Monero’s Hard Fork “Beryllium Bullet” | What You Need to Know

Not all crypto forks are created equal… here’s what you need to know about XMR 0.13.0

Thursday, October 18th, the granddaddy of all privacy coins underwent a major hard fork.
Oh…you didn’t hear about this one?
That’s likely because Monero (Ticker: XMR available on Binance and most popular exchanges) has done a stellar job of controlling the narrative and branding it a ‘protocol upgrade’ rather than a ‘hard fork’.

And, yes, that’s a good thing.

(Edit 12.5.2018: While I have not received compensation, all opinions are my own, this post does include referral links where applicable)

A hard fork is little more than a protocol upgrade where mom and dad refuse to share custody.

The truth is… protocol upgrades occur all the time and rarely cause problems. Ethereum has had more than it’s fair share (the Ethereum/Ethereum Classic fork obviously being an anomaly). ARK , the self-proclaimed ‘Wordpress of Blockchains’, recently launched its Core V2 protocol on devnet without problems. Quite an accomplishment considering it was a complete re-write, from scratch, of the originally Lisk-forked code.
Fortunately, Monero’s 0.13.0 “Beryllium Bullet” release looks to be heading in in the right direction.

This article explains more about Hard Forks vs Soft Forks and ARK’s Core V2 in case you’re interested.

So why should you care?

Quite a few reasons actually.

First, the list of improvements and bug fixes is gargantuan.
How big is gargantuan?
It includes well over 100 upgrades as can be seen on Monero’s original post here (a list of changes is also included at the end of this article).
Some highlights include;

“…enabled Bulletproofs for reduced transaction sizes, sets the ringsize globally to 11 for uniformity of transactions, updated the PoW algorithm to CNv2, and finally sets the max transaction size at half of the penalty free block size.”

Upgrading to the CNv2 Proof of Work algorithm, also known as CryptoNightV8, is a huge step forward in my (sarcastically humble) opinion. In the race against ASIC’s (chips that are specifically designed to do only one thing but to do it extremely well) algorithms are king.
It’s the algorithm used by cryptos such as Monero, Loki, Electroneum, etc. that make them ‘CPU-mineable’.

Technically, any cryptocurrency that uses a Proof of Work consensus mechanism is ‘CPU-mineable’. It’s just useless to do so if ASIC’s can use it as well.
It’s like trying to compete financially against Amazon by holding a garage sale. Without a garage. Or anything to sell.

Monero, and similar ‘CPU-mineable’ cryptocurrencies, are in a constant battle with ASIC manufacturers to stay one step ahead. As soon as an ‘ASIC resistant’ algorithm is released… ASIC makers are developing ways to work around it. The CNv2 algorithm will, most likely, keep Monero CPU-mineable and ASIC-resistant for at least a bit longer.

What do YOU need to do?

Upgrade your software ASAP. If you participate directly in the Monero network, meaning you run a full node or are mining Monero, as of Oct. 18th (get ready for some complex technical terminology) your stuff won’t work.

If you DON’T already participate now’s a great time to start!
XMR-Stak, the CPU/GPU mining software I personally use to mine Monero, Loki, Electroneum & others updated their code earlier this week.
(Edit: New update, to 2.5.1, released yesterday. Download here.)
XMR-Stak is now not only CNv2 CryptoNightV8 compliant but, personally, I’ve seen much better performance since upgrading to the “Monero hardfork 2.5.0” version.

I’ll be releasing a step-by-step ‘Guide to Mining Cryptocurrency with XMR-Stak’ tutorial, in both written and video formats, later this week. Be sure to follow me here, on Medium, and on any or all social media to find out when it’s released!

When A Fork Isn’t Really A Fork

Monero has, like many other blockchain and cryptocurrency projects, handled this upgrade the right way.
(save for those that start with ‘Bitcoi’ and end in ‘ash’… but that’s none of my business)
Participants will upgrade.
The network will improve.
Your sketchy transactions will continue.
Hats off to the XMR Dev team for getting this one right!

Privacy | Security | OSINT

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