Monero (XMR) has successfully hardforked on November 30th, at block number 1978433. The fork has changed the CryptoNightR mining algorithm to the new RandomX Proof-of-Work algorithm.
Although the main aim of the upgrade was keeping Monero completely resistant to ASIC mining, thus maintaining the coin decentralized, RandomX has essentially moved XMR mining to CPU, which is no less important.
What is the hard fork about?
Being one of the top cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, Monero for sure is one of the most popular coins at the moment, not least because of high level of privacy protection and technological advancement. The team behind Monero has continuously put their best effort into keeping XMR mining decentralized.
The previous mining algorithm, CryptoNightR, served the purpose well until the first Bitmain ASIC miners for the CryptoNightR were developed. This lead to Monero team developing and implementing the new RandomX algorithm which replaced the CryptoNightR, improving Monero network with special emphasis on its decentralization and operation.
The key pillars of RandomX are the following:
- ASIC miners are removed from the XMR network, along with the issues of botnets and Monero mining malware.
- Long Payment IDs are phased out Monero tweeted: “In addition, we will be phasing out long payment IDs during this scheduled network upgrade.” As a fact, Monero is becoming more privacy-protective, improving its privacy and usability for users.
- Ten blocks lock time, which is approximately 20 minutes, is enforced for the incoming transactions, increasing privacy for the whole network.
- Transactions require at least two outputs to improve data protection.
Why is it particularly important for CPU miners?
As the name suggests, RandomX features random code execution as well as memory-hard techniques to discourage ASIC mining. However, ASIC miners are not the only ones affected by the hard fork: the new algorithm is specially optimized for CPU mining.
With the focus on CPUs, Monero developers believe that “the network will become more decentralized and egalitarian in the distribution of block rewards.”
These recent changes are of particular importance for all laptop miners, that have been experiencing reduced efficiency of their mining hardware: for them, RandomX might be a real game-changer.
The RandomX CPU & GPU benchmarks are provided for reference only and may vary depending on variety of factors:
To sum up, RandomX has resulted in significant efficiency gains for CPU miners while drastically reducing the benefits of GPU mining. This is great news for both experienced miners that are not fond of the idea of spending a fortune on specialized hardware and newcomers that are in the very start of their mining career.