Monero (XMR), a privacy-focused cryptocurrency which was launched in 2014, recently announced a successful protocol upgrade. By focusing on privacy and safety, Monero (XMR) seeks to distinguish from other cryptocurrencies. The Monero team has completed an upgrade to the network with around one million updates to enhance those features.
The team behind Monero, the privacy-centric cryptocurrency is more hesitant. But, core Bitcoin’s developers have embraced the application specific integrated circuit (ASICs). Some argue that aside from the operating logistics of such a device, ASICs are threatening decentralization and economic models for proof of working secured blockchain networks. This is the reason why the most recent upgrade of the Network sought to purge the aforementioned subset of XMR Miners.
On Saturday, Monero had a hard fork on block 1,788,000 to enhance its privacy, security and ASIC resistance by introducing some fundamental protocol changes. Although it is called a “hard fork” because the upgrade is not backward – compatible, no new coins emerge from it. It only means that miners should upgrade their mining software, and XMR holders should upgrade their wallets to the latest version to stay functional.
Below is the list of four key changes made by Monero to the network:
1) Changes to the algorithm of the dynamic block size to fix the big bang assault.
2) A third PoW (CryptoNight – R) tweak to curb ASICs present on the network and maintain ASIC strength further. As a consequence, mining companies will also need to update their mining programs.
3) To enhance transaction homogeneity, an encrypted dummy payment ID is now included in each transaction.
4) By decreasing the quantitative encoding size and using deterministic masks, the development team simplified quantity commitments. The Monero ResearchLab considered these changes safe. Furthermore, the changes mainly involve a v2 upgrade to the transaction format
The elaborate, integrated protection of privacy makes Monero ideal for those who want to make anonymous payments. In addition, Monero claims it cannot trace its transactions. According to the Monero website, “By default, sending and receiving addresses and transacted amounts are ignored. It is impossible to link transactions on the Monero blockchain to a specific user or real-world identity.”
The hard fork was successfully completed on March 9th, according to the official Twitter profile of the project, and the Monero team reminded their users to be patient: “Please be reminded of significantly slower block times to the Monero ecosystem participants. They will normalize within the next 24 – 48 hours,” they wrote.
The block size of XMR is currently set at the average of the past 100 blocks, with a two – minute block time. An increased amount of stress – such as spam – could exponentially increase the block size (up to 10 TB, according to Thayer) that could shove out existing network nodes as they could not keep up with this increase. The upgrade curbs runaway growth while allowing significant spikes in the weight of the block.
Here is some information about two previous moves to curb XMR ASICs to give some context to the success of this upgrade. In April 2018, the first mining shift pushed the network hash rate from 1000 megahashes / s to 150 megahashes / s. The second Monero, who came last year in October, cut his cash rate by half. The latest shift in its consensus mechanism should, therefore, be regarded as a resounding success by several measures.