As per the available reports, the new POW algorithm will be executed approximately on December 16th at block 208301. The Vertcoin users are already provided with all the necessary download links of Linux binaries, source core, Python module, etc. on the coin’s website to ensure a smooth execution of Lyra2RE. Users will also be required to upgrade their current wallets, which will be launched alongside the new algorithm.
The reason behind the Vertcoin launch was to reduce miners’ dependency on expensive ASIC mining. For a notable time, the cryptocurrency trusted Scrypt-N as its ASIC-resisting algorithm. But the need to develop a new code stimulated when Scrypt-N ASIC machines came in existence. In the meantime, the Vertcoin network was already facing high power consumption issues.
One of the Vertcoin’s developers, Paul Bredley, told CCN in early October that his team has some “killer ideas” to battle ASIC mining. “No one in their right mind is going to invest many millions of dollars in ASIC development for a cryptocurrency whose development team is committed to ASIC resistance,” he said. And Lyra2RE was introduced after almost 1.5 months.
The whitepaper, which was released on November 29th, stated:
“Lyra2RE is specifically designed with this purpose 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.”
The chained algorithm mentioned in the statement is compiled from five different hash functions: Keccak, Skein, Groestl, Blake, and Lyra2. “Due to the chained nature of the algorithm GPU miners will be inherently hard to optimize, meaning that power draw and heat can be reduced,” reads the whitepaper. “This has been a desired feature for some time with Scrypt-N coins seeing dropping hashrates due to high energy consumption, despite Vertcoin having consistently the highest $/Day/Normalized MH/s than other coins.”
In a best-case-scenario, ASIC devices will find it hard to cope with increasing memory requirements, and thus will be required to change their physical designs every time Vertcoin will fork to a higher memory requirement. It will be quite unfeasible for the ASIC manufacturers to keep up with the changing Vertcoin network.