The hashrate of the Monero (XMR) network recently hit a new all-time high shortly after it changed its Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm to crack down on specialized ASIC miners.
According to data from BitInfoCharts, Monero’s hashrate hit an all-time high of 1.1358 GH/s shortly after it upgraded to the RandomX consensus algorithm, which worked to further decentralized the network and keep ASIC miners away from it.
Monero’s hashrate history is filled with ups and downs as it fights for mining decentralization. In March, for example, the XMR network underwent a hard fork to curb ASIC mining, which saw the hashrate drop by 80% as these specialized cryptocurrency mining machines stopped working on the network.
This time, however, the change that helped it hit a new all-time high was different. As Monero contributor tevador noted, Monaro’s hashrate should indeed change after the hard fork as it went from CryptoNight to RandomX. The XMR contributor wrote:
Saying that the hashrate of Monero "skyrocketed" or "tripled" has about the same information content as saying that the prices of groceries in Germany halved after switching from the Deutsche Mark to the Euro. Just like you can't directly compare prices in different currencies, you can't compare hashrates of different algorithms.
As an example, the user pointed to the Aeon network’s switch from the CryptoNight algorithm to KangarooTwelve. The move saw the network’s hashrate “increase about a million times” to several TH/s.
The move to RandomX, it adds, was meant to provide long-term ASIC resistance without forcing constant changes to the mining algorithms, which was “becoming unsustainable and damaging to the network.”
As for security, tevador added the Monero network is “at least as secure to external attacks as it was with CryptoNightR and perhaps even more secure.” The rise above 1 GH/s was even predicted ahead of the move.
As for the potential use of botnets to mine the privacy-centric cryptocurrency, and for the use of malware to cryptojack users’ devices, he added that RandomX makes illicit crypto mining harder as it has higher memory requirements and uses more power. Moreover, it can’t run on a browser, and with a tool called RandomX Sniffer it’s possible to detect whether a user is unknowingly mining or not.
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