Tag Archives: Monero

Monero Hard Forks to Maintain ASIC Resistance

Monero hard forked to version 12 of its protocol yesterday. But not everyone is on board. Following the example once set by Ethereum Classic, some users are continuing on the pre-hard fork Monero blockchain… though in this case not as a single project. Now there is Monero Classic, Monero 0 (XMZ), Monero Original (XMO) and a second project by the name Monero Classic (XMC) (which in this article we will refer to as Monero-Classic); these are all continuing on version 11 of the Monero protocol. Of course, this means they are all still compatible on a single network, using the same asset (coin) — just with different names.

The latest hard fork also introduced a tweak to Monero’s CryptoNight proof-of-work hashing algorithm. This backwards-incompatible change makes all existing ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) mining hardware useless. Such specialized hardware is a bigger concern on the CryptoNight hashing algorithm than most other hashing algorithms, as it could let ASIC miners launch denial-of-service (DoS) attacks on non-ASIC miners and non-mining nodes on the network.

Reference: https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/monero-just-hard-forked-and-it-resulted-four-new-projects/

Monero and SiaCoin Reject Bitmain’s ASIC Miners

On March 24 the creators of Monero made an unprecedented statement – the project devlead, Riccardo Spagni, warned that the coin’s protocol would be changed every six months to make the cryptocurrency less appealing to application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miners. Continue reading Monero and SiaCoin Reject Bitmain’s ASIC Miners

Monero Sticks to Anti-ASIC Guns

Say what you will about their position, but the developers of Monero are sticking to their guns. Over the weekend, Riccardo Spagni — lead maintainer of the privacy-centric cryptocurrency — released Lithium Luna, the latest version of the Monero source code. The update itself was planned, but included in the software is an emergency provision intended to prevent ASIC miners from operating on its network, which uses the Cryptonight Proof-of-Work (PoW) hashing algorithm. Continue reading Monero Sticks to Anti-ASIC Guns

Bitmain Announces New Monero-Mining Antminer X3

March 18 update: In a confusing decision, Bitmain has updated their sales page again for the batches 3 and 4 of the Antminer X3 to read “No shipping to Hong Kong,” while only yesterday the description for these batches denoted that they would “only” be shipped to Hong Kong.

Bitmain’s just-released ASIC-powered Antminer X3, designed to mine the CryptoNight hashing algorithm used by Monero (XMR), may not be effective by its first release in May 2018, according to an article by The Next Web published yesterday, March 16.

The new Antminer, announced on Bitmain’s Twitter on March 15, comes at two price points: $11,999 for the first round in delivered May, and $7,599 for the second batch, delivered in June.

Reference: https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitmain-announces-new-monero-mining-antminer-x3-cryptos-devs-say-will-not-work

How does Monero’s privacy work?

Stealth addressing and unlinkability
When you send someone money, they can’t tell it came from you (unless you tell them). When you tell someone your Monero wallet ‘address’ to allow someone to send money to you, no one else can know how many or if any payments at all have been sent to you. If someone sends money to you twice, no one can even tell that two payments were sent to the same person.

Confidential transaction amounts
People observing the Monero network can’t see the value of funds that are being anonymously transferred.

Untraceability
Even if someone knew about specific anonymous funds that you control, they cannot tell if or when you spend those funds. They cannot tell whom you’ve sent those funds to, because it will look to the world as if people may be using your funds in their own transactions all the time. (This is achieved through a cryptographic mechanism called a ring signature).

The Monero dance
Because of the untraceability mechanism described above, other Monero users will start randomly including your anonymously received funds as a plausible source of funds in their own transactions.

Think of Monero as a dance floor, where other people are wearing facemasks mimicking the appearance of randomly selected multiple other dancers including you. No one can claim they saw you dancing with any particular person, because they know they could just as easily have been observing someone else dancing while wearing a facemask of you.

So much ‘dancing’ happens within the Monero network over time that it will look to observers as if most people may have transacted with most other people. When attempting to create a list of who may have transacted with any particular person, the answer will be ‘almost everyone!’.

This underscores the importance of Monero’s design decision to enforce untraceability for all transactions. If untraceability were optional, as it is with Bitcoin or Zcash, then the size of the ‘dance floor’ would be much smaller. What’s the point of being anonymous within a crowd if that crowd is only very small and the people in that crowd are only temporarily turning up when they have something to hide? Monero ensures that all users constantly participate on the dance floor at all times. Even when you’re not sending or receiving, the Monero network is constantly making it look like you’re participating on the dance floor.

Bitcoin vs Monero confidentiality
Note that Bitcoin is not designed to be able to meet any of the above requirements of a private cryptocurrency. Bitcoin does not have stealth addresses. Bitcoin payments are easily traceable to the sender’s address. Multiple Bitcoin payments to the same address can be linked unless the Bitcoin recipient creates new wallet addresses for each transaction (which is impractical e.g. for donation addresses and is problematic if the recipient wants to merge the amounts while maintaining privacy). Bitcoin observers can easily see the amounts of payments that occur.

Near future: Invisible internet project (I2P) integration
I2P will protect you from passive network monitoring, so that not only are your payments untraceable, but people snooping the network cannot tell you are even using Monero at all. I2P is considered by the Monero developers to be superior to Tor because of its support for decentralized routing and asymmetric connections which mitigate ‘timing attacks’.

World class privacy research
One of the most exciting aspects of Monero is the world class research that goes into ensuring that all privacy angles are discovered and addressed. The Monero Research Lab is a team of voluntary researchers, scientists and academics. The majority of their research findings have been implemented into the Monero codebase.