Karma (formerly Karmacoin) has been in decline recently, but that may change as developers announced a huge update today on the official Karma forums. This update will fundamentally alter Karma and differentiate it from Dogecoin and Reddcoin, its tipping competitors.
The first major Karma announcement is a switch to the X11 hashing algorithm. Karma believes a switch from the current Scrypt algorithm to X11 will decentralize Karma mining, increase security, and promote energy efficiency.
It is effective, yet energy efficient. The X11 Algorithm gives fast hashes for both GPUs and CPUs. It also keeps GPUs over 30% cooler making your graphic card less prone to overheating. Mining X11 gives ~3-4 times the hash power of Scrypt. With X11 a miner’s cost/benefit ratio improves, providing maximal performance using less power. This levels the playing field and does not strain hardware. (Although from the network’s perspective it doesn’t matter if an algorithm alters the hash output per device as it is relative to the total network hashpower.)
With X11, Karma can further decentralize hashing power by making it easy to mine with affordable hardware. We believe that this is the essential spirit behind the development of cryptocurrency from a miner’s perspective.
The Karma developers concede that X11 is not a permanent solution, but they think that it can serve as a stopgap solution for at least ~2 years. However, since several mining companies are actively experimenting with X11 ASICS, this prediction may be a bit optimistic.
Karma’s second huge announcement is to implement a Proof of Stake (PoS) sidechain called Karmx. Many in the Karma community wanted Karma to transition to pure PoS, but the Karma developers decided that this was not a good idea for the longevity of the coin. However, according to the Karma team, inserting a PoS sidechain into the X11 Proof of Work blockchain will secure the coin and lay a foundation for the future.
We are focusing on creating a micro-economic system within the traditional crypto world. This means that our plan is to create a self-sufficient network of coins, services, and other value-adds such as Karmashares, where we will be able to augment weaknesses of one protocol with benefits of the other. With this in mind the idea of the PoS sidechain is to generate greater security for our coin and also lay the foundation for future endeavors we are planning as a community. These will focus on breaking the chasm between crypto and real world economics, thereby enabling us to enter the profitability loop and to become our own engine of growth without relying on others.
Karma developers have yet to announce a release date for the new features but plan to in the near future.
The hard fork implementing X11 will also include a few other updates:
Disclaimer: I hold about 5 million Karma. That equates to about 1/10 BTC. As always, only invest in coins you believe in wholeheartedly.