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.
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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
TRON Partnership Involves Cloud Computing
It has been almost an entire week since Justin Sun, the founder of TRON (TRX), announced a new big partnership for this cryptocurrency. His Twitter announcement did not provide a lot of information, except for the fact that the TRON partnership is with an industry giant worth tens of billions of dollars.
— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) October 12, 2018
Even so, the entire crypto community started speculating about the new partner’s identity. Soon after the announcement, a new rumor emerged, claiming that the identity of an unnamed corporation was uncovered. According to the rumor, TRON’s new partner is none other than Baidu, one of the largest tech giants of China, which also represents this country’s largest internet search provider.
Baidu is often viewed as China’s version of Google, and if the rumors of a partnership with this company turn out to be true, this will be a big game-changer for TRON.
However, in days following the announcement, new reports started coming in with claims that the partnership will not revolve around blockchain technology. Instead, ODaily reported that the alleged partnership between TRON and Baidu will be focused on cloud computing. The report claims that TRON will be purchasing computing resources from Baidu.
Will Ripple (XRP) advocacy hike affect bitcoin dominance of China?
Currently, China is leading in Bitcoin mining industry by far, second to none for bitcoin mining power. Literally, it’s contributing over 70% of the network’s hash rate (a term that is used in describing the total processing power of a blockchain network). But how Ripple fits in here and what it has to do with that? We’ll talk about that a bit later below, let’s cover some in-depth facts about China’s dominance over Bitcoin first.
It’s a near-complete dominance by China on the BTC mining grid that has made it responsible for mining a majority of circulating bitcoins. A Beijing-based company, Bitmain Technologies, is highly responsible for extracting the significant part – more than half of the globe’s bitcoin, and alone, it has approached 50% of the total hash rate more than once.
The fact that China is controlling a majority of Bitcoin hash rate, clearly tells that it has the power of manipulating or merely destroy the bitcoin network if it gets enough support should it decide to take such a move. Therefore, this has led to serious concerns among countries including the US that China might get an edge in this cryptocurrency industry and possibly becoming a potential threat.
China is the biggest manufacturer of Bitcoin as well as cryptocurrency mining equipment. The reason behind the massive growth of mining farms in the country is because of cheap electricity bills.
Furthermore, the country has adopted several…
Ravencoin (RVN) Surges Following Binance Listing
While most cryptocurrencies today still remain unstable and at the edge of falling into the red, there are some coins that are doing significantly better. One such coin is Ravencoin (RVN), which has surged by over 26% in the last 24 hours.
Ravencoin came to be as a hard fork of Bitcoin and was inspired by a popular book series-turned-television programme, Game of Thrones. The coin’s developers decided to make Ravencoin an open-source project that provides users with the ability to declare assets on their platform. The platform itself is decentralized, transparent, and secure.
Just as Game of Thrones’ ravens are used for spreading the news and truth, Ravencoin hopes to become a carrier of truth regarding the ownership of assets on the blockchain.
Ravencoin’s main use case is for performing P2P transfers, while it prioritizes security, autonomy, user privacy, and control. Additionally, as a coin fighting for truth and transparency, it also stands against censorship.
Ravencoin got listed on Binance prior to MainNet launch
Following the last week’s announcement that Ravencoin is getting officially listed on Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange ba trading volume, Ravencoin experienced a large price surge. At one point, the surge took the coin’s value up by over 31%. At the time of writing, however, the coin is still growing, with an increase of 26.15% in the last 24 hours.
Getting listed on Binance has brought Ravencoin to the top…
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