Monero, one of the most important privacy-coins in the cryptocurrency market has experienced a hard fork. In general, when a hard fork occurs it is because there is something that the community needs to solve, or debate. The hard fork finally took place on Friday, April 6, 2018.
In this case, the reason of the hard fork was to introduce a new consensus algorithm that could protect Monero’s network against ASIC mining hardware. Monero can be mined using GPU and CPU power, compared to Bitcoin that it is mined using the powerful ASIC miners.
The community explains that the hard fork is intended to keep the decentralized nature of the network, something that ASIC miners would harm.
Monero is a little bit different cryptocurrency, in the sense that the network has regular scheduled hard forks as part of the blockchain protocol. But this new release, was beneficial for the community?
Monero has decided to implement this new hard fork due to Bitmain’s new Antminer X3 that is supposed to mine this cryptocurrency in a very efficient way. One of the upgrades to Monero’s network was an increase in the minimum size of the ring, that moved from five to seven.
At the same time, some changes have been made to the Proof of Work (PoW), algorithm that will reduce any chances of ASIC miners to dominate Monero’s mining activities.
What’s Monero’s Point of View?
In a document released by Monero and written by dEBRUYNE, they explain that they support an egalitarian mining network that promotes decentralization. ASIC miners tend to control the network and this is something that Monero wants to avoid.
“It is recognized that ASICs may be an inevitable development for any Proof of Work. We also concede that ASICs may be inevitable, but we feel that any transition to an ASIC-dominated network needs to be as egalitarian as possible in order to foster decentralization. At this point in time, we suspect that a newly developed Cryptonight ASIC will not be egalitarian and will not foster a decentralized network.”
With the hard fork, Monero is trying to keep its focus on privacy, stealth, untraceability, and decentralization. And this is part of the discussion that is taking place in the community.
Bitcoin and Ethereum also experienced this debate whether to accept ASIC miners or not. For this reason, bitcoin suffered a hard fork that resulted in the creation of Bitcoin Gold. Bitcoin Gold avoids working just with ASIC miners, but can also be mined using GPU hardware.
Monero holders are following very carefully the hash rate in order to determine whether the cryptocurrency is being adopted or not.
But an important point to make is that the community is very active. It is very promising for the future of a cryptocurrency to have an active community that is ready to discuss new ideas, and provide different points of view to the same situation. Bitcoin, and Ethereum, two of the most important currencies in the market, have had strong debates in their communities, and both networks are very healthy.
It would be very important for Monero to find a solution to this debate. Will the network keep splitting in the future? Will the core developers be separated on whether to keep with one chain or the other? These questions should be discussed very carefully. What would happen if the community gets so divided that each chain would have some few developers? Then, these chains will disappear little by little into the oblivion.
While discussing and debating about the future of a currency is very promising, sticking to an idea, believing that it is the ultimate truth may be very harmful. At the moment, Monero is still analysing and debating whether the hard fork was needed or not. The community is strong, the developers are great, and the ideas presented are part of the evolution of the current ecosystem.