The Pros and Cons of the X11 Algorithm

Firstly, let me start out by saying that we fully support the X11 Algorithm and that we do believe it…

Firstly, let me start out by saying that we fully support the X11 Algorithm and that we do believe it is the future for many coins out there. Especially considering that Scrypt ASICs have already been spotted in the wild, and that there are new ASICs of an expected 250 MH/s!  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.

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 SHA​256 ASIC implementation, the use of X11 will prevent the use of ASIC miners in the short­​ term to mid​­term 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.

If there is any pro or con you can think of, please feel free to add a comment or join our discussion in the Mining Group at CCN.

Last modified (UTC): April 10, 2014 1:22 AM

Tags: LitecoinX11
Jonas Borchgrevink @JonasBorch

Founder of and Passionate about how technology can empower people to create a more just and sustainable world.

Show comments

News Tip?

tips (at)