Grin Executes First Hard Fork to Block ASIC-Based Miners

Three other forks of the blockchain are scheduled for the next one-and-half years.

Privacy-oriented cryptocurrency Grin on Wednesday successfully executed the first hard fork of its blockchain.

With the backward-incompatible fork, the company blocked the possibility of mining the coin with Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), along with the integration of “bulletproof rewind scheme” for its wallets.

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Grin developer John Tromp revealed that the decision to execute a hard fork was taken even before the launch of the digital currency in January. The company is planning to execute three more hard forks in the next one-and-half years at an interval of six months to add new features to the network.

“In a classical fork, the chain can split into two mutually incompatible continuations,” Tromp told Coindesk. “In Grin, there is no way to continue growing the ‘old’ chain since the old code refuses to accept any blocks past the [hard fork] height.”

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The hard fork was executed yesterday at the block height of 262,080, as seen on Grin’s block explorer.

A necessary fork?

Before the fork, Grin’s algorithm supported mining with both GPUs and ASICs. Although the developers blocked the possibility of mining the digital currency with ASICs, Tromp earlier revealed that no one had been mining the cryptocurrency with ASIC-based miners.

“In the 133 days of Grin mining so far, there is no sign of any ASIC mining. We do know of several ASIC products planned to come out in summer. To the extent that any such ASICs have built-in support for Cuckaroo29, we want our tweak to brick that support,” Tromp said.

Launched on January 3, Grin is one of the few cryptocurrencies based on the Mimblewimble protocol. Another digital currency based on the same protocol – Beam – recently announced its plans to execute a hard fork next month.

Earlier this year, hardware maker Sapphire launched a dedicated graphics card to mine Grin. The card was specifically designed to solve Cuckatoo Cycle algorithm, Grin’s proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm.

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