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Monero (XMR) Militantly Maintains ASIC Resistance

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It may seem counter-intuitive to create an ASIC mining-rig specifically for a blockchain designed to resist such a device. Yet, that is exactly what Bitmain has done with their most recent Antminer hardware. They have alternately touted an ability to defeat Monero’s ASIC resistance and the complete opposite. The confusing public relations campaign spurred Monero’s development team to step in and make a few very clear statements. First and foremost, they reiterated that they will alter their blockchain software as necessary to maintain ASIC resistance.

This is not the first controversy for Bitmain’s mining hardware business. The Beijing, China-based Bitcoin behemoth found itself embroiled in a scandal when the Antbleed protocol was found within their mining chips. Antbleed is a simple process that reports into Bitmain regularly and allows the central company to kill the associated mining hardware if they so desire. This is particularly nefarious given Bitmain’s status as one of the largest mining concerns in the world.

How Monero Leverages ASIC Resistance

Monero’s vision is clear and consistent. They saw increasing centralization and failing privacy in the Bitcoin blockchain. As a result, they created a privacy coin that would obscure user transaction data, and resist large-scale mining. The stereotypical mining rig is a string of Graphics Processing Units or GPUs, but ASIC units have almost entirely replaced the traditional rigs. Application-specific integrated circuit units are hardware systems created for one purpose only. In mining rigs, their hardware is specifically for mining cryptocurrency. This creates an incredibly powerful miner when compared with previous generations. Banks of these ASIC mining rigs allow companies to accrue massive amounts of specific cryptocurrencies.

This is damaging to the decentralization of the targeted blockchain. Bitmain’s Antminer factories have had a detrimental effect on Bitcoin’s decentralization. Further, their ability to kill mining rigs on a whim gives them an incredible amount of control over currencies once known for a lack of control. Monero understandably wants to avoid falling into this trap, and they have no problem changing their currency to ensure it. Immediately after the discovery of the Antminer x3, Monero tweaked their algorithm to render the new hardware ineffective.

Bitmain’s New Antminer x3

The Antminer x3 is available on the Bitmain website as a 220KH/s mining rig for the CryptoNight hashing algorithm. The decision to list the miner as a CryptoNight mining rig is deliberate – it theoretically sidesteps the controversy that a ‘Monero’ mining rig would gain. Luckily for Monero investors, the development team keeps updated on all hardware releases and quickly changed their mining algorithm.

As the Antminer x3’s design is for a specific niche algorithm, it is completely ineffective at mining other cryptocurrencies. This makes the Antminer x3 an extremely poor investment option – it can only mine other cryptocurrencies that use the CryptoNight algorithm. Miners are better off looking at more general purpose mining rigs for Proof of Work currencies that encourage large-scale mining.

Monero’s Near-Term Outlook

The decision to maintain their ASIC resistance may result in disgruntled miners. However, Monero has clearly and quickly responded to the desires of their community – privacy and decentralization. ASIC resistance keeps Monero decentralized, while also ensuring that small-scale miners can still make a profit. The advantages of this are numerous, as shown by the recent adoption of Monero mining as an advertising alternative.

The low processing cost of mining Monero allows mining directly through web applications. Media site Salon recently started a pilot program that allows visitors to opt-in to mining Monero in place of traditional advertising options. A take over by ASIC mining would completely remove this ability, and damage the value of Monero as a whole. Investors can rest easy knowing that the Monero development team is monitoring the situation and ensuring that their cryptocurrency remains true to their original vision.

We will be updating our subscribers as soon as we know more. For the latest on XMR, sign up below!

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Global Coin Report and/or its affiliates, employees, writers, and subcontractors are cryptocurrency investors and from time to time may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency and read our full disclaimer.

Image courtesy of The U.S. Army via Flickr

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How is the Crypto Market Changing?

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It has been around a month and a half since the start of 2019, and there are already some pretty obvious changes in the way the crypto market operates, especially when compared to the last year. Early 2018 was almost a complete opposite. The previous year started with cryptocurrencies at their strongest, only to see them crashing down after a few weeks. Back then, the ICO model was still quite strong, and so was the hype surrounding the crypto space. New investors kept entering the space, and new startups emerged with their tokens ready to be sold.

As the year progressed, things started to change. The prices continued to drop, the ICO model went down from around $1.4 billion in raised funds at the beginning of the year to only $100 million in the last month.

The ICO model lost investors’ trust, as many of the projects turned out to be either too weak to survive after the crypto winter struck, or scams which tricked investors out of their money and disappeared. Not to mention that the increase in ICOs popularity attracted the regulators who cracked down on them pretty hard, especially in the US.

With all of that happening, it is of a small surprise that the investors started giving up on ICOs, especially with the constant drops in prices which saw even the largest coins…

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Understanding the Uses of Different Types Of Cryptocurrencies

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Cryptocurrencies – a term which has become incredibly prominent in the mainstream media during recent years due to the proliferation of Bitcoin millionaires. As a result, the new form of currency has earned an almost infamous status. However, as with any major step forward, there is still much confusion regarding the use of cryptocurrencies, what different types of innovative electronic cash exist and what they might mean for the future.

We’re putting all of this to rest as we explain what each of the leading cryptocurrencies can do.

Bitcoin

The most popular form of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was first thought up in 2008 by the elusive and still unknown creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, who published the whitepaper online.

It took almost a decade for the cryptocurrency to reach its peak, but in December 2017 a single Bitcoin roughly exchanged for the price of $17,000, meaning anyone who held a substantial amount of the electronic cash became significantly wealthy.

In its early years, the cryptocurrency was strictly used as an alternative for cash transactions, and predominantly for trading goods and services. However as it has increased in popularity, its range of uses has also widened, now deployed for a variety of purposes including acting as collateral for investments at merchant banks, a direct debit for subscriptions services and most notably for sports betting.

Ripple

Bitcoin’s closest source of competition, Ripple was founded…

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New DoJ Ruling May Cripple Gambling dApps

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A new decision made by the US Justice Department has expanded restrictions regarding online gambling in the US affecting gambling dApps. While the Federal Wire Act of 1961 prohibited online gambling regarding sports since 2011, the new decision expanded on this, and it now includes all forms of internet gambling. Unfortunately for many, this now also includes cryptocurrencies.

The new decision came due to considerable difficulties when it comes to guaranteeing that only interstate betting will take place and that payments will not be routed via different states.

The new announcement was explained in a 23-page-long opinion issued by the Department of Justice’s legal team, which pointed out that the 2011 decision misinterpreted the law. According to that decision, transferring funds was to be considered a violation, but data transfers were not included. By exploiting this oversight, it was possible for gamblers to turn to internet gambling. Unsurprisingly, many have realized this early on, including startups, as well as large, established firms. This, of course, also included cryptocurrency companies as well.

The new decision changes what is allowed online

The decision to include all forms of internet gambling is a massive hit in the…

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