After much discussion and internal debate, we have decided to upgrade Guncoin from the “Scrypt” algorithm to the “Neoscrypt” algorithm. While this was not an easy choice as there are so many options out there now, it became clear to us and many others in the crypto community that Neoscrypt will most likely be the next generation Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm designed to replace Scrypt. Neoscrypt consumes a lot less memory than Scrypt, but yet is more memory intensive and stronger cryptographically. The Neoscrypt algorithm combines the power of Salsa20/20, ChaCha20/20, BLAKE2s and FastKDF into a very secure ASIC-resistant solution. It is definitely not some kind of Scrypt-Jane or Scrypt-N or whatever – It is a VERY solid, well-designed and well thought-out algorithm which we feel represents the next generation of coins that will now include Guncoin (GUN). While Scrypt will continue to be used sucessfully by many other coins, we feel for better security of Guncoin and to protect our miners, that Neoscrypt offers the best of everything moving forward. Additionally, we think it provides the exact opportunities for the small-time business owner or newbie that we were looking for.
In case you did not know, the NeoScrypt algorithm has been running successfully on Phoenixcoin (PXC) since late July and Feathercoin (FTC) will change to it about a week in later October also. We are very fortunate in that the original Neoscrypt creator/developer (from Phoenixcoin) agreed to help us with the GUN upgrade and transition – no one better than him to do this for sure. If you remember, Scrypt was made very popular by Litecoin. The hashing technologies used by the Scrypt algorithm starts with PBKDF2-HMAC-SHA256 key derivation, and ends with 8 rounds of the Salsa20 cipher as its mixing engine. However, it has recently been shown that only having 8 rounds of Salsa20 can be broken through differential crypto analysis – not as secure as we all thought.
So the Neoscrypt creator designed NeoScrypt to be compatible with Scrypt, but to have several functional differences which provide significant advantages over Scrypt. So he wrote a custom key derivation algorithm which is much stronger and faster than Scrypt. NeoScrypt’s mixing engine employs 20 rounds of Salsa20, followed by 20 rounds of ChaCha20. Not only is this combination faster and more secure than standard Scrypt, but it only takes 32KB to 64KB of memory, compared to the 128KB of memory used by Scrypt.
We are thoroughly convinced that NeoScrypt-based currencies are set to become the best option for those who have a low to medium budget for mining equipment and therefore cannot afford ASIC rigs. With the adoption of NeoScrypt by Guncoin, we ensure that our loyal miners and newbies will always be able to viably mine Guncoin by never having to compete against miners who have bought the next generation of expensive Scrypt ASICs. With these Scrypt ASICs, the smaller hobbyist miner, or curious firearm enthusiast, will have no place left to mine anything on Scrypt-based coins, just like GPUs have no place on Bitcoin any more. Only those with deep pockets can mine Bitcoin and this will end up being just a few large companies or well-funded individuals. In our view, this does not make a good case for decentralization and not where GUN needs to go. Like we have stated before, we have no interest in huge ASIC farms mining GUN – that would eliminate the newbies trying to mine for the first time and put our market price in the hands of a select few – not what we want. We feel with this change that we have protected our current and future miners, while setting the stage for Guncoins’ next phase of introducing GUN to non-crypto users who can benefit from our coins usage in their businesses and not just trade or dump it on exchanges for fun and profit.
In keeping with out support for miners and the small users, we have incorporated a miner into the wallet with this revision. You can mine GUN directly from your laptop wallet with nothing else after the changeover. It is a standard Scrypt miner until block 120000, then it will change to a Neoscrypt miner after that.
We are fully aware that this change will have a huge effect on our hash rate, it will also bring some stability to it. No longer will we see these 100 MH/s swings in our hash rate as ASIC’s come and go on our network and then GUN gets dumped a few days later on Bleutrade or other exchanges. We look forward to seeing 100 miners mining 10 MH/s, instead of 10 miners mining 100 MH/s. This will make for a much more stable coin we feel. Is this the last change that we make to GUN – absolutely not! We will continually review new features and technologies that can make GUN better and benefit the GUN community. We view this upgrade similar to upgrading your rotary home phone to a cell phone – while the old one still works fine, the new one does the job so much better.
While the new code is already release and available on GitHub – the Neoscrypt algorithm changeover will not occur until Block 120000 – in a little over a week. We have updated the Windows wallet also – those links (source and Windows wallet are available on the Guncoin main website and recently updated in this thread. We will also be providing a Linux and Apple wallet in a few days once we get all the announcements out. The seed nodes and our new block explorer have already been updated and several users have been running the wallets successfully for a few days. We greatly appreciate all your input while we labored over the upgrade options and we thank you for your continuing support! Here are a few useful links to get your started on Neoscrypt.