryptocurrency space doesn’t need diversity quotas, but if it is to attain mainstream adoption, it needs to attract support from all demographics. Bitcoin can hardly be labeled a global payment and wealth storage system if it excludes half of the population. While no one is stopping more women from getting involved with bitcoin, little is being done to encourage them either.

Credit must go to the likes of Rhian Lewis and Paige Freeman for organizing Women in Bitcoin events in London and San Francisco. These exceptions, unfortunately, only reiterate that bitcoin is largely a boys’ club.

Changing the status quo surely calls for action in the following areas:

Behavior. If Silicon Valley’s culture is overly macho, how to describe bitcoin with its brash, combative, and opinionated personalities? To misquote Hunter S Thompson:

Bitcoin is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.

The cryptocurrency community is awesome, but it’s also intimidating and filled with one-upmanship and braggadocio. Why would anyone want to join such a rabble?

Why Aren’t There More Women In Bitcoin?
Can’t we just all get along?

Issues such as off-chain scaling and Merkle roots might keep bitcoin’s most brilliant minds up at night, but it’s interface design, aesthetics, user-friendliness, and on-ramping that will open up bitcoin to the masses.

More can be done to reach out to women and raise awareness of bitcoin and how it can benefit them. This is something that everyone in the crypto community could do better. There are ways to educate people about bitcoin without succumbing to accusations of ‘mansplaining’.

Women Don’t Want Pink

Women don’t want things to be pink and fluffy (despite what the developers of Womencoin seem to think), but they do want products that appeal to their interests. There are dedicated insurance websites, retail stores, casinos, and social media apps for women. When bitcoin starts catering to the needs of women, providing products that add value to their lives, progress will be made. Gimmicky coins and female-focused tokens do little to help.

If egalitarian reasons don’t spur developers into catering for women, financial incentives certainly will. There’s a vast number of moms, sisters, girlfriends, and colleagues out there with high disposable income and a love for all things internet. This presents a huge business opportunity for whoever can figure out a way to get these women into bitcoin and to get bitcoin into their everyday lives.

Bitcoin is amazing. It removes monetary control from governments, enhances privacy, and gives individuals financial freedom. And that’s something that every man and woman on this planet deserves to experience.

What do you think can be done to get more women into bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

Bitcoin Academy ( Lesson 3 ) – Bitcoin

Legal status, tax and regulation

Because of bitcoin’s decentralized nature, restrictions or bans on it are impossible to enforce, although its use can be criminalized.[152]The legal status of bitcoin varies substantially from country to country and is still undefined or changing in many of them. While some countries have explicitly allowed its use and trade, others have banned or restricted it. Regulations and bans that apply to bitcoin probably extend to similar cryptocurrency systems.[153]

Criminal activity

The use of bitcoin by criminals has attracted the attention of financial regulators, legislative bodies, law enforcement, and the media.[154]The FBI prepared an intelligence assessment,[155] the SEC has issued a pointed warning about investment schemes using virtual currencies,[154] and the US Senate held a hearing on virtual currencies in November 2013.[72]

Several news outlets have asserted that the popularity of bitcoins hinges on the ability to use them to purchase illegal goods.[91][156] In 2014, researchers at the University of Kentucky found “robust evidence that computer programming enthusiasts and illegal activity drive interest in bitcoin, and find limited or no support for political and investment motives.”[157]

Criticism

Bitcoin has been criticized for the vast amounts of electricity consumed by mining. It has been estimated that annual consumption (as of 2017) was 23 terawatt hours, approximately the same as the country of Ecuador.[158]

The transaction times vary from several seconds to several hours depending on offered transaction fee and other technical reasons.[159][better source needed]

In academia

Journals

In September 2015, the establishment of the peer-reviewed academic journal Ledger (ISSN 2379-5980) was announced. It will cover studies of cryptocurrencies and related technologies, and is published by the University of Pittsburgh.[160][161] The journal encourages authors to digitally sign a file hash of submitted papers, which will then be timestamped into the bitcoin blockchain. Authors are also asked to include a personal bitcoin address in the first page of their papers.[162][163]

Other

In the fall of 2014, undergraduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) each received bitcoins worth $100 “to better understand this emerging technology”. The bitcoins were not provided by MIT but rather the MIT Bitcoin Club, a student-run club.[164][165]

In 2016, Stanford University launched a lab course on building bitcoin-enabled applications.[166]

In art, entertainment, and media

Films

The documentary film, The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin (late 2014), features interviews with people who use bitcoin, such as a computer programmer and a drug dealer.[167]

Music

Several lighthearted songs celebrating bitcoin have been released.[168]