Monero on the Warpath
Monero has been making headlines across the world with its war on big business. According to Coindesk, the developers of the privacy oriented cryptocurrency Monero are doing all they can to prevent the Antminer X3 from being used for mining the crypto.
Why is Monero Anti-Antminer X3?
Monero’s current algorithm, Cryptonight, allows users to mine the digital currency using consumer-grade laptops. This means you don’t need special, expensive hardware to mine this cryptocurrency.
Beijing based Bitmain Technologies Ltd. – Bitmain – has been making high speed hardware called ASIC, which has been used to mine Bitcoins for years. And now the company has developed the Antminer X3, a super-fast mining hardware that has been custom designed to mine Monero coins.
Monero’s developers’ objective is to keep the cryptocurrency’s mining operation affordable and accessible to regular users. Hardware such as the new Antminer X3 would make mining for Monero too expensive for regular users.
Another concern that people have is that using the Antminer X3 could leave the network vulnerable to attacks such as a mining pool taking over a large part of the crypto’s hashrate, creating a false transactions history, even double-spending coins or censoring payments.
Distrust of Bitmain
Another reason why developers are so anti-Antminer X3 is because of the creator of the hardware. There have been concerns about Bitmain’s integrity. Last year, there were allegations made against the hardware maker, stating the Bitmain was secretly exploiting a loop-hole in Bitcoin’s proof-of-work algorithm using a process called ASICBoost, which supposedly allowed its 3 mining pools to mine Bitcoin about 20% faster than its competitors.
Another issue was raised when a mining chip was found to have a weakness called Antbleed, which was suspected to be added purposely so that mining operations could be shut down at will.
And late last year, the company produced an ASIC that could mine Siacoin. Siacoin is small cryptocurrency and this move on the part of Bitmain was viewed as a takeover bid.
What is Monero Doing?
To prevent the Antminer X3 and other such mining hardware from taking over Monero mining, the crypto’s developers are enacting an emergency software upgrade next month in April. This upgrade will change the rules of the Monero algorithm so that the Antminer X3 will be ineffective.
Next, to make sure that the crypto stays one step ahead of mining hardware makers, the developers will upgrade the network with edited algorithms two times a year.
Core developer, Riccardo “Fluffypony” Spagni went so far as to post on GitHub that he would do everything in his power to prevent the growth of “centralization-inducing” hardware like ASIC on their network.
Most members of the Monero community agree that they don’t want ASIC on their network. However, there are those who feel that a bi-annual change of the algorithm could weaken the code and that a better method or algorithm needs to be found.