Bitcoin Gold (or more commonly known under the trading name BTG) was launched back in the 12th of November this year. Since the fork on the Bitcoin blockchain occurred on block 491407, technically anyone who had Bitcoin before the fork should have BTG of an equivalent amount on their accounts.
This article will explain how you can get this virtual gold and potentially use it.
BTG has strong replay protection, meaning you can’t accidentally spend Bitcoin when it’s BTG you mean to use.
A word of advice, if you still want to keep on using Bitcoin but also want to still hold on to that BTG, just make sure to never lose your private keys, and well, don’t do anything for now (However, keeping track of your Bitcoin addresses that stored your initial Bitcoin before the split might come in hand in the future, so make sure to keep that in mind as well).
However, if by chance, you are interested in getting your piece of the cake as soon as possible, then by all means keep on reading.
(Also important to note is that as of the moment 1 BTG is trading at around 0.02 BTC, so you could earn a 2 percent “dividend” on your BTC if you decide to sell.)
If you already have your Bitcoin private keys in your possession, then you’re already well on your way, although it’s not necessarily safe to claim BTG. So always make sure to refrain from using malicious or insecure software, as this may lead to the exposure of your private keys. And since the keys for BTC and BTG are the same, you can lose all your digital assets, and in the end, you gain nothing while also losing what you have in the first place.
Ergo, it’s important to take your time and make sure you understand this process, as it’s rather tricky. Don’t worry, because BTG isn’t in a hurry either.
Our first recommendation in this guide is to use a paper wallet, which is always safe since it’s not on any device, therefore hacking is not an option. Also, it’s a good move to create separate paper wallets for both your BTC and your BTC, for better security.
You can use wallets such as Electrum and Coinomi to sweep your private keys before putting them on a paper wallet, just check the “sweep” option in any of these wallets, since this is where you can utilize the QR-code printed on your paper wallet (or you can also just type in your key). Once done, you can then send your digital currency to your paper wallet. This way, you have different paper wallets that hold both your BTG and your BTC separately.
Alternatively, you can also read a blog post by Coinomi explaining how you can do this trick for your BTG here.
Our second recommendation would be to use a regular digital wallet, which you can find on bitcoin.org.
Accessing your BTG through a regular wallet differs from wallet to wallet, but for this one, we strongly recommend using Coinomi, as it is the best option in the market you can import your keys to. One of Coinomi’s blog posts explains how you can switch from wallet to wallet can be found here. The process was originally made for Bitcoin, but as explained, you can also use it for Bitcoin Gold.
Full Node Wallet
Another recommendation on our arsenal would be to make a full node wallet, like Bitcoin Core or Bitcoin Knots.
A full node wallet makes a dedicated folder on your computer where it places your private keys. You can also make a backup of this folder by simply choosing “backup wallet” in the menu of your wallet. Once accomplished, importing this backup into Bitcoin Gold Core (full node for Bitcoin Gold) should be fairly straightforward.
Still, exporting your private keys into your Coinomi mobile wallet straight from your Bitcoin full node is a whole lot easier and safer.
Lastly, we can also advise utilizing a hardware wallet that can keep your private keys safe, though doing so does not guarantee access to your BTG any easier.
As of the moment, there is still no hardware wallet that gives access to BTG. Although blog posts from Digital Bitbox and Keep Key suggest that they might support it in the near future, so do keep an eye out for that.
Using (or Selling) Your BTG
Once you have gained access to your Bitcoin Gold, you are free to do as you please, just like with any other digital currency that is out there. You can either choose to sell it, exchange it with websites, or use it for transactions with other investors who are willing to accept it.
However, before doing so, here are three factors you should remember:
- Always keep in mind that your public keys, which are link to both your BTC and BTG addresses, are sensitive information. Using one will also give away the other, which in turn, can lead to a potential breach in your security, as well as reveal information about your account. So always bear in mind that when doing deals, you are prepared to give up some of this privacy.
- This second reminder is worth mentioning even though it’s still theoretical as of the moment. This one is concerned with security. Theoretically, revealing your key whenever you’re doing transactions takes off a layer on your cryptographic security, increasing chances of having it weakened in the future. Now, this may not be the case, but being cautious is still the best course of action.
- Last but not least, it’s never a good idea to use unstable software whenever you’re claiming BTG or any other digital currency for that matter. It’s a good move to transfer your BTC to a different address, or a new wallet for that matter, before you use your BTG for transactions or exchanges. That way, if you do lose your BTG because of its unstable software, your BTC will be left untouched.
A quick recap:
- If at this moment, you don’t feel the need to meddle with your BTG, then by all means, don’t. As long as everything is secure, then you’re good to go.
- However, if you do want to do a bit of spending with your BTG, first make sure that your BTC is on a different address, or a new wallet. Separation of your digital assets is crucial.
- Once familiar with the ins and outs, you may upload your keys into a wallet, like Coinomi, which we recommend, ensuring better security.