Monero (XMR) is one of the top 15 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, which has never lagged behind in terms of innovations and technological advancements. Monero has been suffering for a long time now because of the mining profitability hullabaloo. The CryptoNight algorithm that was being used in the past was considered ASIC (application-specific integrated circuits) resistant for a really long time, till the very first Bitmain miners were developed for the CryptoNight algorithm in 2018. As a result of which, the Monero developers had to make certain modifications or changes to the mining algorithm, which led to a massive crash of the hashrate. As a result, the XMR community has come to an agreement that Monero would have to go through a change in it's Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm, to make the network resistant to the ASIC miners.
To brief it out, ASIC miner is a specific kind of hardware designed for mining with a specific kind of algorithm, which is much more powerful than the conventional CPU or GPUs. Hence, ASICs are considered widely to contribute to the centralization of the network. Therefore, the Monero community has reached a consensus to undergo a hard fork on November 30, 2019, at block number 1,978,433. (Monero fork schedule)
The Monero hard fork schedule is broken into three parts, whose graphical representation looks something like this:
RandomX is the new Proof of Work (PoW) mining algorithm, which will remove the ASICs from the XMR network, completely, and even remove the issue of botnets and Monero mining malware. RandomX would replace the CryptoNight algorithm on November 30, 2019, and will move to public testing on the official XMR network. As a buffer, to make this process successful, on October 24th, 2019, the codes were already made to freeze. All the tests were successfully completed and verified by four audit teams.
Along with optimism, there was certain criticism faced by the community as well. Some were vocal about the initial low hashrate followed by increasing hashrate, and potential attacks and double-spending.
The Long payment IDs would be phased out to improve user experience and privacy, and at the same time reducing support work for exchanges and services. So, the services utilizing long payment IDs are being requested to upgrade to either subaddresses or integrated addresses as soon as possible.
After this hard fork, the transactions will be needing at least two outputs to improve data protection and security.
Now, after the third Monero hard fork, ten blocks lock time, which is approximately 20 minutes, will be enforced for the incoming transactions on the protocol level. This will also increase privacy not only for the users but for the whole network.
A user, service, merchant, pool operator, or exchange should run CLI v0.15 or GUI v0.15 as mentioned in various blogs.
Now, if you are using a third-party wallet, you need to:
If you own a paper wallet, you don’t have to do anything. But if you want to restore a wallet after the scheduled network update, you use the v0.15 software.
Again, you don’t have to do anything, as this is properly upgraded in advance of the scheduled upgrade.
No changes to the transaction format need to be done. Just the backend software needs to be upgraded by the wallet servers.
-Mobile wallets like Cake Wallet, Monerujo, X Wallet, and Wookey, utilizing a remote node, need to release their new version to stay compatible. The users need to upgrade to this new version.
-Mobile wallets like MyMonero, Edge Wallet, ZelCore, Coinomi, Guarda Wallet, and Exa Wallet, utilizing a light server, just need to upgrade their backend software.
This is similar to the upgrade process for CLI and GUI.
The pool operator should upgrade to the new version. Additionally, you should update your mining software to the latest version, which includes code to accommodate RandomX algorithm.
There are various exchanges that have supported XMR in this upgrade, as they think this is for better privacy and security for the network. Let us check the exchanges supporting:
KuCoin has recently announced that it will upgrade the Monero deposit address. To ensure the smooth release of the upgrade, KuCoin will close the XMR deposit service temporarily at 12:00, November 11, 2019 (UTC+8).
We will update this as and when new announcements by respective exchanges come to the picture.
Go here to track the Monero Hard fork countdown.
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