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'Application-Specific Integrated Circuit', ASIC is hardware specifically design to mine bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies.

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Ravencoin (RVN) To Become ASIC-Resistant via Hard Fork Implementation

The prevention of mining centralization via the use of ASIC miners is becoming more common in the crypto market lately. Now, Ravencoin (RVN) is set to implement a new hard fork that will make the network resistant to ASIC miners. According to the developers, the main reason to block ASIC miners is to protect the […]
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Ravencoin To Fork For ASIC Resistance

Another altcoin network is pivoting to a new algorithm to prevent mining centralization. . Ravencoin, a network for asset tokenization, is expected to implement a hard fork tomorrow over fears that nearly 50% of the network is controlled by ASIC miners. How Ravencoin Flies From ASICs Designed with the little guy in mind, Ravencoin was conceived from the start as a cryptocurrency that would keep mining power in the hands of as many people as possible. RVN developers presented an elegant solution to the problem of ASIC domination. By rotating through a series of algorithms rather than relying on a single solution, ASIC developers would be foiled in their efforts to take over the network. Since ASICs require a great deal of time, research, and money to produce, it would theoretically be too costly to design a machine that could adjust to a constantly changing algorithm. But it looks like ASICs have managed to make their way into the network anyway. An article posted this summer revealed dramatic evidence that ASICs were already mining on the Ravencoin network, using a new machine that adapts to the varying patterns of the X16R algorithm.     Earlier in the year, a single miner appeared to have gathered an enormous quantity of RVN and sold it in bulk quantities. This single user was mining as much as 45% of all Ravencoin blocks in July. source: standarderror   This vulnerability is prompted the move to a new version of the X16R algorithm, which will keep the network in the hands of GPU and FGPA miners. Fork Improvements Version two of X16R, which will be implemented on October 1, is designed to put an end to mining centralization. As described on 2miners.com, the key feature of the fork is “banning ASICs from the network, so block mining and the network operation will be ensured by GPU owners.” This increases the number of miners and reducing the influence of any individual or pool. The blog explains that this will be “huge benefit for GPU owners,” who may see a return to profitability and even “make a quick buck” before the network balances out over time. Those interested mining the new algorithm can check out the “Definitive Guide” provided on the blog.  Upgrading And You Ravencoin users should update their software to 2.5.1, which can be found at this link. RVN Miners can follow the steps provided for upgrading their mining software by following the steps provided here. Binance, one of the most popular platforms for trading RVN, has announced support for the upgrade, handling all the technical requirements for asset holders on the exchange. The exchange will suspend deposits and withdrawals of RVN during the transition, resuming activity once the newly upgraded network is deemed stable. Trading of RVN will not be affected by the fork, Binance states, since the network is not expected to split. The fork should merely act as an upgrade. Or will it?  Time For Ravencoin Classic? A small contingent of Ravencoin enthusiasts seem to have planned a minor coup to maintain the original blockchain. If these miners continue mining the old algorithm, they could conceivably split the chain, with a “Ravencoin Classic” alongside the new ASIC-resistant network.  Such a split is unlikely, but cautious users may want to store away their Ravencoins off the exchanges and on a dedicated wallet. A relatively obscure Twitter account appears to be leading the minority contingent, but has since announced the cancellation of forking plans.   source: Twitter   Binance advises users to follow the detailed advice provided in Tron Black’s posted article, “Ravencoin — Upgrade and Protect Yourselves before Oct 1!” Black recommends users store RVN on-chain in upgraded software, with the latest version available here. He also suggests removing RVN from custodial accounts such as Binance, Bittrex, and other exchanges, “at least until this upgrade is complete and everyone is on the same page.” Importantly, Black warns to not transfer RVN during the forking period, at least until a few days after October 1. Lastly, he suggests not buying or selling RVN until afetr the network has stabilized and “everyone knows where everything stands.” Market Response Despite the bearish market doldrums, the RVN fork has created some positive buzz, with prices rising against BTC and USD. Nearing 400 satoshis at a value around 3 cents USD, trading on RVN has been more active as the fork approaches. Daily volumes have also increased, at the time of writing.    source: CoinMarketCap   Judging from recent Twitter activity and daily sentiment trends gathered from theTIE.io, traders are feeling positive about future market prospects for RVN.   theTIE.io   Ravencoin is not the first project to deal with the ASIC dilemma. Monero regularly uses hard forks to keep a step ahead of hardware developers, as Crypto Briefing has previously reported. However, there is also a security trade-off in ASIC resistance: GPU-mined networks are also more susceptible to attacks from rented hashpower.   The post Ravencoin To Fork For ASIC Resistance appeared first on Crypto Briefing.
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New Ethereum ASIC dominates GPU mining performance

Canaan unveiled a new Ethereum ASIC that’s more than 5-times more efficient than commercially available GPUs. This doesn’t bode well for small-scale miners and threatens to potentially increase centralization of the network. A new Ethash ASIC Today at the New Era Mining Summit in China, Canaan unveiled a new Ethereum Ethash ASIC. The ASIC would easily outcompete GPU-based miners on an efficiency basis. Using the most common standard for comparing against different cryptocurrency mining equipment, watts per megahash per second (W/MHs), Canaan’s new ASIC is brutally more performant than publicly accessible computer hardware. Canaan making the announcement at the New Era Mining Summit Based on well-documented performance data, the new ASIC would offer a 5.3 to 7.5-fold efficiency improvement over consumer computer hardware. CryptoSlate reached out to Canaan for the detailed performance specifications but has yet to receive a response. Problems posed for Ethereum This is problematic for the Ethereum network. Ethash, the mining algorithm used for Ethereum, was intentionally designed to be ASIC-resistant. There are several reasons for this design choice, primarily centered around accessibility and decentralization. In the cryptocurrency ASIC business, only a handful of manufacturers tend to dominate. These players then have a large degree of control over who has access to competitive pricing for the only efficient miners on the market. These manufacturers can also reap enormous margins. Unlike the manufacture of other computer equipment, pricing for cryptocurrency mining equipment is based on the profit it can generate as a money-printing device, not on the cost of underlying materials like the conventional computer hardware industry. Furthermore, because of their direct access to cheap hardware they can also dominate mining on the network, much like Bitmain and Canaan already do with Bitcoin. Right now, there is strong evidence that the two mining juggernauts control between 25–50 percent of the SHA-256 mining hashrate based on correspondences between CryptoSlate and representatives at the companies. The result: over time, most other small-scale miners will get priced-out based as mining difficulty increases. Core Ethereum developers weigh-in That said, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and many other core developers maintain that ASICs aren’t a threat. In April of last year, Bitmain released its F3 Ethereum miner, essentially a GPU with the superfluous components removed to reduce cost of production. The F3 only had a 2-fold cost advantage over mainstream equipment, per has, at time of release. In response to the release, Vitalik Buterin told other core Ethereum developers that ASICs are not a threat to the network. Moreover, he argued that if Ethereum changed its mining algorithm that miners would figure out how to crack it in “6-12 months.” Such an effort would be a distraction from more quickly implementing ETH 2.0, he assert.  “This is not Bitcoin. The miners are not in control here. This is not Bitcoin; the miners are not in control here. If there comes a day where Bitmain has majority hash power and tries to use it for evil, then we will speed up Casper development and to hell with any remaining bugs,” reassured Vitalik Buterin. Community debate over ProgPOW Now, the community is embroiled in a separate debate over ProgPOW, an algorithm that would allegedly level mining efficiency across ASICs, GPUs, and FPGAs in a way, that its proponents argue, is difficult to optimize away.  However, the change has encountered staunch resistance, partially due to its authorship from former Core Scientific CTO Kristy-Leigh Minehan. Other Ethereum stakeholders are concerned that such a change would fork community, and potentially the network. Overall, the development will make Ethereum mining less accessible to hobbyists and the general public as these ASICs continue to proliferate. The post New Ethereum ASIC dominates GPU mining performance appeared first on CryptoSlate.
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