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Elastos, the 77th largest crypto by market capitalization, is about to get several thousand new miners, although they might not realize it. In an announcement today, the eighteen-year-old project revealed a merged mining partnership with Bitmain that will bring the ELA protocol to the two largest Bitcoin mining pools.
How Merged Mining Increases Efficiency
Merge mining allows two coins to be mined simultaneously, provided they share the same hashing algorithms. For example, a fused mining system can simultaneously search for valid blocks for Litecoin and Dogecoin, both of which use Scrypt, at a lower cost than mining the two coins separately. Bitcoin was once mined alongside Namecoin, although the latter’s decline in value has made merged mining less lucrative.
Since Elastos uses the same SHA-256 algorithm as Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, any Bitcoin-enabled ASIC can simultaneously mine ELA tokens and bolster the Elastos network. By partnering with Bitmain, which controls AntPool and BTC.com, Elastos will gain access to over 32% of Bitcoin’s hashing power.
Although Bitmain is one of the biggest providers of mining hardware, the company has generated a lot of controversy for its oversized influence in the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash networks. Its cheap ASICs have been accused of spoiling the game for GPU miners.
“ELA is one of the first coins to merge with Bitmain”, said Elastos founder Rong Chen. “Our first year’s accomplishments alone speak to Elostos’ potential to make waves far beyond the blockchain space – we are well on our way to changing the entire internet industry, its users, the digital ecosystem and to create an industrial-strength IOT network.”
Elastos aims for 100 dApps
The Chinese-led team behind the project describe Elastos as a “blockchain-powered operating system project,” with the aim of creating a simple operating system that can run on IOT devices.
In addition to the Bitmain partnership, Elastos celebrated its anniversary by revealing Cyber Republic, an incentivized community of leaders and developers to grow the token ecosystem.
“We’re launching an online country that will allow entrepreneurs and developers to democratically build the new internet, and we’re donating nearly half of our coins to fund it,” said Fay Li, Marketing Director of Elastos. “Our first initiative for Cyber Republic is to fund the building of 100 decentralized applications on Elastos.”
The “online country” will be used to launch two Elastos initiatives, the company said in a press release. One of them, “Empower 35”, will hire 35 “community managers” to develop talent within the Cyber Republic.
A second initiative, called “CR 100”, will showcase Elastos’ capabilities by funding decentralized applications in around 100 different areas. Each chosen team will be funded up to $500,000 to develop dApps in areas such as “fintech, social service delivery platforms, digital assets, product e-commerce, data and cybersecurity”, the company said. “Participants will be compensated in ELA for their contributions to the Elastos ecosystem.”
It might sound like a big game, but – with nearly two decades of development and the backing of several top Chinese bodies – Elastos has no trouble playing a long game.
The author is invested in Bitcoin.