From the very beginning, publicity was the primary idea of cryptocurrencies. And for now, it is the basic concept that is at the root of a complicated discussion taking place across main cryptocurrencies. Developers from ETH, XMR and ZEC teams – all together are deeply resent the invasion of advanced hardware that can destroy the sensitive balance of their distributed eco-systems.
Created just to empower actors to earn a bigger share of their networks’ compensations ASICs appeared to mine a number of cryptocurrencies that before were able to be mined only by GPUs. On the line, by the way, the access, transparency, and security of protocols.
In theory, anyone can mine simply using their computer to run and verify blockchain networks. Graphics cards are available at any computer shop for just several hundred dollars. However, there were enormous price spikes last year as the cryptocurrency boom made mining commercially beneficial. And if an average gamer wanted to play some advanced video games he should have paid a few extra hundred dollars to get the newest GTX 1080. Anyway, GPUs are cheaper than ASICs that provide an optimal mining process. And this is the core of the problem.
Bitcoin has already proved that GPUs can’t live together with ASICs, and their emerge probably boosts the hashrate to a stage where other classes of miners will be worthless. And it is no surprise, the altcoin devs try to protect their crypto communities from ASIC miners as many users have already invested in hardware that now turns out to be unprofitable. Risks and chances break up the community and many users are confused whether they should support ASIC-resistant coins or not.
At the same time, a lot of miners threaten to use their equipment somewhere else or require to update versions of cryptocurrencies that they are already mining – they can easily implement both options by copying the codebase.
So last week developers of Monero (XMR), one of the altcoins mostly focused on anonymity and decentralization, ran hard fork and launched version 7 of Monero as the community strongly despises ASIC miners. But it was not the end of the story. There was a series of forks since some highly likely aim to save the ASIC-compatible chain and others promise enhancements and advantages.
Members of the altcoin’s community are also concerned about news of probable ASICs that are being designed for Ethereum (ETH). The same rumors are being spread around Zcash (ZEC). In turn, Zooko Wilcox, the founder of Zcash convinces that getting around ASICs through forks can be more harmful than useful.