The X11 Algorithm has its flaws though (cons), but do they outweigh all of the pros? Without further ado, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the X11 Algorithm.
The Pros and Cons of the X11 Algorithm
Litecoin’s supposed X11 Logo
First Pro of the X11 Algorithm?
Security: The algorithm uses eleven hashing functions from the Blake algorithm to the Keccak algorithm making it very secure which really is needed for coins that do so well for CPU’s
Effectiveness: The X11 Algorithm gives amazingly fast hashes for both GPU’s and CPU’s. It also keeps GPU’s over 30% cooler making your expensive graphic cards less prone to overheating. The reason? Graphic cards don’t require as much processing power in order to mine the coins with this algorithm
Power Cost: Due to how effective it is, graphic cards do not require that much power in order to mine it. Therefore, you will see significantly lower electricity costs at the end of the month. This makes coins running this algorithm to be a favorite in places where electricity costs are far from bearable.
Mineability: Being more complicated than a SHA۲۵۶ ASIC implementation, the use of X11 will prevent the use of ASIC miners in the short term to midterm future. It will also allow for a longer period of mining for CPU/GPU users
The Intention: Why do I think the X11 Algorithm is great? It’s what Satoshi Nakamoto intended Bitcoin to be. It decentralizes hashing power by making it easy to mine through affordable hardware which is what Satoshi Nakamoto originally wanted.(Yes! I think this is a Pro. Increases peoples faith in the algorithm and helps build hype). We must note that Satoshi did predict the coming of ASICs, though.
The fact that some Litecoin developers considered changing to the X11 Algorithm makes me think that it is something special and obviously many others must feel this way.
Longevity: The X11 Algorithm is not as long-term as some expect it to be. We’d give it a maximum of two years before this algorithm gets ASIC’d. Even though it’s complex, all algorithms have their weaknesses and this algorithm might not be an exception.
Botnet Attacks: The algorithm has not seen any botnet attacks of significant magnitude, but it is a concern. CPU’s mine at hashrates of GPU’s on SCRYPT that makes it susceptible to botnet attacks.
(Lack of) Network Effect: The X11 algorithm may sound like a miner’s dream come true; however, newcomers to mining will be ill equiped to fully appreciate any of the aforementioned pros.
Community?: Without the right community behind a coin running the X11 algorithm, said coin could suffer fatally from just a few bad dumps. The incentives and methods behind such an attack would obviously change as difficulty rises and could also change depending on block rewards and halving rates. With many X11 algorithm altcoins going to be released, it is a matter of patience to see how supportive people are of the algorithm, in general as opposed to each specific coin.
The X11 algorithm is very effective and unique on its own but the success of an X11 algorithm altcoin depends on other features within the coin. If some way is found to keep longevity and effectiveness while still having great support behind an algorithm, then we could safely say that it would be the best algorithm choice, for any altcoin. For the time being, X11 is the algorithm most should prefer and until we have an even more improved version of it…
We support it in its entirety.
X11 Hash Algorithm
X11 is a widely used hashing algorithm created by Dash core developer Evan Duffield. X11’s chained hashing algorithm utilizes a sequence of eleven scientific hashing algorithms for the proof-of-work. This is so that the processing distribution is fair and coins will be distributed in much the same way Bitcoin’s were originally. X11 was intended to make ASICs much more difficult to create, thus giving the currency plenty of time to develop before mining centralization became a threat. This approach was largely successful; as of early 2016, ASICs for X11 now exist and comprise a significant portion of the network hashrate, but have not resulted in the level of centralization present in Bitcoin. Information on mining with X11 can be found in the Mining section of this documentation.
X11 is the name of the chained proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm that was introduced in Dash (launched January 2014 as “Xcoin”). It was partially inspired by the chained-hashing approach of Quark, adding further “depth” and complexity by increasing the number of hashes, yet it differs from Quark in that the rounds of hashes are determined a priori instead of having some hashes being randomly picked.
The X11 algorithm uses multiple rounds of 11 different hashes (blake, bmw, groestl, jh, keccak, skein, luffa, cubehash, shavite, simd, echo), thus making it one of the safest and more sophisticated cryptographic hashes in use by modern cryptocurrencies. The name X11 is not related to the open source X11 windowing system common on UNIX-like operating systems.
Advantages of X11
The increased complexity and sophistication of the chained algorithm provides enhanced levels of security and less uncertainty for a digital currency, compared to single-hash PoW solutions that are not protected against security risks like SPOF (Single Point Of Failure). For example, a possible but not probable computing breakthrough that “breaks” the SHA256 hash could jeopardize the entire Bitcoin network until the network shifts through a hard fork to another cryptographic hash.
In the event of a similar computing breakthrough, a digital currency using the X11 PoW would continue to function securely unless all 11 hashes were broken simultaneously. Even if some of the 11 hashes were to prove unreliable, there would be adequate warning for a currency using X11 to take measures and replace the problematic hashes with other more reliable hashing algorithms.
Given the speculative nature of digital currencies and their inherent uncertainties as a new field, the X11 algorithm can provide increased confidence for its users and potential investors that single-hash approaches cannot. Chained hashing solutions, like X11, provide increased safety and longevity for store of wealth purposes, investment diversification and hedging against risks associated with single-hash currencies plagued by SPOF (Single Point Of Failure).
Evan Duffield, the creator of Dash and X11 chained-hash, has written on several occasions that X11 was integrated into Dash not with the intention to prevent ASIC manufacturers from creating ASICs for X11 in the future, but rather to provide a similar migratory path that Bitcoin had (CPUs, GPUs, ASICs).