Dogecoin have announced that they will be hard-forking to allow merge-mining with Litecoin.
In recent months a primary concern for Shibes everywhere has been the dwindling network hashrate of the network. If a person or group of people were able to gain more than 51% of the overall hashrate (mining power) then they could cause all kinds of damage to the coin, and the implementation of auxiliary proof-of-work (AuxPOW) has been selected as the solution to the problem.
According to developer langer_hans, merged mining can only be utilized by coins with a higher hashrate than Dogecoin effectively meaning only Litecoin. This is unlikely to ever change as most other Scrypt coins have taken their own measures to protect themselves against the threat of attack.
Litecoin miners will be able to mine both Litecoin and Dogecoin at the same time with no detrimental effect to their Litecoin hashpower. It would therefore make sense for them to mine Dogecoin at the same time as it would be like a ‘free bonus’ on top of what they would have mined anyway. The increased level of hashpower from Litecoin should help to protect Dogecoin from any possible future attacks.
Is AuxPOW the right choice?
The need to mitigate the potential of an attack on the network was an obvious one. There are a number of solutions that could have been used including other methods of proof-of-work such as that of Myriadcoin (the solution chosen by Digibyte) or proof-of-stake used by Blackcoin, Vericoin and the majority of newly launched coins.
One concern could be the downward pressure this will have on Dogecoin prices. The majority of the network hashing power will now come from Litecoin miners. They are likely to immediately sell any Dogecoin they earn through mining.
Anyone who has recently bought an ASIC (looking at you people of /r/DogecoinDefenseForce) could see this as bad news. The amount of Dogecoin they will be rewarded with for their efforts will drastically reduce as difficulty rises.
It is good to see that a solution has been found to the security issue which was always the number one priority. Was is the best possible solution? I’m not sure.