It seems like the crypto developers are prepared to go the extra mile to keep one of the largest cryptocurrencies from the clutches of big business. Having started as a digital currency that‘s designed to be mined with the spare processing power of computers, Monero has been struggling with a massive increase in its hash rate for a good few months now.
Lately, the speculation has intensified, placing the blame on the mining hardware developer Bitmain. Their high-speed ASIC hardware has been used to mine bitcoin for years but recently a new Antminer X3 model has been announced, specifically built for mining monero, which prides its anonymity and privacy.
However, Monero were not keen on such increased interested, stating their intent to upgrade its software in April that will block the Antminer efforts to extract the coins entirely. That’s not all – in order to fend off the hardware developers even further, such algorithm updates are planned to continue on a regular basis.
According to emails, sent by Bitmain, the company is already offering a significant discount on the Antminer X3, with a reduced price from $7600 to $3000 to its existing customers. However, industry specialists warn that after the algorithm update the device will simply not be able to mine it. Thus, many are accusing Bitmain off dumping soon-to-be useless devices after secretly mining Monero for months and increasing the hash rate in the first place.
Bitmain and its CEO Jihan Wu have been criticized a number of times over 2017: exploiting the weakness in bitcoin’s PoW algorithm, shutting down its miners at will and taking over siacoin – these were just some of the accusations. Thus, the efforts of Monero developers to stave them off mining their coin seem perfectly reasonable.
Key developer “binaryFate” stated that, “Maybe even more so than for other cryptocurrencies, decentralization is key to monero for ensuring censorship resistance“, while the Monero creator Riccardo „Fluffypony“ Spagni added to the sentiment and added that, “I will do everything in my power to help the community prevent the proliferation of centralization-inducing ASICs on the monero network.“
Admittedly, even after the update the Antminer X3 will still be able to mine other coins, built on the CryptoNote algorithm, such as Bytecoin, Darknetcoin or Digitalnote. However, as these currencies are significantly less popular than Monero, mining them will surely prove to be less profitable.
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