Monero (XMR) activated its scheduled hard fork recently by altering the mining algorithm to maintain ASIC resistance. But, to everyone’s surprise, Antpool has announced that it will work to create another version called “Monero Classic”, which will be ASIC friendly. In total, these developments have now led to the creation of four forks. Let’s discuss this interesting development happening around the fork.
Monero (XMR) announced that they will schedule a hardfork every six months. We already informed our readers about the upcoming Monero hardfork and how the Monero upgrade will make Jihan’s ASIC miner useless. The hardfork has been completed and, as promised, the fork has made the ASIC useless. It is also evident from the tweet below that 50% of the hash power was from ASIC since the hashrate dropped from 1GHs to 500MHs after the fork.
The Monero’s CryptoNight proof-of-work algorithm has been changed a bit, and this backward incompatible change will make the ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) mining hardware useless. This is good for its network, because ASIC miners can no longer launch DoS (denial-of-service) attacks on the network.
Four Different Projects
This project was initiated by a team in Singapore, and they feel that ASICs are healthy for the entire network, because (according to them) they will secure the network. They also feel that the planned upgrade to make mining hardware useless is a big mistake, and that mistake will be costlier than the problem that arises from mining centralization.
Monero-Classic is promoted by Bitmain’s mining pool Antpool, and it is very evident from the tweet below that expresses Antpool’s approval.
Bitmain has personal benefits from this fork, because it will support older versions of Monero (XMV), and ASIC miners can continue mining this chain. It is also said that the hardware manufacturers are indirectly involved with this project and they will support it with all their resources.
Monero 0 (XMZ)
XMZ didn’t like the concept of a scheduled hardfork every 6 months, and they feel that the hardfork is not stable. They believe in Satoshi’s proof-of- work and are against the so-called ‘network upgrades’ that are centrally mandated through forks.
Monero Original (XMO)
There is not much information available about this project. There is, however, a page on GitHub and they give press releases to several outlets. The project’s lead developer has a statement about this project
“We’ve decided that the Monero Project’s strategy to continuously hard fork is no longer a stable or a sane strategy. We believe that Satoshi’s Proof of Work is the only mechanism for decentralized consensus. The so-called ‘network upgrades’ that are centrally mandated by the Monero Project are a Trojan Horse designed to compromise the effectiveness of Proof of Work in the Monero network. Monero 0 is not a fork; it is the original Monero.”
Notably, HitBTC has announced that it will allow users to retrieve their XMO balance after the hardfork.
Monero in chaos due to different forks
Monero (XMR) is now in total chaos due to the different forks, and each fork will create a lot of confusion for its users, which could lead to a drop in price. Monero has not consulted or tried to reach consensus with users before taking these actions, and this has led to the difference of opinion among groups, thus leading to multiple forks.
In Bitcoin’s ecosystem, hardforks are carried out only if there is a general consensus, in order to avoid the negative effects caused by differences of opinion among users. Now, we are seeing the side-effects of hardforks without a general consensus. Below is one tweet from a Bitcoin supporter regarding this chaotic situation.
The Monero (XMR) chain is running slowly now due to the hardfork, and although this could stabilize in a couple of days, the hardfork has been executed without any replay protection. Therefore, if one spends in one chain, it will lead to expenditure in both the chains. Privacy issues also come into play due to the multiple forks, because if one moves the coins in different blockchains, then the users who control the coins can be identified easily. So, the users are advised to ignore other forks and use only the original forked Monero (XMR) chain to remain private.
We will need to wait and watch, in order to see which fork emerges a “winner” in this battle of forks and also see whether the users’ privacy is maintained after the different forks.