With the rise of Cryptonight ASICs, the devs behind privacy crypto Monero (XMR) implemented a new Proof-of-Work algorithm in the project’s latest scheduled hard fork to mitigate these miners. Now, per historical charts, Monero’s hashrate has dropped to ~270 MH/s at press time, going as low as 157 MH/s after the hashrate hovered over 1 GH/s before the fork.
A Shot Across the Bow
Of course, part of the hashrate decline is surely from miners who have been slow in switching over. Still, a drop from 1 GH/s to 157 MH/s seems to suggest that a great deal of ASICs were indeed mining XMR.
The apparent revelation validates those in the Monero community who were concerned that ASICs had been spun up for the Cryptonight algorithm. Numerous communities in the space, like those surrounding Siacoin and Ethereum, have raised similar concerns for their respective algos in recent weeks.
Detractors say ASIC producers, like Bitmain and Baikal, can threaten the decentralization of crypto networks through overwhelming hashrate force — even if it’s in these companies’ rational interest to “play by the rules,” as it were, and profit by being productive and compliant miners.
But with the “don’t trust, self-verify” zeitgeist of the cryptoverse, there are those who don’t want to hope that such companies play by the rules indefinitely.
The idea’s that a lot can happen between now and infinity: responsible behavior now does not guarantee permanent responsibility in a complex, ever-changing game-theoretic environment like the cryptocurrency ecosystem. But I digress into Humean empiricism …
Monero Classic Claims 80 Percent Hashrate Agreement
Dropping from 1 GH/s to 157 MH/s is an 84.3 percent hashrate decline, so an added wrinkle to the whole episode is that the recently sprouted Monero Classic project — an as-yet anonymous group — claims that 80 percent of Monero’s hashrate agrees with their stance against the Monero team’s PoW shift.
The team said as much on their recently launched website:
“Around 80% of the current Monero hash rate agrees with our stance and refuses to follow the POW change. That is why we declare in advance that we will maintain the original software which follows the original rules. We reject centralised developer Control and we believe that’s voluntary participation for both users and miners Will uphold the principles of decentralisation.”
There’s no way to know if such a claim is true for now. But it’s a curious figure, seeing as how it roughly correlates with Monero’s acute hashrate decline since the latest hard fork upgrade.
What’s your take? Are you opposed or in favor of ASIC-resistance maneuvers? Sound off in the comments below.
Images via BitInfoCharts, Use This Tip