The Journey Through Protocol Upgrades
Masari’s road from its birth as a Monero fork to a coin that is mined and traded on exchanges has been an adventure. This article provides a chronology of Masari’s development, challenges, and community growth through the first six versions.
Masari’s genesis block happened on Saturday, September 2, 2017 21:20:46 UTC. Masari’s technological goal was to experiment with new concepts that can be pushed upstream to Monero, or potentially used by other Cryptonote coins. The design was to provide an additional private and fungible currency for the masses while serving as an incubator for ideas. While ICOs and pre-mines were all the rage in that time, Masari choose to do neither.
Masari’s launch was equivalent to Monero’s v0.11.0.0 release with slight changes. These changes include a refactor of the code that removed legacy protocols, enforced a static mixin of 12, randomized transaction fee sources, and fluffy blocks were enabled by default.
The launch was largely met with skepticism and ridicule. A quick browse of the first few pages of the BTC Talk ANN will show most respondents weren’t the biggest fans of founder and lead developer Thaer’s announcement. One of the biggest complaints was Masari’s logo at launch:
Posters on the ANN speculated that Masari was actually a pre-mine, that MSR was just a lame fork of Monero, that another privacy coin wasn’t needed, and on and on. While the FUD spread, work was put into creating pool infrastructure for the project. By mid-September the network hash was hitting 25 KH/s and solo mining started to look difficult.
In late September 2017, SouthXchange became the first exchange to list Masari — opening at a price of 600 sats. This brought the first batch of attacks on the Masari network, which prompted the dev team to roll out the first major protocol upgrade on the 5th of October. Masari v2 brought about changes to the difficulty algorithm that attempted to thwart flash mining. The difficulty algorithm came over from Sumokoin.
As pools started to form for Masari, community interest drove its path towards being added to mining reference sites and listing aggregates like coinlib.io. Exchange inquiries were placed but a majority fell on deaf ears.
While initially the Sumokoin difficulty algorithm worked well against flash mining attacks, it wasn’t enough and the second wave of attacks soon set upon the network. Masari then opted to implement what was the best difficulty algorithm at the time — Zawy’s WWHM. This was rolled out in v3 on December 2, 2017.
V3 did bring other exciting developments in the form of a GUI wallet port from Monero, a new listing on stocks.exchange, and a contentious fork of Masari’s code. Fonero forked Masari’s code but refused to retain copyright notice. This lead to public disagreements and a disabling of Fonero’s GitHub.
V4 came about pretty quick, rolling out on December 13, 2017. There needed to be some adjustments to the difficulty algorithm, as well as some tweaks to close potential exploits. Perhaps the greatest development of v4 was the advancing of the Masari community.
Masari started to pick up steam in social media mentions, the discord server started to grow, telegram activity picked up, and r/masari started to see regular posting and commenting. A common theme throughout Masari’s growth has been displeasure with the logo. Sure, the first logo was just a re-coloration of Monero. And yes, the second logo was incredibly basic — but the third times the charm. So with a burgeoning community at hand, Masari put her people to the task of designing and voting on a new logo. There were many great entries but in the end one logo captured more than 60% of the vote:
V4 was the longest running version of Masari to date, with nearly 5 months under its belt. V4 also saw the addition of another exchange — TradeOgre, and a listing on one of the cryptosphere’s most popular websites — CoinMarketCap. Social metrics for Masari took off in the five months of v4, and positive mentions started to show on Twitter.
Masari’s v5 upgrade included an upstream merge of the latest changes from Monero’s v0.12.0, including subaddresses, multisig, and a PoW change (CryptoNight variant 1) that addressed centralization threats by Bitmain .
As block 170k approached the Masari discord was ripe with discussion and banter. Block 169,999 hit at 7:12 UTC on May 1. As the network sought to find the coveted new algorithm in block 170k, the network hash and difficulty dropped significantly. The network hash lost over 93% of its rate within a few blocks, indicating that centralized ASICs were no longer able to mine on the network. These drops caused a long delay in finding block 170k with it being found at 8:30 UTC.
It should also be noted that Masari had been under attack leading up to and after the fork. The prior-to attacks were timewarps similar to those levied against Verge, but Masari’s WHM DAA minimized their success. The second round of attacks occurred in the early hours of May 2, which was a much more aggressive attack that targeted weaknesses in the algorithm present when an adversary has control of the network (51% attack). The network was subjected to a 23 block re-organization of the blockchain, a potential double spend attack (confirmed no reports of one has occurred), as well as a chain split which was quickly mitigated. Communications about this attack were immediately sent out on social media and to exchanges; with advisement to lock payments and deposits/withdrawals for the next few days until v6 — which was quickly developed to include measures to protect the network.
Similar to the quick move of v3 to v4, Masari went for another fork only 2,500 blocks after the previous one. This fork brings on the adoption of the latest LWMA algorithm by Zawy, and adds further constraints to time warp attacks rendering them non-profitable while still allowing for quick difficulty adjustment recoveries.
Masari has proven itself to be committed to ASIC resistance, adaptive to network conditions, and willing to take the hard first steps of growth. The development team is incredibly responsive and the community has effective communication with each other. Exchanges are coming on board, social metrics are increasing, there is sustained GitHub activity, and collaboration is happening. In the future we will see a whitepaper relating to the Blocktree protocol (on-chain sharding), uncle mining, mobile wallets, and ledger support. This is a recipe for success in crypto and we invite you on the journey with us.
If you’d like to show your support, donations are accepted at the following addresses:
Masari: 5nYWvcvNThsLaMmrsfpRLBRou1RuGtLabUwYH7v6b88bem2J4aUwsoF33FbJuqMDgQjpDRTSpLCZu3d XpqXicE2uSWS4LUP
Monero: 4A57eA3so6bEE8FUcaN1KtMXD3sxjjbvcKD3MF1pUgRi5PNHTpB7sYN2DmJv3EXxtZCWeG88tsVLzdf ZJcmUFm52SbrfJWr