This coming Friday, on April 6th 2018, Monero (XMR) announced that it will carry out its software upgrade on the current versions to CLI v0.12.0.0 or GUI v0.12.0.0. The upgrade is a hard fork but it will not affect your XMR in any way. As an avid follower and investor in Monero, you should already be familiar with this kind of upgrades. However, novices and new investors in Monero do have several questions regarding this fork that will be answered in this article comprehensively.
As the fork approaches fast, these are some of the things you have to keep in mind if you own XMR coin, miner or wallet.
What is the software upgrade all about?
The software upgrade system that is scheduled to take on place this Friday, April the 6th, will make two major changes on the new Monero blockchain. This is a hard fork. Each of these changes is to have a potential positive effect to Monero users.
- The proof-of-work upgrade
The first change will be a twitch to the proof-of-work (PoW) system in a move to curb any potential threat of ASIC’s (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) and preserve ASIC resistance. These integrated circuits are hardware that allow the user to carry out a specific function on them such as Bitcoin ASIC’s are used purposefully for mining crypto using the SHA256 algorithms. They differ from other mining hardware such as CPU’s and GPU’s in that the latter two are not specifically made for mining.
As is the case with Bitcoin mining these days, it is unprofitable to mine the coin using CPU’s, GPU’s or even FPGA’s due to the increase in ASIC miners. This has made the mining of BTC (confirming transactions) centralized among only those with these machines. These hardware cost in upwards of $11,000 making it very difficult and expensive for decentralization in mining to be effective.
- Minimum ring size increased to 7
The fork will also increase the current minimum ring size from 4 to 7 increasing the security of the network. Ring size relates to the total number of possible signers to a ring signature. For a ring size of 7, this means that there will be seven cryptographic signatures seen in the group, but only one of them is correct. The other six are there to hide the identity of which signature is the ‘real’ one. This increases the security of your transactions as well as improving the privacy measures.
Note: You should not use the same ring size over and over as it may become predictable hence reducing your overall privacy and security. Try switching them randomly, 7, 13, 10, and 71 and so on.
When will the fork take place?
As mentioned before, the hard fork is scheduled to take place on the 6th of April 2018 with the new version set to start at block 1546000.
Do I get new coins after the fork?
A simple answer to this is yes and no. Every 6 months, Monero development team releases an update on the blockchain itself causing a hard fork. New coins are generated during this process. However, since the Monero community almost unanimously agree on the fork, the old blockchain, together with the coins are left and the new coins are adopted. What I mean is, yes new coins are generated but since no one in the community contends to keep the old blockchain active, your old coins are useless. So really no new currency is formed but rather replacement of old coins takes place.
How do I participate in the fork?
As a Monero (XMR) user or holder, you do not have to do anything during the forking process. However, you should run the CLI v0.12.0.0 or GUI v0.12.0.0 you will be prompted to upgrade your software to the latest version. This is very important so that you will be able to exchange and use your XMR.
How do I upgrade my software?
The official Monero website made an announcement on March 28th encouraging its users not to update their binaries without first checking if the original binaries were signed by Fluffypony’s GPG key. If they are correctly signed, you can follow the steps below to update your software;
- Go to the official website or GitHub Download the new binaries.
- Open and extract these new binaries to a directory of your liking.
- If you are using the Command Line Interface (CLI) console, copy the wallet files on the old directory to the new one i.e. the CLI v0.11.0.0 or CLI v0.11.1.0. If you are using the GUI console, open your wallet and the update will occur automatically.
This surely will present an opportunity forMonero (XMR) to moon in the coming months before the next upgrade. The development team and the community keep on working for the improvement and development of Monero blockchain, together. This is rarely seen on most cryptocurrencies which may yet be the biggest advantage Monero has over its competitors. Let’s wait and see what happens on April the 6th, its only 3 days away!