Over the past few months, merged mining has become a rather hot topic of conversation. Dogecoin can now be merge mined with Litecoin, and merged mining is also at the core of the sidechains proposal for Bitcoin currently under production from Adam Back and Austin Hill. Namecoin was one of the first major cryptocurrencies to benefit from merged mining, but many people are still confused as to what it is and how it works. Let’s take a closer look at merged mining by using Dogecoin and Litecoin as an example of how it all works.
What is Merged Mining?
Merged mining is the process of allowing the miners of a certain cryptocurrency to mine other cryptocurrencies based on the same hashing algorithm without the need to generate any additional computing power. As a result of this process, the hashing power of a new, alternative cryptocurrency can be increased rather quickly. The way it works is that a miner is basically searching for the same answer to the puzzle involved in the next block reward of more than one cryptocurrency at a time. The miner is trying to, essentially, solve the same block on two separate blockchains at the same time. The main reason that a lesser-known cryptocurrency may want to have their coins merge mined with a more popular blockchain is that other cryptocurrency’s miners will help secure the newer and less popular blockchain. Miners tend to do things that are in their own best interests, which is why they should be more than happy to increase their chances of gaining a reward for their work without much-added cost.
The History of Merged Mining with Litecoin and Dogecoin
Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, first proposed the idea of merge mining Dogecoin with Litecoin back in April of 2014. His main goal for this new collaboration between the two altcoins was to improve the security of both blockchains. Adding more hashing power to both networks lowers the chances of a 51% attack on either cryptocurrency, so it should be considered a win-win for both parties.
Jackson Palmer, one of the original founders of Dogecoin, was hesitant about merge mining with Litecoin at first. In short, he wanted to focus on increasing the adoption of Dogecoin as a currency rather than joining forces with the team behind Litecoin. Having said that, the decision to allow merge-mining with Litecoin was made in August, only a few short months after Charlie Lee’s original proposal.
Miners interested in taking advantage of the rewards offered by mining both Litecoin and Dogecoin at the same time can join the GHash.IO scrypt mining pool. A scrypt multipool is also available on GHash.IO, which allows a miner to make sure they’re mining the most profitable script cryptocurrency at any specific moment in time. In addition to Dogecoin and Litecoin, altcoins such as Auroracoin, Feathercoin, and Anoncoin are available in the multipool.