CPU Mining Dominates Monero Since RandomX Upgrade

Monero hash rate more than doubles after upgrading to the RandomX mining algorithm with significant efficiency gains for CPU miners. One mining pool notes a greater amount of Monero mining from botnets since the upgrade was implemented.

Quick take;

  • The Monero network upgraded to the RandomX mining algorithm
  • RandomX has resulted in significant efficiency gains for CPU miners while making GPU mining mostly infeasible
  • Monero network hash rate has more than tripled since the upgrade but there may be a greater degree of mining by botnets

On the 30th of November, the Monero network upgraded changing its mining algorithm from CryptoNight Variant 4 to RandomX. Stakeholders in the Monero network have been committed to regularly upgrading the network via hard forks to prevent ASICs from mining on Monero since early 2018.

Monero Hash Rate Increases As CPU Mining Efficiency Increases

Since this regular schedule of hard forks initiated, Monero mining has been dominated by GPU miners. But the change to RandomX has optimized the mining environment for CPU miners while making GPU mining in most cases unprofitable.

The RandomX mining algorithm implemented random code execution and several memory-hard techniques which optimizes Monero mining for CPU’s while drastically reducing the benefits of mining with GPUs. The RandomX mining algorithm results in estimated efficiency gains of 8x to 10x for CPU miners while “GPU performance either gets a tiny boost or degrades after the mining algorithm change”.

Monero network hash rate increases after RandomX upgrade
Monero network hash rate since June 2019 with spike observed after RandomX upgrade on November 30th; Source: Bitinfocharts.info

Since the RandomX upgrade, the hash rate on the Monero network has increased from roughly 300 MH/s to 800 MH/s. TokenDaily estimates that this reflects 75% of GPU miners coming offline while the CPU miners already active mining Monero experienced significant increases in their hash rate power.

More Botnets Mining Monero?

MinerUpdate reached out to the Luxor Mining team for comment. Luxor Mining noted that it appears a lot more hash rate is controlled by CPU botnets since RandomX was impemented which was a potential issue discussed by the Monero community before the upgrade.

Some community members voiced concerns regarding the possibility of a greater prevalence of botnets before the upgrade with one Reddit user noting that “honest miners will be fighting an uphill battle against botnets”. However, the RandomX Github documentation refers to the requirement for large amounts of memory in RandomX disqualifying most potential botnets.

Not everyone is convinced that the memory requirements specified in RandomX disqualify botnet mining. Ethan Vera from Luxor Mining notes that “botnetting is still very feasible” while another Reddit user highly doubts that the memory requirement in RandomX is enough to prevent mining from botnets.