The Monero (XMR) network has been successfully upgraded to RandomX, a new mining algorithm that aims to be ASIC-resistant.
On Nov. 30, the Monero community workgroup did a live stream on YouTube in which the upgrade took place at around the 58 minute mark. The new upgrade also introduced proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm, RandomX, which uses random code execution together with memory-focussed techniques to be resistant to application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) — devices optimized for professional mining operations.
The upgrade is also reportedly optimized for general-purpose central processing units (CPU) in order to make the network more decentralized. As a result, those who wish to use graphics processing units (GPU) to mine Monero might find it more difficult to do so.
The Monero team believes that ASIC machines have a centralizing effect as there are only a few companies in the world that are able to manufacture them.
However, others have claimed the exact opposite. Bran Cohen, best known as author of the peer-to-peer (P2P) BitTorrent protocol, recently said that ASIC-resistant PoW is both a pipe dream and a bad idea. Cohen added that it is a much better idea to be ASIC-friendly, because “ASIC resistance just creates more centralization around manufacture when it inevitably fails.”
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin echoed similar sentiments when he said that there is a growing consensus that ASIC-resistant algorithms have a limited lifespan and ASIC resistance ultimately makes 51% attacks cheaper.
Crypto exchanges delist Monero due to money laundering concerns
Poland-based cryptocurrency exchange BitBay announced in November that it will delist the privacy-centric cryptocurrency Monero on Feb. 19, 2020 due to money laundering concerns. The exchange explained:
“Monero (XMR) can selectively utilize anonymity features among projects. This feature of XMR is a subject to end of transaction support. The decision was made to block the possibility of money laundering and inflow from external networks.”