The introduction of protocol upgrade “Beryllium Bullet” just created a Monero (XMR) hard fork. This upgrade was highly anticipated by Monero users worldwide. Additionally, this is the first time any blockchain has ever implemented Bulletproofs protocol.
Monero has performed many upgrades, though Bulletproofs is among the most significant. Before we dive into what a Monero hard fork means and what it will look like for users, users should update as soon as possible to avoid transaction errors.
The Monero (XMR) Hard Fork: What You Need To Know
Monero is no stranger to hard forks. In fact, their developers perform hard forks about twice a year. Some of the most notable qualities of Monero’s updates include Bulletproofs, increased ring structure, reduced transaction data size, faster transactions, and a modified proof-of-work algorithm to add to ASIC resistance.
Note that the fee for a typical Monero transaction is currently approximately $0.005-$0.01! 🎉
— Monero || #xmr (@monero) October 18, 2018
The implementation of Bulletproofs protocol aims to reduce transaction data by roughly 80%. As a result, Monero’s transaction fees will also decrease. According to the Monero (XMR) twitter, transaction fees range from $0.005 to $0.01.
Bulletproofs are zero-knowledge proofs. Moreover, they allow the networks to maintain complete anonymity, disclosing no information about the parties or amounts involved in transactions.
PoW Upgrade For ASIC Resistance
The updates also include a modified version of the Monero blockchain’s proof-of-work (PoW) mechanism. The new PoW will help resist ASIC activity.
Application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) are custom pieces of hardware which allow a computer to perform one specific action. Miners often use ASICs to mine blocks. Monero’s new PoW will prevent miners from doing this, with the goal of leveling the mining playing field. As such, the Monero hard fork will require miners to update their software.
Increased Ring Size
Monero (XMR) has also bumped up its ring size from 10 to 11. This will be a fixed size. As such, pool operators must ensure payouts use a ring size of 11.
Rings (or ring signatures) are generated from a combination of the sender’s account keys and public keys on the blockchain. With an increased ring size, more keys are required to complete a ring. And with more keys, the key becomes more private and unique, and therefore more secure.
Furthermore, Monero has redesigned their GUI settings, implemented a faster wallet refresh and gamma distribution for ring selection— all while fixing bugs and making general improvements.
Why Did Monero (XMR) Hard Fork?
Monero is a privacy and security-centric cryptocurrency. Their hard fork includes mainly updates that support these functions. Additionally, Monero’s fees were becoming somewhat unfavorable because large transaction data was slowing transaction times.
These updates changed all this. Keep in mind that cryptocurrency investors were well-aware of Monero’s hard fork. Unlike the Ethereum hard fork that created Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC), the Monero hard fork did not create a new cryptocurrency.