Privacy-focused cryptocurrency Monero recently forked to combat the perceived threat of ASIC miners — but not all community members believe the fork is in line with the original vision of the Monero project. The fork has resulted in the launch of four new Monero projects, but one project, in particular, is decidedly pro-ASIC.
Monero Classic, run by a team with 8 years of experience in the blockchain industry, intends to maintain the original Monero chain before the recent algorithm change — the recent fork has seen the Monero core team alter the coin’s Proof of Work algorithm in response to the development of specialized mining machines for the Monero CryptoNight algorithm, and is set to alter it further later this year.
Monero Classic, however, will remain compatible with ASIC mining, has already gathered a significant amount of community interest, and is set to list on CoinEX soon.
The team leader behind the Monero Classic project, “PZ,” states that the emergence of specialized mining technology for any given cryptocurrency is a result of normal market economic activity, and shouldn’t be viewed as a disruptive or negative factor.
PZ is the Secretary-General of Litecoin Roundtable. When it came to the disputes over the activation of SegWit on Litecoin, PZ actively coordinated all parties, united the development team, several large Litecoin mining pools and exchanges.
Afterward, PZ helped the Roundtable reach an agreement to implement the SegWit soft fork. The founder of Litecoin, Charlie Lee, made the announcement on Twitter and thanked PZ for his efforts to organize the event.
The reasoning behind Monero Classic is sound — over the last ten years of blockchain innovation and growth, the cryptocurrency ecosystem has seen the development, release, and widespread use of specialized mining hardware for Bitcoin. PZ points to examples such as Litecoin, which was designed to be ASIC-resistant through the use of the Scrypt algorithm. Dedicated mining hardware intended for Scrypt emerged after just two years.
PZ states that the Monero Classic project accepts the inevitability of specialized mining hardware in the crypto industry:
“We believe that for any kind of valuable cryptocurrency, the emergence of specialized mining machine is only a matter of time. Finally, we made our choice to accept the existence of mining machines. Now there are more and more high-value cryptocurrencies (algorithms) which have specialized mining machines. It has become a common phenomenon in the industry.”
The Monero Classic team leader also emphasizes the benefits that dedicated mining hardware brings to the Monero network:
“ASIC will increase computing power and the ability to resist attacks. It cannot be completely repudiated. If there are even restrictions for the hardware device, then should we make rules for where the electricity come from or what kind of house should be used? The more restrictions, the more vulnerable the system is.”
PZ argues that the presence of professional mining machines on the Monero Classic network will make the chan far more resistant to attacks, such as the half-million machines that were hijacked to mine nearly 9,000 XMR earlier this year.
“Is the existence of specialized mining machines completely useless? Obviously, this argument is unfair. We should be reminded the fact that emergence of professional mining machines will greatly improve network security.”
The argument PZ presents for the continuance of an algorithm compatible with ASIC mining is valid — the Monero Classic team posits that “Anti-ASIC is anti-competition, and ASIC is an almost inevitable result of competition” — which is a point difficult to contest from a free market perspective.
Moving forward, the Monero Classic team intends to keep the architecture of Monero as close to the original vision as intended. One algorithm change, as the history of cryptocurrency development illustrates, can quickly be followed by a spate of many more.