Vertcoin Announces Pre-Emptive Strike Over ASIC Rumors
The staunchly anti-ASIC cryptocurrency project, Vertcoin, has announced that they will be moving forward with another algorithm-changing fork. Unsubstantiated rumors have appeared, claiming that a new ASIC miner is on the market that works with Vertcoin’s current Lyra2Rev2 algorithm. The team behind Vertcoin famously launched their #FairMining campaign targeted at alleged ASIC mining monopolies.
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Vertcoin Team: We’re Sick of ASICS!
Since the first bitcoin ASIC miners appeared years ago, the devices have always been a magnet for criticism. Generally speaking, their existence on a network causes a number of effects, both good and bad. Their heightened hash rate arguably increases network security. But their difficulty to find and high cost can greatly skew an otherwise healthy proof-of-work mining ecosystem.
Vertcoin’s battle against #centralization continues as new threats from #FPGAs are being watched carefully and the old #ASIC enemy once again rears its ugly head. More below in this month’s #Vertcoin #Developer #Update. Read here: https://t.co/KMmLkPQrGv pic.twitter.com/TABYfVFVHl
— Vertcoin (@Vertcoin) October 3, 2018
In addition to ASIC devices, the group has also expressed concerns with another type of mining hardware–FPGAs. FPGAs are a type of hardware that allows for more efficient mining than CPUs or GPUs. Not only that, but they are more flexible than ASICs and can be altered easily to mine a different PoW algorithm. The tradeoff is that FPGAs cannot reach the same ultra-high hash rates that ASICs can.
Rumors of a Lyra2Rev2 ASIC
Vertcoin, along with several other cryptocurrencies like Verge and Monacoin, use a PoW mining algorithm called Lyra2Rev2. This algorithm was designed to be ASIC unfriendly. Recently, it has been primarily mined through GPU mining.
A pop-up advertisement for the Dayun Zig Z1
Not long ago, a new ASIC device appeared on the internet called the Dayun Zig Z1. The device claims to produce a hash rate of 6.8 GH/s while consuming 1200 W of power. We found the device listed for sale on a few websites, and costing upwards of $5,000 USD each. This, one site alleges, gives it just a 70-day pay back period. In other words, you could potentially earn enough through mining to repay the cost of the device in just over two months.
According to the mining calculator site coinwarz.com, 6.8 GH/s in Vertcoin mining would net you around $450 a week, not factoring in electricity costs. It estimates a repayment period of around 78 days.
So far the device has not appeared in the hands of any reputable mining hardware reviewers. This means that it’s possible the device doesn’t yet exist, or won’t ever exist. Or, it could be that the device simply hasn’t shipped yet.
The Vertcoin dev team said of the potential ASIC that they “don’t have any proof they are functioning”. The team warned further that “if you are buying an ASIC to mine Vertcoin it will likely become the most expensive paperweight you’re likely ever to purchase”.
Vertcoin’s New Deal
In response to a potential new ASIC, or perhaps just in an effort to stay ahead of the curve, the Vertcoin group has announced the development of a new hashing algorithm. The algorithm known as Verthash is designed to be “both ASIC and NiceHash resistant”.
Vertcoin development team leader Eric Kubik wrote of Verthash:
“Currently the whole blockchain is needed and used on the mining host, but in such a way that it should still be possible to mine on cheaper 4GB RAM GPU cards.”
The new algorithm is not yet ready for launch, however. The team stated that in terms of development, they are “almost past the proof of concept stage, and we are checking the new algorithm on a GPU platform”.
But will the new algorithm be enough to stave off additional ASICs as well as the impending threat of FPGAs?
Images via Pixabay, Dayun