The share of miners using ASICs still accounts for the bulk of the Monero network hashrate. ASIC miners dominate the Monero blockchain, despite changing the algorithm and hard forks.

Invincible ASIC

ASIC mining accounts for over 85% of the current Monero hashrate. On average, each machine operates at a speed of 128 Kbps, according to one of the latest studies about the cryptocurrency known for its high degree of privacy.

The study focuses on the distribution of nonce values in each block. This number can be any one in the range from 0 to 2³². In its decentralized, “natural” state, the choice of one-time numbers in the Monero network is not that random, the majority of it happens sub 1.45*10⁷ and in very tight nonce ranges for differing mining programs. But when speaking about Monero mining on ASICs, then the range increases dramatically, since these machines work with the implemented “over-randomness”.

In December, the Monero network hashrate ranged from 315 to 340 Mh/s, while 40 days after, it jumped 255% to 810 Mh/s, which can also indicate an increase in the share of ASIC mining in the Monero network.

Hardfork vs ASIC

In April 2018, the hard fork aimed at making the Monero network rid of ASIC mining was activated. The algorithm was changed and the network broke free from ASIC mining for a while.

That hard fork was activated after the largest mining equipment maker Bitmain announced the launch of Antminer X3, the first ASIC miner to work with the Cryptonight algorithm.

After April hard fork, the hashrate of the network fell sharply, this fact confirmed that ASIC miners accounted for a large share in the Monero hashrate.

But in mid-June, ASIC miners again began to mine Monero. According to the study, this happened approximately at block #1,597,000.

"In mid June around block 1,597,000 we can see specialized hardware coming online again but it’s barely noticeable. I marked it with the yellow arrows. If you’ve got a good eye you’ll see what I mean: There’s a “wall” of suddenly increased randomness, meaning that the ASIC manufacturers had learned from past mistakes and implemented random nonce picking.Э

Now the Monero community discusses the possibility to change the mining algorithm every 3 months to counter ASIC mining. Prior to that, it was planned to change the algorithm every six months, but the study shows that ASIC miners are able to reorganize to a new algorithm faster.