Grin, the privacy based coin on the MimbleWimble protocol is planning its debut hard fork, which is set to arrive July 17th of this year according to their developers.
The community-based coin’s developers reached an agreement on the block number and this is 262,080. Quentin Le Sceller, a Grin core developer as well as a software engineer at blockchain startup BlockCypher, put forward the idea of a hard fork in a developer call.
The July date largely depends on the success of the test network this month, which will be on the public Grin test network, called Floonet, on June 19. Grin core developer Michael Cordner elaborated further on the possibility of the July 17th date for the upgrade. He said:
“If the date slips, we’ll communicate it closer to the time,” wrote Cordner in the developer chatroom. “But we should really try to keep to it, which is another reason [why] we should keep all non-[hard fork] related [pull requests] out until post [Grin version] 2.0.0.”
So, what will the anticipated hard fork bring to the coin?
Grin’s hard fork will primarily be with regards to mining. Currently, they are one of a few coins that aren’t majoritively mined on the ASIC mining machines, instead of using the more accessible GPU version, which has made it popular with many.
They do this by having two different proof-of-work mining algorithms. The first is called Cuckatoo31+ and is ASIC-friendly, although its effect is determined by Grin and the other, called Cuckaroo29, is made for GPU-specific capabilities.
The fear for Grin and its developers is that the ASIC mining machine will overshadow the GPU system. Because of this, Grin’s first upcoming hard fork will look to make changes to the Cuckaroo29 mining algorithm to ensure its ASIC-resistant qualities on the network. However, according to CoinDesk, Le Sceller this mining algorithm “will disappear” in the future.
The mining algorithm change is not the only addition this July hard fork will bring. The upgrade will also look to affect the tokens wallet software, making it more usable and flexible.
Another idea that will go into the upgrade of the wallet software is the “improved bulletproof rewind scheme.” According to Le Sceller when talking to CoinDesk, it will bring in new kinds of wallets including multi-signature wallets and “watch-only” wallets alongside regular ones.
“A watch-only wallet is just a way to see the output of a wallet (i.e. the balance and the incoming funds) but you won’t be able to spend them,” detailed Le Sceller. “This is useful for a lot of stuff. [For example,] auditing or simply if you do not want to use your private key just to see your wallet balance.”
Finally, Le Sceller said that mining pools, exchanges, and other users that utilize Grin will need to upgrade their node and wallet software so they can accept new blocks and build transactions past the anticipated hard fork point.