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Why Monero’s Proposed New Proof-of-Work Algorithm is Good for BlockMint and Minter Browser Users

In my previous blog, I wrote briefly about Monero’s plans to hard-fork (major upgrades) later this year when it will switch its proof-of-work algorithm from CryptoNite to RandomX. The main motivation for this hard-fork is to force widespread distributed mining of Monero and effectively put the concentrated industrial scale miners out of business. This hard-fork represents a major win for BlockMint’s Minter distributed mining software as it favors individual PCs as miners. There is speculation that other cryptocurrencies may follow suit which represents a further win for BlockMint’s distributed blockchain technology. The hard-fork is expected to take effect in October 2019.

All proof-of-work based cryptocurrencies are dominated by ASICs or GPUs based mining farms. The dynamic proof-of-work (RandomX) code was designed specifically to disadvantage large-scale GPU/ASIC mining operations by exploiting the complex hardware functions found only in  general purpose CPUs, such as Intel- or ARM-based CPUs. Such general purpose CPUs are found in most personal computers, servers and mobile devices, but are typically absent in GPUs and ASICs. This means that the RandomX code penalizes GPUs and ASICs by using specific CPU functions that GPUs and ASICs typically lack. This translates to abysmal hashrates when the algorithm runs on a GPU/ASIC compared to a CPU and effectively renders the GPU/ASIC machine uneconomic as a commercial miner of Monero. 

In the case of ASICs, the Monero hard-fork poses an additional challenge. Manufacturing an ASIC chip for the RandomX algorithm would require integration of a CPU inside the ASIC chip to ensure minimum performance standards. This means manufacturing an Intel- or ARM-based CPU with larger than normal on-chip memory in addition to the hash function which would effectively make ASIC mining of Monero uneconomic.

The planned Monero hard-fork will render distributed CPU mining as the dominant hardware on the Monero network once the switch happens (likely to be October 2019). Thus, most of the contributing hashes will be coming from individual PCs, laptops or smartphones instead of large mining farms. This is ideal for BlockMint’s distributed mining Minter software which is targeted specifically to run on an individual’s PC, laptop or smartphone. 

At BlockMint, one of our objectives has always been to enable a more decentralized deployment of cryptocurrency mining. We believe that everyone should be able to contribute and participate in the crypto-economy. You can try out our Minter browser at https://getminter.com.

We are excited about this latest development by the Monero team and also by the possibility that other cryptocurrencies may follow suit. This opens up a vast new universe of opportunity/users for BlockMint and its Minter software. 

I will provide further information on the hard fork and what it will mean for our Minter users as we get closer to the implementation date.

Nelson Ijih

Chief Executive Officer