Bitmain, a hardware manufacturing company well known for creating mining hardware for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, recently announced its latest model known as the Antminer X3. The X3 was specifically designed to be able to mine monero despite monero’s never ending quest to prevent such hardware prom being able to mine their coin.
They have always held the stance that mining belongs to everyday people with everyday hardware.
As a result, just after the announcement of the X3, monero had an announcement of their own. They are putting out an immediate upgrade to the Monero blockchain software in april April. This upgrade is designed to change the rules of their system to block the new Antminer X3.
This is actually rather huge news as it is the first true attempt by any currency to stop what is known as ASSIC mining hardware. In their word’s, it is a war,
Not only is this change coming, but the Monero team also announced they will be making bi-annual upgrades to their blockchain algorithms to prevent hardware makers from ever creating hardware in the future. This is a huge step to prevent mining farms and corporate control over mining and something other coins are sure to also begin doing in the future.
Could this be the beginning of the end for ASIC hardware mining that eliminates the requirement for thousands and thousands of dollars being s pent to make a blockchain effective? It appears it could.
The core developer announced on Github:
I will do everything in my power to help the community prevent the proliferation of centralization-inducing ASICs on the monero network
Last year, there were claims and rumors made that Bitmain was exploiting a weakness in bitcoin’s proof-of-work algorithm through a process called ASICBoost. The claims was that it allowed the three Bitmain mining pools to mine roughly 20 percent faster than competitors.
According to another Monero developer
If you’re worried about an attack from someone like Bitmain, then not forking away from ASICs means you’re already pwned, since Bitmain will likely have 51 percent very, very soon.
Also last year Bitmain produced an ASIC miner that was capable of mining siacoin which was a very small cryptocurrency. Many saw this as a move to takeover the currency.
In an announcement, the monero team explained what they perceive as huge risks of ASIC centralization. They state that when ASIC hardware is widespread it is of high-security risk. One such risk including the potential of government bribery or the introduction of a “kill switch” that could shut down miners remotely.
Monero has absolutely said they will fight such efforts to prevent these risks from ever becoming a reality.
Many believe such a fight is a futile effort, however monero has promised they will forever keep ASIC mining hardware from being able to mine their currency.
Only time will truly tell.