Feathercoin 0.8.7.0 Released - The NeoScrypt Update - Hardfork block 432,000
Feathercoin 0.8.7.0 released
The NeoSrypt Update
It has been a long time in the works but we have finally got NeoScrypt and a GPU miner so we can now release the Feathercoin 0.8.7.0 client with NeoScrypt set to replace Scrypt on block 432,000, this should happen on the 26th October 2014. There is a Twitter countdown to the hard fork available here.
NeoScrypt uses stronger components than the Scrypt we are familiar with. A key element of Scrypt is Salsa which adds memory complexity, the problem is that the version of Salsa in Scrypt is weak and has been broken by differential analysis which is why we see cheap and powerful ASICs. NeoScrypt uses a blend of Salsa and its successor Chacha set to a higher level of strength. In theory these two should not be broken for at least a decade, this gives better protection than simply adding hashing functions.
However the goal is not simply to avoid ASICs forever as this may not be possible though ideally we want to stay in reach of as many people as possible without the need for expensive mining equipment. As the majority of people buying Scrypt ASICs are not doing so to mine Feathercoin and the fact that some very large ASIC suppliers will be releasing products soon it seems sensible to move algorithm now before we face the challenges that hit many SHA-256 alts when the SHA-256 ASICs hit. We are moving to a new tier of hashing where Feathercoin can be the leading coin.
Please be aware that after the update your Scrypt mining setup will no longer work. You will need to use the new GPU miner that we have been developing for several months now. Not only do miners need to upgrade their software but pools do as well.