Developers of the Monero privacy coin have announced a new weapon in their battle against centralization. In collaboration with Arweave, a serverless storage protocol, the Monero team is validating a new, ASIC-resistant mining algorithm, dubbed RandomX.
Monero Outreach says that the new algorithm can help prevent the cryptocurrency from being dominated by a handful of mining giants. Unlike other privacy-protecting tokens like Zcash and Dash, Monero developers are committed keeping their coin CPU-mineable, thereby ensuring that anyone with a home computer can help secure the network.
Developers have managed to keep a step ahead of ASIC manufacturers with frequent hard forks, as Crypto Briefing previously reported. But such measures are only temporary, and unlikely to dissuade manufacturers like Bitmain.
Instead of having to solve a set function for the proof-of-work puzzle, RandomX generates a randomly varying code that an ASIC would not be able to solve efficiently. As a result, CPUs and GPUs remain the most efficient mining equipment.
“The idea with RandomX is to require anyone who wants to build an ASIC for it to basically reimplement an entire CPU, thus constraining their performance to that of a CPU,” explained Howard Chu, who first developed the concept of a randomly generated proof of work for Monero. “It will help mining on everyday computer hardware to stay more competitive.”
Arweave’s distributed data storage technology also stands to benefit from the new algorithm with greater security and reduced vulnerabilities. The distributed storage protocol uses blockchain-like technology to secure data, without risk of deletion or censorship.
“An ASIC-resistant proof-of-work algorithm like RandomX will further enhance our permanent, low-cost, tamper-resistant storage network,” said Sam Williams, CEO at Arweave. “RandomX helps us ensure that power over the decentralised content policies in the Arweave network remains well distributed across many globally distributed parties.”
Although it’s not clear when the new algorithm will be implemented, developers say that RandomX can offer clear advantages to both projects. “Distributing mining over many people and many computers hardens a cryptocurrency,” said a Monero core team member, under the pseudonym binaryFate. “Monero is strong, and RandomX can make it stronger, like tempering steel.”
This article has been updated to reflect some details of the RandomX algorithm. Although the algorithm is currently being validated, it has been public for some time.