Mining algorithms are the algorithms or functions that make the task of mining cryptocurrencies possible. There are various algorithms, each with its own characteristics adapted to the cryptocurrencies that make use of them.
LMining algorithms are the algorithms in charge of making possible the cryptocurrency mining. Normally these algorithms are cryptographic hash functions very complex and they can adjust the mining difficulty. A process that makes it more or less difficult for you to put together the puzzles that must be solved by the miners. This is to get miners to do complex computational work that, once solved, allows them to access a reward for that work.
In this article we will show some of the most used mining algorithms in the world of cryptocurrencies, showing some of their characteristics and potential.
Mining algorithm: What are the most used?
With the birth of Bitcoin, SHA-256 became the first mining algorithm used in technology blockchain. This is a powerful hash function It serves multiple purposes within Bitcoin and virtually all existing cryptocurrencies. From ensuring the identification of each block, hashing addresses and other blockchain data, to serving as proof of work in mining, there is no doubt that SHA-256 is multifaceted.
Currently, SHA-256 mining brings together the largest amount of mining power available on all blockchains.
This mining algorithm is the result of the union of various algorithms to give it origin. First, Ethash depends on the hash function called Keccak o SHA-3. In addition to this function, it also uses a version of the Dagger and Hashimoto hashes, for which Ethash was initially known as Dagger-Hashimoto. However, Ethash has changed a lot over time and its initial implementation is far from the current one.
Ethash was designed to be the network's mining algorithm Ethereum. Its main characteristics were its resistance to mining using ASIC devices, and for this it uses a structure that uses a DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph). This is because its creators sought to maintain GPU mining and avoid centralizing it.
Ethash is currently a widely used algorithm. Among the projects that make use of this algorithm stand out Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Musicoin, Expanse, WhaleCoin.
Scrypt is an key derivation function Password-based used in many cryptocurrencies to protect your systems from massive attacks. Upon entering the system, authorized users must perform this function only once. They don't need to spend too much time for that. However, in the event of a brute force attack, the algorithm begins to generate many pseudo-random numbers. This causes attackers to spend a large amount of RAM to continue their actions. As a result, any attack on a system using Scrypt is expensive and time consuming. These features make Scrypt perfect for resisting ASIC mining.
This algorithm was designed by Colin Percival, a developer developer of the cloud backup service Tarsnap. Percival designed Scrypt with the intention of integrating it into this service to provide you with the greatest possible security. Since then, Scrypt has been used in different cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Dogecoin o Verge.
This is a striking algorithm that consists of a group of 11 different hashing functions that together serve as a mining algorithm. Thanks to this, X11 is considered as one of the safest mining algorithms that exist. X11 It is intended to be friendly to CPU and GPU mining but has strong resistance to ASIC mining. minimizes electric power costs, achieving incredible performance for CPU and GPU mining. It is also an effective protection for miners using ASIC.
The 11 mining algorithms X11 uses are BLAKE, BLUE MIDNIGHT WISH (BMW), Grøstl, JH, Keccak, Skein, Luffa, CubeHash, SHAvite-3, SIMD, and ECHO. This algorithm was designed by Evan Duffield the creator of Dash, the first cryptocurrency where it was implemented.
Currently, some new X11 variants such as X11GOST, X11EVO, X13 or X15. All of them seek to improve the security of this mining algorithm in one way or another.
Equihash it is perhaps the only mining algorithm designed by a group of academics. This algorithm was developed by a group of researchers from the Interdisciplinary Center for Security, Reliability and Trust (Luxembourg). Its main objective was to make the ASIC cryptocurrency mining process resilient to ensure the decentralization of the system and the democratic principle of currency distribution among users. The main cryptocurrency that makes use of this algorithm is Zcash, although they also stand out Bitcoin Gold y Komodo.
CryptoNight It is a mining algorithm designed with a very specific mission, to provide a high level of security and anonymity. A task that is perfectly accomplished from its creation to the present day. CryptoNight like Ethhash has evolved throughout its history. This motivated its developers to add functions in order to guarantee its primary objectives: security and anonymity. In addition, another CryptoNight feature is its high resistance to ASIC and GPU mining. In fact, it is the most difficult mining algorithm to develop for these devices. This added to the fact that its developers continually add functions to make that possibility even more difficult.
CryptoNight's first use was in cryptocurrency Bytecoin. Hence another well-known currency that has adopted it is Monero. Currently there are at least more than 10 projects that use CryptoNight in some of its versions, the most recent being CryptoNightR or RandomX.