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Monero, the popular anonymous cryptocurrency, has initiated an upgrade, but its results are still unclear. The main aim of the hard fork is to make the network ASIC resistant.

Monero launched a software upgrade on the block number of 1,546,000 (approximately 02:20 UTC). It was a scheduled and consensual network upgrade. Thus, unlike the bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash split, a new coin won't be created.

The hardfork is aimed to introduce a new consensus algorithm that will protect the network from the use of ASIC-miners.

The decision to carry out the hardfork was made after the Chinese mining equipment manufacturer Bitmain, the largest one of its kind in the world, had released an ASIC miner Antminer X3 for CryptoNight algorithm, used by Monero and several other cryptocurrencies. Monero developers decided to protect the network from the higher risks of centralization posed by ASICs and announced an upcoming hardfork. But their decision faced some resistance from several groups of Monero supporters, which announced that they do not support Monero developers' decision and launched their own projects, like Monero Classic and Monero Original, that will use the old code.

After hardfork, the hashrate of the Monero network sharply fell from 1.2GH/s to 240MH/s. Supporters of Monero suggested that this indicates that Bitmain had already started Monero mining on ASIC chips, even before the official release of Antminer X3.

Monero dev team reminded in their twitter that pools and exchanges and other infrastructure services have to upgrade their software to join the new chain.

The update also increased the minimum size of the Monero ring from 6 to 7. It would help to increase the reliability of anonymous cryptocurrency tools and protect it from deanonymization, which in theory may occur with the launch of MoneroV's hardfork scheduled in late April.