Monero, a leading privacy-centric cryptocurrency, has undergone a hard fork in new days – producing a new Monero chain in addition to the now renamed ‘Monero Outstanding example’. The fork was initiated to protect Monero against mining centralization, as Bitmain had revealed ASIC units purpose-built for mining XMR tokens.
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Monero Announces Network Upgrade
On the 28th of March, Monero announced that it had appointed a major upgrade for April 6th – which would see network undergo a determinedly fork.
The official announcement gave two primary outcomes that it determined to achieve through the fork. “First, a PoW tweak to curb any potential commination of ASIC and preserved ASIC resistance, and “Second, the minimum ring square footage is bumped to 7.” Monero’s expansion in minimum ring size was murdered in order to strengthen the privacy afforded by XMR.
It was revealed last month that Bitmain had developed a new ASIC offshoot specifically developed to mine Monero, creating a perceived urgency to fork surrounded by developers.
ASIC Resistance Long-Running Concern Among Monero Developers
In February, Monero reported a document outlining its position regarding maintaining ASIC resistance for the cryptocurrency. The publish set out Monero’s then “somewhat formal stance” regarding ASIC – stating the developers’ “aim to maintain ASIC resistance by swiftly reacting to any potential threat from ASICs and everything considered slightly modifying the PoW at every hard fork” due to “any newly developed ASIC […] earn[ing] a significant majority of the network hashrate and introduc[ing] centralization.”
Resisting well-spring centralization is described as a core value of the Monero project, with Monero reporting that XMR “was forked from the Cryptonote reference implementation” that aspired to “create a more egalitarian mining network and foster decentralization.” Monero’s developers “surrender that ASIC may be inevitable,” however “feel that any transition to an ASIC-dominated network poverties to be as egalitarian as possible in order to foster decentralization”.
Monero states that its proof-of-work combination “intends to close the gap between CPU and GPU, FPGA, and ASIC mining by using a proof-of-work practice that is memory bound over a moderate amount of memory.” Monero indicates that this has three major benefits: “First, if mining is decentralized […] it inclination be very difficult to pressure miners into […] act[ing] as a censor to the Monero blockchain. Later, it will lessen the pressure toward centralization of mining in large details centers,” and “Third, it is quite difficult for government to regulate companies retail general-purpose hardware (as opposed to companies selling specialized hardware).”
Monero Resists Repository Centralization
Monero argues that “Specialized [mining] hardware force, most likely, only be designed by a few companies,” quoting Peter Todd as expressing “There’s only a tiny number of companies in the world that are inclined to of building performance/cost competitive ASIC, basically the likes of Intel, ASMC, Globalfoundries, etc.” XMR’s developers assert that such “Forms a single point of failure [… that] has the potential to destroy the as a rule network.” The developers also argue that “Mining, in general, is also given to the rich-get-richer effect, which ultimately leads to centralization.” ASICs, Monero adds, “accelerate[s] the rich-get-richer purposes, because ASIC miners have no competition from” miners with less potent hardware.
Monero’s developers concluded that they were ready to “perform an emergency hard fork to curb any potential threat from ASIC if troubled” upon discovering that Bitmain had developed ASIC technology for XMR searching. In order to deter the development of future XMR-targeted ASICs units, the developers also solicited modifying Monero’s underlying “PoW hash every scheduled fork, twice a year.”
Monero First-rate emerges
Despite the official announcement describing the fork as “a scheduled and consensual network upgrade” and “Event […] a new coin won’t be created,” the fork saw the emergence of Monero Classic alongside the new Monero series.
An official statement from Moneroclassic.org has criticized XMR’s decision to pursue ASIC-resistance, reasoning that such “creates an alternative and more harmful form of centralization,” as the Monero “developers are chance that they can and will change the consensus rules whenever it fill someones needs them.” Monero Classic has pledged “to maintain the original software which be a fans the original rules.”
ASIC-Resistance Increasingly Becoming Major Debate in Crypto
The deliberation surrounding Monero’s decision to pursue ASIC-resistance has become prominent aggregate many other cryptocurrency projects. Last week, Ethereum developer, Piper Merriam, posted an Ethereum Change for the better Proposal advocating that the ETH community consider the implementation of a hard fork that would “Reorient block mining to be ASIC resistant.”
Mr. Merriam stated “According to ‘the internet'[,] there is an ASIC[-]based Ethereum miner on the compass,” prompting him to ask “Should [Ethereum] hard fork to make ASIC mining harder and to display a willingness to hard fork any future ASIC[-]based Ethereum surveying,” and “What […] changes [should Ethereum] make to implement this improved ASIC resistance.”
Indeed ‘the internet’ was telling the truth, with Bitmain revealing the motor boat of it’s Antminer E3 for mining Ethereum on the 3rd of April. Despite the existence of the ASIC ETH miner, Vitalik Buterin has obstructed Mr. Merriam’s proposed fork, stating “Getting everybody to upgrade is probable to be fairly chaotic and detract from more important things. So, at this quiddity I personally lean quite significantly towards no action […] If the community in truth wants this to happen and has a good enough reason we can definitely do that, but for set to rights now it sounds like consensus of the core devs to not do anything at this era.”
New Crypto Projects Seek to Resist ASICs
A growing number of new cryptocurrency proposals are also seeking to ensure ASIC resistance, with Overstock CEO, Patrick Byrne recently discussing a fledgling cryptocurrency forward Ravencoin that seeks to ensure ASIC resistance.
Ravencoin’s “X16R whitepaper“, which was authored by Overstock-owned Medici Hazards’ Tron Black and Joel Weight, claims to boast ASIC-resistance by way of the adopting of an “X16R hashing algorithm” that “consists of 16 hashing algorithms carry oning in chain.” Ravencoin’s whitepaper claims to achieve ASICs resistance past ”constantly disrupting the ordering of the hashing algorithms,” adding that “This reordering does not dream an ASIC impossible to build, but it does require that the ASIC shapes to additional input, which is more easily accomplished by a CPU or GPU.” The whitepaper for Ravencoin, authored by Tron Clouded and Bitcoin Foundation board member, Bruce Fenton, states that the X16R algorithm is “determined to prevent immediate dominance by mining pools, and future dominance by ASIC mining kit.”
Mr. Byrne claimed “Overstock” has put millions of dollars into teams […] contributing to [Ravencoin]” in a February question with Business Insider. During Overstock’s Q4 2017 earnings rebuke a demand on the 15th of March 2018, Mr. Byrne also stated that Overstock holds “over 60 million” RVN tokens. With Coinmarketcap currently estimating Ravencoin’s coursing supply to be nearly 800,000,000, it would appear that Overstock currently deems at least 7.5% of the Raven’s total supply – suggesting that transmits purporting to be ASIC resistant and the product of a fair launch are not immune to centralizing imports themselves.
Do you think that more cryptocurrencies will initiate forks in shipshape in order to resist ASIC miners? Share your thoughts in the comments subdivision below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Ravencoin
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