A few days ago, the Monero dev team has published a blog post by it is quite clear that in the future there are in the Monero network is no ASIC Miner. ASICs represent from the point of view of the team is not only a threat to the decentralized nature of the network, but could be a threat in the future, the existence of Monero.
ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) are specifically on the Mining of crypto-specialized Hardware currencies solutions. These are to be optimized for a particular algorithm. Probably most have heard of Bitcoin ASICs. These are not optimized for the SHA256 Hash algorithm. Due to their specialization, ASICs have a large performance advantage over “normal” computer hardware (General-purpose processors and graphics cards).
Large quantities of ASICs coming to the market, then the risk is that the Hashrate of the network is dominated by ASICs. For Miner with General-purpose Hardware, the Mining is generally unprofitable.
The ASIC Miner market is currently dominated by the company Bitmain. For some time there is the accusation against Bitmain, and its CEO, Jihan Wu, that Bitmain will soften the decentralized idea of Bitcoin. The Mining Pools from Bitmain (BTC.com and Antpool), is currently 39.2 percent of Bitcoin Mining Power. In addition, ViaBTC with 14.8 percent Bitmain also very close.
Due to the large share of the Hash Power in the Bitcoin network, many will see a centralization in the case of Bitmain, the decisions affect strong and even pressure on smaller Mining Pools are able to exercise.
The least Bitmain was because of the surprising release of ASIC Miners for Siacoin in the headlines. Bitmain had published without the knowledge of the Sia Tech. and the community of developers, a new ASIC Miner for Siacoin. In the Wake of a great debate within the Sia has broken out-community, and whether there should be a Soft Fork to Bitmain from Siacoin network “exclude”.
Many well-known sizes of the crypto world had signed an open letter in support of the Forks, including the Monero Core Contributor Ricardo Spagni aka fluffy pony. This has been referred to Bitmains behavior as inappropriate and disruptive. Sia Tech had ruled out a few days later, but in spite of the letter of the Sia community, a Fork (at first).
The Monero dev Team has chosen a different path
In the published opinion, the Monero Team has chosen a different path. Already prior to the Emergence of ASIC Miners for the crypto night algorithm to precautions to be taken in order to keep ASICs out of the network.
If necessary, the Monero Team is a Hard-Fork to ASICs from the network to exclude. In order to achieve the objective of the conservation of decentralisation, the Monero Team, twice per year, the crypto-night-Proof-of-Work to modify the algorithm slightly. The first Amendment is already being tested and should be included in the March Update.
In the blog post, the XMR Team is also a detailed explanation of why the ASIC miners from their perspective, are bad for the Monero network:
- If Mining is centralized, would be Monero for a censorship-prone. The mining pools could affect which transactions are confirmed and which transactions are not confirmed.
- If ASICs in the Monero network would be approved, would be incurred by large data centers (as is the case with Bitcoin), which dominate the hashing Power in the network and thus centralize. Smaller miners would be displaced and eliminated.
- The Monero network would be vulnerable to bans and regulations on the part of governments.
General-purpose processors and graphics cards can’t be banned. Specialized Hardware is, however, according to the Monero Team vulnerable to regulation by governments. This may require that the ASIC manufacturers install a “Kill Switch” that allows you, the Miner from afar off. This scenario would threaten the very existence of the Monero network.
In addition, the XMR Team argues that governments could introduce licenses for the operation of ASIC miners. In consequence, governments could introduce a “black list”, which certain transactions are included that may not be confirmed. Failure to observe this ban list, the Miner would lose their license. The network would thus be centralized and under the control of the government.
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