Bitcoin Gold Developer Under Scrutiny For Allegedly Hiding Mining Code

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 his pool’s 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.

A Fee for Open Source Contributions

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 $150 after the mining pool fee scandal was revealed.

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.

** Update: News.Bitcoin.com spoke with the bitcoin gold developer Martin Kuvandzhiev and we asked him why he added the fee to the mining pool’s code, why people claim the code was hidden, and the allegations that mining pool payouts were not being paid.  

Bitcoin gold developer Martin Kuvandzhiev says payouts have been going out, as just like with bitcoin mining pools, miners have to wait 100 blocks for the freshly minted BTG to confirm.

 The Accused Bitcoin Gold Developer Responds to Allegations

“I have spent a lot of time learning how z-nomp works and the whole stratum protocol. The fee is 0.5% which like $1 USD per miner, per month,” explains Kuvandzhiev. “I decided to publish the changes open source so that everyone can use the code, and remove the fee if they like. If someone wants to remove it, they just can ask me, I don’t hide my name or my face. If I wanted to have something hidden I would never provide this software as open source.”

If you check with the people who have made this public, most of them are pool operators. They need more people going to their pools and this story is a way to make the people go to them. However, I dropped the fee for pool.gold to 0 percent until the pool runs out of money for the servers. Then the pool will make a poll to ask the people, whether it shall be closed or they can choose a fee amount to support the servers.

“There was a chain split at the beginning of the bitcoin gold chain. As it can be seen the pool is paying to all the people hashing on it, and after the 0 percent fee these payments will be even higher for all the miners,” the software programmer emphasizes.

“As far as the premine the rumors are incorrect. The entire premine is locked with 4 of 6 multi-signature keys. 60% of the premine is time-locked for the next three years,” The bitcoin gold core developer Kuvandzhiev concludes.

** This article was updated on Wednesday, November 15 at 4 pm EDT. 

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.


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