Few months ago: You might have noticed how the network hashrate of Monero and other CryptoNote coins raised immensely after ASICs came into play. Many think that the greater the hashpower leads to more safer and secure network. True, but in addition to that; distribution of hashpower is what really determines the security of the network. ASICs leads to mining centralization and any single entity controlling a vast amount of hashpower is really bad for cryptocurrency. To combat centralization threats and to allow egalitarian mining Monero (XMR) changes its PoW algorithm every 6 months.
Previously to eliminate Antminer X3 and other ASIC miners from the network Monero changed its PoW algorithm from CryptoNight to CryptoNight V7 (CNv1). Now the war against ASIC continues: To further solidify ASIC resistance Monero is upgrading its network. This hard fork introduces new PoW algorithm (CryptoNight V8 – CN variant 2) along with few other major changes to the Monero protocol. At block height 1685555 the network upgrade is planned which is expected to take place on October 18th 2018.
If you are mining Monero then update your miners. Also do not forget to update your wallet software. Below we’ve listed all v8 compatible miners along with the list of mining pools that are ready for the upgrade. Now before you update your software’s here are few key points about the upcoming v8 hard fork and CryptoNight v2 algorithm.
Monero 0.13.0 “Beryllium Bullet” upgrade (v8 Hardfork)
This upcoming update is bringing in major improvements to the Monero protocol. The release version 0.13.0 of the Monero software includes the following three significant features.
1. Bulletproofs: It is the most important feature that gets enabled in version 8 and with v9 bulletproofs will become mandatory. This is a new form of range proofs and this feature significantly reduces transaction size, fees (by approximately 80%) and verification time.
2. New PoW algorithm: To improve ASIC resistance Monero will be using a new Proof of Work algorithm called CryptoNight V2. This algorithm contains 2 modifications and more information and discussion about this algorithm can be found here. Both the development team and the community have tested this new algorithm thoroughly.
Compared to current Monero’s PoW algorithm (CNv1) there is a 5% to 10% reduction in hashrate on CNv2. Anyways it’s still a good news because it breaks any existing ASICs and makes new ASIC even more expensive to build.
3. Static ring size: Previously the minimum ring size was set at 7 and optionally users can also choose larger ring sizes. Now for better anonymity the size of the ring signature is globally fixed to 11. With static ring size the transactions cannot be differentiated and this increased ring size increases privacy level.
In addition to the above mentioned features there are many other improvements and a large number of bug fixes. For release notes and highlights on other features check this official blog post.
Update your wallets:
Software updates are mandatory to benefit from all these new features. Also as an investor and holder of Monero it is essential that you update your wallet software before the fork happens. There are a number of Monero wallets available and most services are ready to support these changes.
MyMonero is ready and both Monerujo & Cake wallet has released a new version supporting Monero v0.13.0.2.
Cake Wallet: Download from Apple Store
Monerujo: Download from Google Play
The latest version CLI wallet is v0.13.0.2 Beryllium Bullet which you can download from here: https://github.com/monero-project/monero/releases
The latest version Monero GUI software is v0.13.0.3 which you can find it here: https://github.com/monero-project/monero-gui/releases
Note: If you do not know how to update your GUI or CLI wallets then please read this guide. It explains how to safely update Monero wallet.
Additionally here are few other Monero wallet guides which you may find useful:
- Guide to backup Monero GUI and CLI wallet
- How to restore Monero wallet using mnemonic seed
- How to use remote nodes in Monero wallet
- Guide to change Monero blockchain data directory
Miners supporting CryptoNight Variant 2
If you are mining Monero or other CryptoNote coins then most probably you might be using miners like XMR-Stak, XMRig, CastXMR, SRBMiner or XMR Aeon stak. All these popular miners have added new CryptoNight variant 2 algorithm for Monero fork. Along with this support; these miners also includes new features and performance improvements on other CN variants. So whether you are mining Monero or any other CryptoNote currencies it is essential that you update your miners.
We’ve gathered some information and following are the list of miners that are CN v2 (Monero v8) ready.
|XMR STAK||v2.5.0 Monero hardfork||AMD, NVIDIA & CPU||Download|
|Cast XMR||v1.5.0||Radeon RX Vega & RX 470/480/570/580 GPUs||Download|
|SRBMiner||V1.6.8 – V8 (algo switching)||AMD||Download|
|XMR-AEON-STAK||2.5.0 CNv2 (Monero v8)||AMD, NVIDIA & CPU||Download|
To continue mining after the network is updated you need to configure the miner accordingly so that it auto switches algorithm when the network updates. Information on how to auto switch and how to mine v8 algorithm is mentioned in the download page of these miners.
Additionally if do not know how to configure miners then we suggest you to read these guides which should help you to get started.
At the time of writing this article Claymore’s CryptoNight AMD GPU Miner and cryptonight ccminer do not support this update. Also if you know any other mining software supporting this new Monero algorithm then leave it in the comments below.
Mining pools ready for V8
All major mining pools are ready for v8. Most pool owners have updated their mining pool software to support the Monero hardfork so that users can continue mining even after the fork. Following are the list of v8 ready mining pools where there are reasonable amount of hashrate.
http://minexmr.com/ https://xmr.nanopool.org/ https://minergate.com/xmr-mining-pool http://dwarfpool.com/xmr https://monerohash.com/ https://monero.crypto-pool.fr/ https://xmr.omine.org/ https://web.xmrpool.eu/ https://monerohash.com/
Note: After the network upgrade some pools might get abandoned and any work submitted there will be worthless. So keep an eye on pool status and always remember to spread your hashpower.
If you know any other mining pools supporting this upgrade then kindly drop it in the comments section so that other users will get to know.
This is one of the major update in Monero protocol. With this upgrade; Monero is aiming to provide better performance, privacy, security, scalability, efficiency and more decentralization. Even with all these new features and improvements we cannot expect any price surge due to this bear market. But there is one thing for sure. The change in PoW algorithm will definitely bring down the current network hashrate; assuming that some potential hidden ASIC miners will be kicked out of the network.
Monero v8 network upgrade countdown: xmr.noctism.com