After months of battling a looming low hashrate on the horizon, Dogecoin developers have decided it is in the currency’s best interest to merge-mine with Litecoin using Auxillary Proof-of-Work (AuxPoW). Technically all Scrypt coins with a higher difficulty than Dogecoin will be merge-mined, but only Litecoin holds that criteria making the verbiage on merge-mining clear.
Although many in the Dogecoin community wish to break themselves away from the “merge-mining” verb usage, what’s true is true. If Litecoin were to disappear tomorrow, AuxPoW would still be in effect for Dogecoin. Until then, Dogecoin will be merge-mined with Litecoin.
Core developer Langer Hans, his reddit codename, announced that the switch will be sooner rather than later. The new code is in the late testing phase, but looks to be implemented as smoothly and efficiently as possible
Merge-mining with Litecoin has been an option left on the table by Charlie Lee, creator of Litecoin, for quite a while. A few months ago Dogecoin was in fear of a 51 percent attack on their coin that would cripple their existence. Lee proposed merge-mining with Litecoin and, after much debate, a majority of the community rejected the idea.
Then during the North American Bitcoin Conference in Chicago, Lee re-proposed merge-mining to the Dogecoin community saying “Dogecoin was not designed to survive.”
The sentiment is true, and shared by some major figures in the Dogecoin community. Creator of reddit’s dogetipbot Josh Mohland chimed in on the subject a few days ago as the community began discussing the seriousness of AuxPoW.
“Dogecoin was built to die quickly,” Mohland said. “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 it’s certain death [51 percent attack], and that’s AuxPoW.”
After deliberation behind the scenes by the developers, that can only be assumed as weighing their options carefully and concisely, the switch was decided by the development team and Langer Hans made the announcement. Dogecoin would switch to AuxPow allowing a merge-mine with Litecoin.
Langer Hans took to the Dogecoin community on reddit to announce the shift. In his statement, he explained the reasoning and the benefits to the community.
We have also discussed many other options, some of them which are still highly theoretical, or just deemed to be in Alpha state. We didn’t see them as viable for that exact reason. AuxPoW has been around in the crypto space for quite a while now. 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.
Yes, this does mean that we are going to fork. The exact switchover is yet to be determined but will happen sooner than later. This post is here to announce it early enough for everyone to prepare for the update. The code is currently in the late testing stage and we are working on ironing out the last small issues.
Dogecoin Not Tied To Litecoin
A common misconception behind merge-mining is the coin is effectively tied to another. The misconception is not true.
“What this does not mean is that we’re tying us to Litecoin,” Hans said. “What we do is accepting Proof of Work from their miners if they happen to hit our difficulty target.”
Dogecoin miners can still mine directly to the Dogecoin network, meaning that they are not forced to mine Litecoin if that’s not something they want.
While the economics behind this move are unclear, there are a few possible outcomes.
1) More Dogecoin are sold on exchanges, lowering the value.
2) Dogecoin is seen as safe, ensuring investor confidence leading to more buy orders.
3) Nothing changes in the price and Dogecoin is secure for longer than intended.
Disclaimer: I write monthly columns for Very Much Wow | The Dogecoin Magazine, so I am tied directly to the community.