Monero's Hashrate Plummets Over 80% After Hard Fork Curbs ASIC Mining

The hashrate of the Monero (XMR) network has recently plummeted over a hard fork that curbed the presence of Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) mining on the privacy-centric cryptocurrency’s blockchain.

According to a post on Reddit, the cryptocurrency’s hashrate could’ve dropped as much as 95% after the hard fork. At press time it’s unclear how the network was truly affected, as most platform’s haven’t yet factored in the drop. Per 2miners, the drop has so far been of 83%, from 1.3 GH/s to 210 MH/s.

Monero's hashrate dropped signifiicantlySource: 2miners.com

The hashrate dropped as Monero is following through with a “war” on ASIC miners, declared roughly a year ago. At the time, the cryptocurrency released a software update that stopped ASIC hardware from being effective on its network, leading to a similar hashrate drop.

The move initially came after cryptocurrency mining hardware giant Bitmain announced the launch of its Antminer X3, an ASIC-powered machine designed to mine XMR and other Cryptonight-based cryptos.

The crypto’s community decided to remove ASICs from its network over concerns related to potential centralization, and related to the influence large miners could have. Per the Monero team ASICs create a single point of failure. At the time, it stated:

For instance, a government could require these ASIC manufacturers to add a "kill-switch" which allows them to shut down a miner remotely or otherwise control it. This threat has the potential to destroy the whole network.

The privacy-centric popularity rose to prominence after being adopted by the now-defunct darknet marketplace AlphaBay, and at the time of the hard fork it saw some community members disagree with the move. This led to four new cryptocurrencies, with some allowing ASICs on their networks.

Monero’s recent hard fork, which saw its hashrate plummet by over 80% for a second time, doesn’t just tweak its algorithm to better resist ASIC mining machines, but also adds changes that help it mitigate potential ‘big bang’ attacks, and improves privacy.

The upgrade saw crypto mining service Coinhive shut down, as its revenue was already down because of the crypto market slump. As it was a hard fork, the hashrate may soon start recovering once miners start upgrading their software to mine on its blockchain.

Monero has in the past slashed its transaction fees through network upgrades, which helped it outperform other privacy-centric cryptocurrencies. At press time, XMR is trading at $50.2 after falling 1.6% in the last 24-hour period.

Crypto Market Update: Focus on BTC, ETH, BCH, BNB, XMR, and DASH

Siamak Masnavi

This article provides a quick overview of how the crypto markets have been doing—with the focus on Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Binance Coin (BNB), Monero (XMR), and Dash (DASH)—over the past 24-hour period.

Overall, September 17th is proving to be a bit of a mixed day, with 12 of the top 20 cryptocurrencies (by market cap) in the red at press time (around 06:25 UTC).

BTC-USD

BTC-USD 24 Hour Chart - 17 Sep 2019.png

The bad news is that are still waiting for the launch of Bakkt's physically-delivered daily and monthly Bitcoin futures contracts. So, Bitcoin is still trading mostly sideways, hovering around the $10,300 mark. The good news is that the launch is expected to take place in less than one week (i.e. on September 23), as was confirmed by this tweet that Bakkt sent out on September 16:

ETH-USD

ETH-USD 24 Hour Chart - 17 Sep 2019.png

The Ether (ETH) price continues its upward movement toward the $200 mark, up another 2.24% in the past 24-hour period (making it up 4.32% in the past 7-day period). What may have helped the Bitcoin price yesterday (September 16) is the announcement by crypto payment processor BitPay that in the near future it will be possible for its customers to accept Ether payments for purchases of goods and services. Also, the BitPay wallet will support Ether.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin had this to say about the news:

"It is exciting to see BitPay leading the way in integrating Ethereum into global payment systems. This truly opens up a new world of possibilities for the Ethereum ecosystem, and together we can continue to be a leading innovator for real world use cases for cryptocurrencies.

BCH-USD

BCH-USD 24 Hour Chart - 17 Sep 2019.png

On Monday (September 16), Bitcoin.com announced that it had entered into a strategic partnership with Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC, as a result of which the Bitcoin.com wallet will come preinstalled on HTC's current and upcoming blockchain phones (Exodus 1 and Exodus 1s):

BNB-USD

BNB-USD 24 Hour Chart - 17 Sep 2019.png

Although BNB is currently in the red, this may change during the next several hours once all of the six mini announcements that Binance plans to make today have come out:

The first of the six announcements that Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (aka "CZ") referred to is the addition of support for Cosmos (ATOM) to Binance's Margin Trading platform:

XMD-USD

XMR-USD 24 Hour Chart - 17 Sep 2019.png

OKEx Korea announced on Monday (September 16) that it intends to delist all five privacy coins it is currently supporting, i.e. XMR, DASH, ZEC, ZEN, and SBTC, due to concerns that these cryptocurrencies do not allow it to implement FATF's so-called "travel rule". 10 October 2019 is the date on which transaction (i.e. trading) support ends.

DASH-USD

DASH-USD 24 Hour Chart - 17 Sep 2019.png

Since OKEx Korea's delisting announcement mentioned DASH, you would expect it to be down today, just like XMR. However, it is not, and that is very likely due to the fact that today (September 17) is the day that trading in DASH is expected to start on Coinbase Pro on/after 09:00 PST (16:00 UTC) provided that there is sufficient liquidity.

Featured Image Court: Photo via Pixabay.com