Merged mining is a technique employed by some cryptocurrency miners where they simultaneously mine two or more cryptocurrencies without compromising overall mining efficiency. If you’re a miner, you can harness your computational capacity to mine blocks on various chains simultaneously by setting up Auxiliary Proof of Work (AuxPoW).
With AuxPoW, your mining machine can validate work across two distinct blockchains. The blockchain that supplies the proof of work is designated as the parent blockchain, while the one accepting the proof of work is referred to as the auxiliary blockchain.
It’s essential to remember that the cryptocurrencies you aim to mine must share the same proof-of-work algorithm for this strategy to work. For instance, Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 algorithm to secure its blockchain. This implies that you could mine virtually any other coin that uses SHA-256 along with Bitcoin.
The advantage here is that the parent blockchain remains largely unaffected and requires no significant technical adjustments on your end. However, you might need to program the auxiliary blockchain to accept the work accomplished by the parent chain.
Smaller coins and blockchains might want to adopt merged mining to bolster their security by leveraging the hashing power of larger chains like Bitcoin or Ethereum. This additional security helps guard against 51% attacks, provided a sufficient number of miners agree to adopt merged mining.
However, some argue that merged mining might provide a misleading sense of security. This view holds water because a significantly large mining pool could achieve 51% hashing power on the smaller chain, thus enabling potential attacks. But if the reward or incentive for mining this auxiliary chain is substantial enough, more miners would participate, thereby reducing centralization and enhancing security.
On the flip side, merged mining might eliminate economic losses, as Bitcoin miners, for example, can use their hashing power on the smaller chain without risking their Bitcoin block rewards. This means miners might not have the motivation to act with integrity on the auxiliary chain.
In conclusion, if you’re considering employing this method, it’s crucial to thoroughly research the topic and set up your mining gear appropriately.