Over the past decade, machines that maintain the Bitcoin network have experienced rapid technological development. Mining equipment is a basic feature of the success of the Bitcoin network and an indispensable ground floor building in the trillion blockchain market. But the success of one thing is always without doubt, because the increasing trend of concentration of energy consumption and computing power in Bitcoin is contrary to its consensus principle; people are looking for a new consensus mechanism to return to the original aspiration of blockchain.
Development history of block chain mining (Bitcoin)
On January 3, 2009, the alias Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first bitcoin block. As the only miner on the Bitcoin network at that time, the principle of mining at this time was to use the arithmetic and logic unit in the CPU chip to perform hash collision operations, residual modules, etc. The blockchain network was very small at that time, and it was competent with the computing power of the CPU at that time, but as the value of Bitcoin was slowly excavated, new miners began to gradually join, and the mining market began to compete.
When the price of Bitcoin reached 10 cents in October 2010, the first mining equipment using the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) had been developed. The GPU equipment involved in mining has been optimized and can perform various calculation tasks. Good at simple mathematical calculations in parallel, the efficiency of producing bitcoin blocks and obtaining block rewards at that time was improved by about six times.
Then in 2011, the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) was also remodeled to mine bitcoin. According to Metnick’s calculations, FPGA can calculate the mathematical calculations needed to dig out Bitcoin, which is twice the speed of the highest-level GPU.
The third major innovation in Bitcoin mining may require the largest dedicated resources, time and development resources. In 2013, Canaan Creative, a Chinese-based computer hardware manufacturer, released the first set of special integrated circuits (ASIC) for Bitcoin mining. According to Metnick’s calculations, the speed of ASIC bitcoin mining equipment is now average C in 2009. PU speed is 100 billion times.
Differences and improvement of block chain mining
In recent years, the drawbacks of blockchain mining have been repeatedly put forward. According to a paper in the authoritative scientific journal Joule, “the whole Bitcoin network may reach 184 tawatt-hours of electricity every year, which is equivalent to the total energy consumed by all data centers around the world.” The carbon footprint of its energy consumption is comparable to that of the London metropolitan area of the United Kingdom. It is enough to see the corner of energy consumption of the blockchain network, not to mention the unhealthy impact of the concentration of mining computing power on the blockchain network.
Almost all cryptocurrencies based on the blockchain consensus mechanism based on workload proof (PoW) inevitably face a party’s huge possession of computing power, making the workload proof protocol vulnerable to single centralized institutional review and rule changes, thus undermining the restraint between various stakeholders. Balance.
How does resistance to ASIC miner work?
In fact, developers behind cryptocurrency networks such as Ethereum and Monero have long begun to resist ASIC mines, believing that they can crack down on “centralized mining” by using memory-hard consensus algorithms. The ASIC miner makes this method of mining unprofitable. Some cryptocurrencies want to try to completely abandon the workload proof consensus mechanism to solve the “mineering problem”.
Theoretically, resisting ASIC mines may eventually lead to the fact that ASIC chips are extremely expensive, the noise generated by the operation of equipment is huge, and only a few companies around the world have the capacity to produce. On the other hand, we can find CPU chips in almost every home. For ordinary consumers, GPU hardware devices are also easier to access and use, and as a commercial hardware device, CPUs are more widely used in daily use and production and purchase processes are more centralized. From this perspective, their An equal workload certification system has actually been created.
Many projects based on the CryptoNote protocol, or changing the consensus algorithm or eliminating the consensus mining mechanism, to deal with the drawbacks of ASIC cluster mining, such as Lettercoin, Ethereum, Monroe and Darthcoin, and MKEcoin, which inherited the will of the CryptoNote protocol, is also among them. One member aims to bring blockchain networks back to the original consensus system.
Logic and solution of CPU mining
We need to know that if we need to resist ASIC cluster mining, we need to come up with another solution. CPU computing power is not as bad as people think. On the contrary, the flexibility and versatility of CPUs are almost the top level in semiconductors, and because of technological progress and innovation, the latest generation of CPUs already have multiple ALUs. The following picture shows the CPU architecture part of AMD’s official website:
At the technical level, CPU programming is most flexible and diverse, and mining can be carried out on many block chains that resist ASIC, so attacking vectors will also be larger. It is popular to say that even if one cryptocurrency block chain is attacked, it will not make CPU mining useless, because it can be immediately transferred to other chains for mining. And it has good compatibility with the mining program in the compilation language, and has the greatest flexibility, whether it is updating, reset or on-line hot plug-out.
After learning from the experience of predecessors, MKEcoin has built-in CPU mining functions on the main network. All users can freely choose configuration to provide idle CPU threads to participate in the establishment of the MKE consensus network, and can randomly obtain the MKE token reward provided by MKE. Unlike previous CPU mining, MKE can implement parallel algorithms in which some CPU threads participate in mining, giving users maximum convenience and freedom.
However, in a successful and developing cryptocurrency network, the emergence of ASIC mines seems inevitable. Even if the ASIC miner is not as efficient as the GPU miner, it may be profitable by creating dedicated mining hardware and mining a certain type of cryptocurrency. On this basis, the scheme given by MKEcoin is to increase the elasticity of blockchain and make periodic algorithm changes according to CPU flexibility and ASIC’s only applicable to the shortcomings of specific algorithms, thus making ASIC miners unable to carry out mining activities continuously and make the revenue of cluster mining attacking the network. Reduce to unprofitable levels.
The mining industry has now formed a set, and no solution is easy to achieve, but it is always the spiritual light of the changer that gives the majestic vitality of the blockchain. This requires joint exploration and efforts from various cryptocurrency project sponsors, miners, and other stakeholders in the encrypted ecosystem.