The BEAM hard fork had already been announced last July 17th by the project team, which on that occasion had released a first version of the client and the wallet with the new features.
The hard fork will be triggered at block number 321321, which will be mined Thursday late in the evening, according to the countdown available at the following address.
With this upgrade, the privacy coin BEAM will implement many new features, mainly focused on improving the Proof of Work of the currency, thus making it more resistant to ASICs.
BEAM hard fork: the news
The main novelties concern the PoW: with this hard fork, in fact, BEAM will introduce the PoW Beam Hash II, improving the resistance to ASICs. The current PoW is based on Equihash (150.5), an algorithm known to be no longer ASIC Proof in some of its variants, particularly in the one adopted by ZCash, the Equihash (200.9).
The new PoW will be based on Equihash-R, with parameters n = 150 and k = 3, thus temporarily improving resistance to ASICs. Furthermore, this PoW should guarantee better hashrates and lower energy consumption, according to the first tests.
In addition to the change of PoW, a requirement for SBBS PoW (Secure Bulletin Board System) will also be introduced, which will allow users to carry out transactions even if the recipient is offline.
Among other new features, a minimum fee of 100 Groth, the smallest unit of BEAM, will be introduced, which is calculated alternately by multiplying by ten the number of kernels and outputs of the transaction. Lastly, support for time locks will also be introduced.
What to do in view of the fork?
As it happens with every hard fork, it is necessary to immediately update the wallets, clients or nodes of BEAM, by installing the latest version available on the official website. If there are BEAM tokens on an Exchange, there is no need to do anything, as the Exchange itself will update its node client.
Miners will also have to make updates. Starting from the 321321st block, in fact, the currency will use a new PoW, so the mining tools will have to be updated to the appropriate version able to support the Equihash-R.
Most of them have already been updated, with the exception of some tools that are still missing. Among them, the best solution for Nvidia and AMD video cards that is ready for the new PoW is definitely the GMiner 1.55, which also integrates an auto-switch function between BeamHash I and II, so as not to lose a single block and automate the transition to the new PoW.
Another miner ready for BEAM’s hard fork is the lolMiner 0.8.6, available for AMD GPUs and also equipped with auto-switches. Many more upgraded miners are likely to be available soon or in the next few days.