Monero Hard Fork: Battling Mining Centralization with ASIC Resistance

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The anonymous cryptocurrency Monero plans to carry out a hard fork to make the network resistant to ASIC miners in an attempt to promote network decentralization.

The erstwhile Cryptonight algorithm is likely to be removed in favor of RandomX to keep mining centralization at bay, June 4, 2019.

Community Driven Consensus

Bitcoin has been subject to rumors that since most miners are set up in China, they are effectively under the Chinese government’s beck and call.

In an attempt to remove the slimmest possibility of this, Monero is developing a new proof of work (PoW) algorithm to make mining more efficient in CPUs and GPUs than ASIC miners.

Monero has long been protesting the effect miners have on crypto networks and have been looking for ways to push out ASIC miners. As an anonymous cryptocurrency that champions individual financial privacy, the need for decentralization is necessary.

RandomX, the new PoW algorithm, makes it necessary for anyone who wants to run an ASIC miner to build it specifically for Monero and reimplement their entire CPU – a process not many are likely to burden themselves with.

A randomly generated PoW, which is co-developed by the Monero team and Arweave, will help keep everyday computer hardware much more competitive for the near future. Arweave is a serverless storage protocol, and an ASIC resistant algorithm will enhance low cost and tamper-proof storage on their network.

RandomX has been voted on and funded for three audits to make sure it is functional and Sybil resistant. However, there was a decision to perhaps carry out a fourth audit, which is still under discussion disputed by the community.

The Future of Anonymous Crypto

While privacy is an important feature advocated across many networks in the form of zk-SNARK’s and most recently, the Samourai Dojo, anonymity is something that regulators will inevitably crack down on.

While cryptocurrencies like bitcoin harbor transparency in linking public keys to transactions, Monero uses ring signatures to disguise the true transactors. Monero is also slowly creeping up on Bitcoin to become a competitor for deep web payments.

Governments may not be too happy about cryptocurrencies like Monero, ZCash, and PivX flourishing in a digital ecosystem. Something that protects privacy but doesn’t eradicate the possibility of triangulating identity would be an ideal solution to both citizens and authorities.

However, with the ability to seize the network out of the government’s hands, it will be interesting to watch how anonymous money fares over the next few years.

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