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Elastos Merged Mining Explained: Harnessing Bitcoin’s Strength for Security
Elastos has a unique three-pillar Elastic Consensus that all serve different purposes to make the blockchain as decentralized, secure, and scalable as possible. Last week we highlighted the Proof of Integrity or CR Consensus form of the Elastic Consensus, a community-selected 12-seat entity that passes initiatives for the ecosystem. Last month the new Bonded Proof of Stake (BPoS) was officially implemented in place of the previous Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) model.
In 2018, Elastos officially implemented a unique approach called merged mining, sometimes referred to as Auxiliary Proof-of-Work (AuxPoW), which is one of the three forms of Consensus. Merged mining is where Elastos’ mainchain is simultaneously secured and validated through the computing power of the Bitcoin blockchain. This innovative mechanism allows Elastos to leverage the existing computing resources of Bitcoin, enabling global-scale blockchain innovations while maintaining energy efficiency. In this article, we will explore the concept of merged mining and its benefits, specifically focusing on Elastos’ integration with the Bitcoin network.
Understanding Merged Mining
Merged mining is a process that allows multiple blockchains to reach Consensus simultaneously. In the case of Elastos, the Bitcoin blockchain serves as the parent blockchain, while the Elastos main chain acts as an auxiliary blockchain. This dynamic means that when miners perform Proof-of-Work (PoW) calculations for the Bitcoin blockchain, they indirectly contribute to the security and validation of transactions on Elastos blockchain.
During the process of merged mining, when miners successfully mine a block on the Bitcoin blockchain, they can include a reference to a valid block on the Elastos main chain. This reference allows the Elastos main chain to utilize the security provided by the Bitcoin blockchain, ensuring the integrity of the entire Elastos network. In essence, while Bitcoin miners are responsible for creating the blocks during the mining of BTC, the validation and signing of these blocks are carried out by the Elastos BPoS nodes to sustain the Elastos main chain.
Energy Efficiency and Environmental Friendliness
Mining is a computationally-intensive process that requires significant amounts of energy and computational resources, contributing to both electricity consumption and environmental impact. One of the key advantages of merged mining with Elastos (ELA) is that it does not increase the overall energy consumption compared to mining Bitcoin alone.
Since the Elastos mainchain utilizes the existing computing power of Bitcoin miners, the energy consumed for mining remains the same. This makes merged mining an environmentally friendly solution, as it maximizes the utilization of existing resources without adding additional energy requirements.
Strong Computing Power and Global Scale Blockchain Innovations
The Bitcoin blockchain is known for its substantial computing power (often referred to as its ‘hashrate’). By utilizing the hashrate of the Bitcoin blockchain, Elastos ensures a solid guarantee of computing power for its mainchain.
The power of the Bitcoin network enhances the security and reliability of Elastos transactions, making it capable of handling blockchain innovations on a global scale. Integrating Bitcoin’s computing power provides Elastos with a robust foundation for building decentralized applications and services that can reach a broad user base.
Added Security from the Bitcoin Blockchain to Elastos
Merged mining offers a potential solution to the issue of 51% attacks, which occur when a single entity controls more than half of a network’s hashing power and can manipulate transactions or double-spend coins. When Elastos utilizes merged mining with Bitcoin, it achieves the same security level as Bitcoin.
Any attack or manipulation attempts would require significant computational power to overpower the combined mining network. As a result, merged mining with Bitcoin provides an added layer of security to Elastos, making it more resistant to malicious activities and increasing the overall trustworthiness of the network. By leveraging the security of the Bitcoin network, Elastos can prevent such attacks and ensure their network’s integrity.
Isolated Nodes and Reliability
Elastos operates on a multi-layered infrastructure comprising a main chain and side chains. The main chain serves as the foundational layer, responsible for handling the core functionalities of the Elastos ecosystem, such as identity verification and asset transfers. Side chains, on the other hand, are additional chains that operate alongside the main chain, providing specialized functionalities or customized features.
These side chains are interconnected with the main chain through a cross-chain mechanism, enabling seamless communication and interoperability between different chains within the Elastos ecosystem. This infrastructure allows for scalability, flexibility, and customization, as different side chains can be created to accommodate diverse applications while still relying on the main chain for overall security and consensus.
In a merged mining setup, auxiliary blockchains or side chains do not require a Consensus of multiple validator sets. Even in the extreme case of having only one node, the reliability of the ledger information on the main chain or other chains is not compromised. This design enables flexibility in deploying and managing sidechains, making them less resource-intensive while maintaining the integrity of the overall blockchain network.
Start Mining ELA as a Bitcoin Miner
In 2022, the well-known YouTuber Voskcoin created a video explaining the merged mining process employed by Elastos, which combines the security of Bitcoin’s blockchain with ELA token mining.
One of the mining pools that support ELA merged mining is F2pool. Since 2019, F2pool has been integrated with the Elastos main chain, allowing miners to mine ELA tokens alongside BTC. To add your ELA address and start receiving ELA rewards through F2pool, follow the instructions they provided a few years ago:
- Sign up for an account on the F2pool website (if you haven’t already).
- Access the F2pool dashboard and navigate to the settings or account section.
- Look for the option to add a new coin or configure merged mining.
- Select ELA (Elastos) as the coin you want to mine in addition to BTC.
- Enter your ELA wallet address in the provided field.
- Save the changes and ensure your ELA address is properly linked to your F2pool account.
- Configure your mining hardware or software to connect to F2pool and start mining both BTC and ELA.
It’s worth mentioning that ViaBTC is another prominent Bitcoin mining pool that participates in ELA merged mining, offering a similar opportunity to mine ELA tokens alongside BTC. To get started with ViaBTC’s merged mining program, refer to their website’s specific instructions and guidelines.
Elastos’ merged mining implementation with Bitcoin brings numerous benefits to the Elastos ecosystem. By leveraging the existing computing power of Bitcoin, Elastos ensures a high level of computing security while remaining energy-efficient.
The ability to merge mine recursively establishes a trust hierarchy among chains, enabling the transfer of trust and interoperability across multiple blockchain layers. With these advancements, Elastos paves the way for global-scale blockchain innovations and empowers developers to build decentralized applications with enhanced security and reliability.