The digital currency monero (XMR) is a public blockchain network that was created in April of 2014. Unlike litecoin and many other altcoins, XMR is not a clone of the original bitcoin codebase. Instead, Monero was built using a different type of protocol called the Cryptonote protocol. This is a codebase that was designed by a cryptographer who called himself Nicolas van Saberhagen. Saberhagen’s proof of concept turned into a slew of Cryptonote coins that utilized the Cryptonight proof-of-work hash algorithm like bytecoin, boolberry, and monero.
However, just recently the Chinese mining operation Bitmain Technologies launched its Antminer X3 series, which hashes the mining protocol Cryptonight. A few other mining manufacturers such as Halong Mining and Baikal revealed ASICs that process the algorithm as well.
In light of this situation, the monero developers and community decided it was best to hard fork the chain in order to render these machines useless against the network. Monero (XMR) planned to upgrade to the version 12 codebase, which changed the consensus rules making its Cryptonight PoW more secure against ASIC technology. Although a significant portion of the monero community did not favor the idea and this issue has split the community into multiple subsets. This has eventually led to four projects relying on the original version 11 monero codebase.
Following the April 6 fork, there are now four different moneros that have decided to keep the original branch going. Two of the projects call themselves ‘Monero Classic’ with one team deriving from Singapore, and the other a developer who calls himself ‘PZ.’
“We believe that the two ideas of ’embrace ASIC mining machines’ and ‘against ASIC mining machines’ both have their own strengths and weakness,” explains the pseudonym developer PZ.