After working away for months on end, the team at Monero have released the v0.13.0.0. upgrade of Monero, lovingly called the “Beryllium Bullet”. Among the various technical fixes and upgrades were 2 major upgrades which will undoubtedly affect XMR users and enthusiasts. The first helps to fight the ASIC problem which has been plaguing GPU-focused Monero users for some time. On the other hand, the second helps to maintain the stability and security of transactions, making it difficult for bad users to gather coins by sending “negative” amounts of XMR. This also helps to speed up Monero transactions and drastically reduce their computing power, bringing overall costs down for all the stakeholders involved.
Consensus Mechanism Shift
The first major change is a slight consensus mechanism shift in the PoW-backed blockchain. This was designed to help mitigate any threats to ASICs and to keep the network resistant to ongoing ASIC threats.
This move is thought to be in response to the arrival of CryptoNight ASICs which seemed to threaten the decentralization of the network and effectively reduced the number of GPU-focused XMR miners to nearly zero. This is welcome news for GPU-focused Monero miners, helping to keep the XMR mining community strong and diverse.
“BulletProofs” is a new protocol which uses zero-knowledge proofs (ZK-snarks) to help Monero identify transaction amounts accurately and quickly. BulletProofs builds on the already-existing systems set up by Monero, including Ring CT, stealth addresses, and range proofs. BulletProof transactions are handled in a logarithmic manner, meaning they require much less computing power than their linear old-school counterparts. Due to these improved security protocols and efficiency levels, Monero users may see their transaction feel fall by upwards of 80%. The average Monero transaction fee has fallen from $0.60 to $0.02, helping XMR to penetrate markets which are known to be wary of digital currencies by offering lower fees than many other cryptocurrencies currently on the market.