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Monero Still Shows Anti-ASIC After Their Recent Software Update

Say what you will about them, but the people behind Monero are sticking to their guns.

 

On the weekend, Riccardo Spagni -- direct maintainer of the privacy-centric cryptocurrency -- published Lithium Luna, the most recent version of this Monero source code. The update itself was planned, but contained in the program is an emergency provision meant to stop ASIC miners from working on its network, which uses the Cryptonight Proof-of-Work (PoW) hashing algorithm.

 

All these miners -- so named since they utilize Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chips -- Boost efficiency to such an extent that it becomes no longer profitable to mine with GPU miners, whose processors are general-purpose and use to get everything out of PC gaming to looking for extraterrestrial life.

 

Monero had already terminated a preemptive strike of sorts at ASIC manufacturers last month -- especially China-based Bitmain, which now dominates the ASIC marketplace -- vowing at a blog article to change its own mining algorithm slightly every six months to leave generating an XMR-compatible ASIC economically impractical.

 

But that warning shot was not quite so preemptive as it originally appeared, as Bitmain declared the Cryptonight-compatible Antminer X3 -- the very first mass-produced Cryptonight ASIC -- just weeks afterward.

 

The decision that Monero would update its algorithm to leave the Antminer X3 unsuccessful in the upcoming software release followed shortly after.

 

But although the choice appears to have broad community support, many have questioned whether it's prudent to take this kind of hostile stance toward ASICs, especially since Monero is still popular among cryptocurrency mining botnet operators, who use malware to infect and command zombie CPUs.

 

But, Monero's programmers haven't minced words about Bitmain, who they have got a "bad actor" according to their actions involving both the Bitcoin and Siacoin networks.

 

Consequently, they have vowed that while Monero's network might become dominated by ASICs, they'll try to make the transition "as buoyant as you possibly can" to prevent hash power from getting centralized

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