The Monero (XMR) community is preparing for a scheduled hard fork containing important planned software updates. The most marked changes will include updates of range proofs, as well as changes to the mining software. A few months have passed since the last update ensuring ASIC resistance, and Monero wants to make sure no new machines can be built.
The Monero hard fork is expected at block height 1685555, which may arrive before October 18. Participants in the Monero ecosystem are urged to update to the latest versions, as explained in a Reddit thread:
“To be sufficiently prepared, a user, service, merchant, pool operator, or exchange should run CLI v0.13.0.2 or GUI v0.13.0.3.”
The planned hard fork is having a limited effect on the XMR market price, as sell-offs and doubts about the market are still a threat. XMR was still ranked tenth on CoinMarketCap, and trading at $106.84.
However, despite its relative prominence, Monero has seen lowered usage and less active trading. Over the past week, at one point, volumes spiked above $23 million in 24 hours, but later sank to around $12 million, relatively low for one of the major coins.
Curiously, XMR trading has moved almost entirely to Korea, with more than 89% trading against the Korean Won. However, the increased Bithumb activity has been excluded from the CoinMarketCap statistics. The sudden spike in volumes is still investigated, as it immediately followed the purchase of Bithumb by a Singapore-based consortium. Bithumb volumes increased above the equivalent of $389 million, on still unexplained growing activity, which has not affected the price.
XMR remains 79% below its all-time peak, and in the past three months has traded in a volatile manner, ranging between $140 and lows around $89.
At the same time, Monero mining has been increasing, rising from around 156 MH/s to more than 592 MH/s. It is unknown what has led to the increased mining, although it is improbable it is a new ASIC machine.