Despite the rising hashrate: Is the Monero network more secure?

  • Even as the Monero network’s hashrate continues to reach new records, almost daily, the question arises how secure the Monero network is with RandomX.
  • A direct comparison of the hashrate before and after the RandomX hard fork has little meaning.

Monero’s hashrate (XMR) reached a new all-time high of 1.1358GH/s on December 30, 2019. Since the activation of the RandomX hard fork, the XMR network has thus recorded a growth. However, as r/tevador, an XMR contributor explained via Reddit, the new record value cannot be directly compared to the hashrate value before the fork.

The previously used CryptoNight algorithm and RandomX are not really comparable due to the fundamentally different algorithms and the resulting efficiencies. However, as the following graph on the hashrate of bitinfocharts shows, it can at least be concluded that since the steep rise to 664 MH/s, one day after the hard fork (on December 01), there has been steady growth.

Within one month with Random X, the hashrate increased from 664 MH/s to temporarily 1.13GH/s.

Monero hashrate 2020

Source: https://bitinfocharts.com/comparison/monero-hashrate.html#2y

Is Monero more secure with RandomX?

While many welcomed the rapid increase in the hashrate last month, a debate has arisen about how secure the Monero network is despite the rise in the hashrate. As explained above, the question of whether the Monero Network has really become secure as a result of the tripling of the hashrate cannot be answered in a generalized way.

The basic rule that the security of the network increases with the hashrate cannot be applied due to the different algorithms. r/Kallebo1337 therefore suggested that an average hashrate should be calculated for each miner and that it should be abstracted how many miners could currently be part of the network. Only this could be compared.

r/tevador also explained, though, that the Monero network is currently at least as secure against attacks as it was with CryptoNight. He based this statement on the fact that the share of network hashrate that can be rented on Nicehash is about the same as before. Before RandomX it was 15-20 MH/s out of 300 MH/s. Now it’s 55 MH/s out of 1000 MH/s.

He also estimated that currently at least 4 of the current TOP 5 supercomputers combined are required to attack the network for 51%. As CNF reported, ArticMine, a core developer of Monero, partially confirmed this statement shortly after the fork. ArticMine explained that there is currently no single supercomputer that can achieve a 51% attack. Even the latest CPU-only supercomputer (11969 64-core AMD EPYC CPUs) can only reach about 480 MH/s on RandomX.

Profits for CPU miners increase

RandomX has not only achieved ASIC resistance, but also puts Monero in an interesting position. On the one hand, with the switch to RandomX, Monero has become the largest proof of work cryptocurrency by marketcap, which could attract more miners. On the other hand, there has been an unintended increase in the profitability of CPU mining. As r/tevador notes, CPU mining has become more profitable by a factor of about 2-3 after RandomX. The reason for this is the following:

This is because the hashrate of common CPUs increased 8-10 times compared to CryptoNightR, but the network hashrate has increased only 3-4 times (300 MH/s to 1000 MH/s).

In the short term, this could continue to have a positive effect on the growth of the hashrate. This in turn will further increase the decentralization and security of the network.

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About Author

Jake Simmons

Jake Simmons has been a crypto enthusiast since 2016, and since hearing about Bitcoin and blockchain technology, he's been involved with the subject every day. Beyond cryptocurrencies, Jake studied computer science and worked for 2 years for a startup in the blockchain sector. At CNF he is responsible for technical issues. His goal is to make the world aware of cryptocurrencies in a simple and understandable way.

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