The Grin community has announced the date of its first-ever scheduled hard fork, in order to prevent the network from being dominated by specialized mining hardware. This will be the first of four scheduled system-wide upgrades during the first two years of the coin’s life.
The hard fork will be executed on block number 262,082, which is expected to be mined on July 17th. The decision was made during one of the network’s bi-weekly developer meetings, which is exactly how their governance model is intended to work.
The main purpose of the upgrade is to prevent manufacturers from developing ASIC equipment, which could make mining the coin impossible to all but the best-funded players. Although the Grin community is not explicitly anti-ASIC, they hope to slowly integrate specialized miners to the ecosystem in order to provide a more fair distribution in the project’s early years.
By tweaking the mining algorithm every six months, the community prevents ASIC manufacturers from realizing a profit on their machines. Monero follows a similar strategy, with scheduled forks every 6 months to limit ASICs on their network.
The hard fork will also feature upgrades to the official Grin wallet software to increase flexibility and usability. One of the main reasons why some consumers prefer Beam over Grin is that their current developer suite is much more user-friendly.
Grin users hope this upgrade will help onboard new users in a friendlier manner. Early Grin wallets required users to use command-line code, a significant barrier to adoption.
With six weeks to go until the hard fork, Grin is quickly approaching all-time-highs in its market capitalization:
The coin is just $1.5M USD off of its all-time-high. Although this upgrade is not intended to boost its price, increased media exposure might introduce new buyers to the project.
The upgrade will go live on testnet within two weeks, in order to work out any kinks in the code prior to launch.