M7, a visionary Proof of Work algorithm
Pallas, Sep 18, 2018
Recently, a lot of coin developers have been creating new algorithms for their proof of work coins, in order to fight the onslaught of ASIC and FPGA miners.
The reason they do is simple: FPGAs and ASICs are expensive and can’t be used for other tasks (unlike GPUs and CPUs), so they mean centralisation and risk of control by single entities. Instead we want everyone to be able to mine their coins.
The efforts haven’t been very successful: most of the coins, which have enough trade volume, are being mined by more efficient than GPU ways, just after some months they are out, sometimes even weeks.
Now, what about our beloved Cryptonite? There are no known FPGA nor ASIC miners available, despite having the coin moved millions of dollars. And why is it so? Let’s keep in mind the M7 PoW algorithm, which is what we use for our consensus on block headers, has been out and unchanged since 2014. That’s a pretty good achievement. Let’s see why it worked so far.
M7 uses components which are proved, industry standard algorithms, like sha-2 and sha-3, for best security. But the similarities with other coins end here:
– even though the components are the same, they are combined differently: there is no algo chain, but multiplication of outputs
– the input size of all the components is different than what other coins use, making them require specific implementation for chip makers and FPGA coders
– combining by multiplication adds complexity and further need for specific coding…
– … and increses memory requirements (both in size and speed)
I’m not saying that if all coins used M7, back in 2014 when we invented it, FPGAs and ASICs wouldn’t have been developed; because after all it’s all a matter of return of investment.
But I can say that it succeeded at what it was made for, after 4 years of running and counting. And we can say the same about the scalability and other features of Cryptonite.
This just shows how good the coin was planned and conceived. True innovation and progress for the crypto coin community!