We have finally completed our upgrade of Imperial Coin (IPC) from the Scrypt algorithm to the Neoscrypt algorithm. While this was not an easy choice as there are so many options out there now. It has become clear to us that Neoscrypt will most likely be one of the next generation proof-of-work (PoW) algorithms designed to replace Scrypt. It consumes a lot less memory than Scrypt, but yet is more memory intensive and stronger cryptographically. The Neoscrypt algorithm combines the power of Salsa20/20, ChaCha20/20, BLAKE2s and FastKDF into a very secure ASIC-resistant solution. It is a VERY solid, well-designed and well thought out algorithm which we feel represents the next generation of coins that will now include Imperial Coin (IPC).
NeoScrypt has been running successfully on Phoenixcoin (PXC) since late July and will be on Feathercoin (FTC) starting in late October also. If you remember, the hashing technologies used by the Scrypt algorithm starts with PBKDF2-HMAC-SHA256 key derivation, and ends with 8 rounds of the Salsa20 cipher as its mixing engine. However, it has since been shown that only having 8 rounds of Salsa20 can be broken through differential cryptoanalysis – not as secure as we all thought.
So the Neoscrypt creator designed NeoScrypt to be compatible with Scrypt, but to have functional differences which provide significant advantages over Scrypt. With Neoscrypt, he has written a custom key derivation algorithm which is much stronger and faster. NeoScrypt’s mixing engine employs 20 rounds of Salsa20, followed by 20 rounds of ChaCha20. Not only is this combination faster and more secure than standard Scrypt, but it only takes 32KB to 64KB of memory, compared to the 128KB of memory used by Scrypt.
We are thoroughly convinced that NeoScrypt based currencies are set to become the best option for those who have a low to medium budget for mining equipment and therefore cannot afford ASIC rigs. With the adoption of NeoScrypt by Imperial Coin (IPC), we ensure that our loyal miners, small businesses in need of payments systems and newbies everywhere will always be able to viably mine IPC by never having to compete against miners who have bought the next generation of expensive Scrypt ASICs. Without and algorithm like Neoscrypt, the smaller hobbyist miner will have no place left to mine anything on Scrypt-based coins, just like GPUs have no place on Bitcoin any more. Only those with deep pockets can mine Bitcoin and this will end up being just a few large companies or well-funded individuals. In our view, this does not make a good case for decentralization and not where Imperial Coin (IPC) needs to go.
We thank you for your patience while we upgraded our algorithm and went through some minor programming difficulties causing some delays. It is running now on several machines and on our seed nodes and has a delayed switchover that will make the switchover to the Neoscrypt algorithm on Block 66,000 – in about 3-4 days. At that point, everyone will need to be switched over to the new version and be mining with either a CPU or GPU as your ASICs will cease to work properly with Imperial Coin after Block 66,000. Here are some links of interest regarding Neoscrypt.
Documentation / White Papers:
We still have much left to do in getting everyone alerted and switched over as well as our wallets and websites updated. At this time, ONLY the Windows wallet is available as well as the source code for IPC V184.108.40.206 available from the links below only. Please upgrade to the new code as soon as you can and do not forget to backup your wallets first!
IPC Source Code (Primary) – https://github.com/ipcguy/imperialcoin-ipc
IPC Source Code (Backup) – http://imperialcoin.org/wallet/source/IPC-220.127.116.11-src.rar
IPC Windows Wallet – http://imperialcoin.org/wallet/windows/IPC-18.104.22.168-WIN.rar