The developers behind the Grin project have finally decided on a date for the first hard fork of the project. According to Quentin Le Sceller, one of the core devs and also software engineer at BlockCypher, the new upgrade will happen on July.
If you only have read about hard forks when related to crypto assets splitting, it may surprise you, but these changes are actually pretty common. They are wide upgrades on the network and, when there is consensus, the whole network upgrades to them easily.
However, there is dissent sometimes. This is how tokens like Bitcoin Cash (hard forked from Bitcoin), Bitcoin SV (hard forked from Bitcoin Cash) and Ethereum Classic (hard forked from Ethereum) were created. The situation with the Grin team is far more amicable, fortunately.
Le Sceller affirmed during the latest developer call that the hard fork will be activated on block height 262,080, which is expected to be hit on July 17.
This timeline, however, is far from final. Michael Cordner, also known as “Yeastplume” in crypto circles, affirmed that the team is making an effort to launch the upgrade on July but that some unforeseen trouble can always happen. He did affirm that the team will be transparent and will communicate in case the upgrade is not yet fully ready, though.
What Is Grin?
In case you are not too tuned in crypto news, you might be asking yourself: “well, what the heck is actually Grin, is it like Bitcoin?” It is somewhat like Bitcoin, as it is a crypto asset, but a lot more like Monero or Zcash. Grin is a privacy coin.
It uses the MimbleWimble technology in order to obfuscate the activity of the user, this way, people are unable to discover what you are up to.
The token was originally launched back in January and it caused quite a sensation, mostly because people were very interested in the MimbleWimble tech. The project was also very successful in getting its initial funds. It raised around $65,000 USD from crowdsourcing and a mysterious private donation of $300,000 USD later. It looks like someone wants Grin to suceed.
The Grin Road Map
The hard fork, known as version 2.0.0, is just the beginning. There are currently a total of four antecipated upgrades in the road map of the company, which lasts for two years. One of the main goals of the changes are to deal with ASIC mining in the long term.
ASIC mining is considered a plague by many users because this kind of machine is able to mine the tokens much faster than GPU-based ones. This way, the people will more money can invest in several ASIC miners and get a very big share of the network, which is awful for the decentralization.
The developers are sharp, so they know that this issue might happen. It happened in most all of the major networks such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. While they accepted that no network stays ASIC-resistant forever, they are making an effort to make the resistance last at least for the two initial years.
Grin employs two mining algorithms, Cuckatoo29 and Cuckatoo31+. The first one is ASIC-friendly and the other one boosts GPUs. The vision is to eventually leave the Cuckatoo31+ model, but it should last for some time in order to provide some initial decentralization for the network.
The first hard fork will create a change that will make the system more resistant against ASIC mining. However, this will eventually be dropped and only the other algorithm will continue.
What Will The Upgrade Bring To The Network?
There are other changes in the algorithm as well. A notable upgrade will be the to increase the usability and the flexibility of the wallets and to create something called an “improved bulletproof rewind scheme”. The latter will be used in order to enable new types of wallets.
The API of the company will also get a boost and this will enable new functions for the system. The new enhanced version will use JSON-RPC when the previous one used REST. This will enable several new functions such as letting someone use a site in order to invoice someone.
For exchanges and pools that use the Grin protocol to continue to work, they will have to upgrade their protocol as well or they will be incompatible with the changes that are being done now.