Vertcoin developers recently released a whitepaper that describes a roadmap to their new POW algorithm – Lyra2RE.
As mentioned in the paper, Lyra2RE is a NIST5 based chain algorithm whose sole aim is to reduce miners’ dependency on ASIC machines. The proposed algorithm somewhat adds up to the “anti-ASIC” campaign Vertcoin launched alongside its release in January 2014. The coin’s development team therefore has a strong emphasis on implementing Lyra2E over their previous POW algorithm Scrypt-N. The latter’s ASICs are already available in the market.
Lyra2RE takes inspiration from the National Institute of Standard and Technology’s (NIST) hashing algorithm to create a secure and robust LOC, which is ASIC resistant but at the same time allows GPU-based mining. As confirmed in the whitepaper, there are some expectations to implement the “N factor” in later stages of the development, but only if necessary.
Meanwhile, the new algorithm is hoping to eradicate one of the main drawbacks of ASIC mining, i.e. additional power consumption. Vertcoin developers mention the chained nature of Lyra2RE, which makes GPU miners “inherently hard to optimize”, while reducing power draw and heat.
To gather community support, they discussed the range of advantages this new algorithm possess over Scrypt-N. Excerpt:
“Lyra2RE is specifically designed with this propose in mind, affording lower power consumption and cooler GPU temperatures. Unlike Scrypt, Lyra2 (the principal part of the chained algorithm) allows us to change memory usage and time cost independently, giving us more leverage against ASICs.”
It is too soon to predict the practicality behind this project, as the Vertcoin developers will be required to hardfork the coin to implement an altogether fresh algorithm. But if they manage to get through any potential bugs, we all might be looking towards an “ecofriendly-mining” future.