The dogecoin development team has announced that it will soon enable auxiliary proof-of-work (AuxPoW), allowing merge-mining with litecoin that will address concerns over the altcoin’s future.
AuxPoW enables the dogecoin block chain to receive work from other scrypt-based networks. Dogecoin miners will still be able to generate blocks and receive DOGE, but now, litecoin miners will contribute hashing power to the dogecoin network.
The move, announced on the dogecoin subreddit, follows a months-long period of community debate focusing on the question of long-term viability in the dogecoin network. Litecoin creator Charlie Lee suggested the idea of merge mining in April, eliciting mixed reactions from both sides of the conversation.
According to the dogecoin development team, the AuxPoW integration will require a hard fork of the dogecoin block chain. No specific integration date has been given, but the development team said that testing will begin soon.
As explained in the original announcement:
"Our topmost priority has always been to provide a stable platform for the currency and its services and of course its users. We hope that with AuxPoW we can achieve that in a better way than what it currently is like. Our hashrate has been on a decline and we hope that we can gain more of it with the acceptance of proof of work from other chains."
As expected, community members voiced both enthusiasm and concern for the AuxPoW plan. Yet, advocates for the strategy, including Lee, say that the move will ensure the stability and security of the dogecoin network.
Plan to save dogecoin
AuxPoW is not new – several coins already enable work from other mining networks, with namecoin being the most prominent example. This long-standing reputation as a workable proofing system – and the strength of the litecoin network – has gained the idea support in recent weeks.
In a recent community post on /r/dogecoin, Dogetipbot creator Josh Mohland shared his perspective on the concept, saying that AuxPoW would help solve a key problem with dogecoin: the fact that it was never intended to function as a full-fledged transaction network.
"Dogecoin was built to die quickly – none of us expected it to grow into the absurd entity it is today. With that said, there's absolutely an easy way to save the coin from its certain death (and by death I mean 51% attacked for the lulz), and that's AuxPoW."
He went on to call AuxPoW “a simple change” worth the trouble, owing to the fact that the risk of a 51% attack far outweighs perceived costs.
Other community members expressed concern over the idea, saying that the move enables large litecoin pools to crowd out smaller dogecoin miners. Questions were also raised as to whether or not AuxPoW would actually help prevent a 51% attack.
Dogecoin in 'dire situation', says Lee
Litecoin creator Lee hailed the announcement, telling CoinDesk that the development team made the right decision during a “dire situation”.
Lee argued that the move comes at the right time given the long-term threat to the dogecoin network – and, as some have pointed out, its falling price. He added that the move provides increased security for dogecoin without any repercussions, removing a source of concern for the network and enabling broader development in the community.
Lee told CoinDesk:
“[The community] can focus on what dogecoin does best (tipping, donations, wow) instead of worrying about defensive mining and network security.”
Image via Doge Assets