Improving Features – A Hard Fork
Monero underwent a hard fork at block 1788000 to improve the privacy features, security, as well as ASIC resistance offered to its users by deploying four key changes to the protocol. These include:
- Changes to the dynamic block-size algorithm to fix the big bang attack.
- A ‘dummy’ encrypted payment ID added to each transaction in order to improve transaction homogeneity.
- A third PoW tweak (dubbed CryptoNight-R) to limit the ASICs present on the network, and preserve ASIC resistance. Miners will, therefore, have to update their software.
- Simplified amount commitments achieved through shrinking the size of amount encodings and using deterministic masks. The changes were analysed as being safe to be deployed by Monero’s ResearchLab; entailing the transaction format being upgraded to v2.
Due to the successful hard fork, Monero’s development team informed followers that they should expect slightly slower block times in the first 24-48 hours.
Monero has committed itself to offer a technologically viable and accessible cryptocurrency which protects the users transactional privacy and identity. As such, entries on the ledger are completely untraceable and cannot be linked to a particular user or real-world identity.
‘Sending and receiving addresses as well as transacted amounts are obfuscated by
default. Transactions on the Monero blockchain cannot be linked to a particular user or
real-world identity.’ – Monero website.
These latest updates to the protocol will further strengthen Monero’s USP as a privacy cryptocurrency, attracting those that wish to avoid unnecessary online surveillance and oversight.
Regulation permitting, the importance of coins like Monero will only grow as internet tracking and governmental citizen databases increase in scope. Advocates believe that such privacy is a basic human right; warning of a world where everything is completely traceable through a public ledger like Bitcoin.