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A Brief History of Masari

Masari was released on September 07, 2017, 05:57:03 PM after Masari’s genesis block was generated and Thaer announced the project on BitcoinTalk.org. Masari’s technological goal was to experiment novel concepts on to Monero’s code base and contribute back upstream. Masari’s launch was equivalent to Monero’s v0.11.0.0 release with slight changes. These changes in included 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. In late September 2017, SouthXchange became the first exchange to list Masari.

Masari eventually changed the difficulty algorithm and attempted to stop problematic flash mining. The difficulty algorithm originated from Sumokoin. Masari utilized Sumokoin difficulty algorithm until a second wave of attacks happened on the network. Masari then implemented Zawy’s Weighted Harmonic Mean. This was released in v3 on December 2, 2017.

Masari then ported the GUI wallet from Monero and received new listing on stocks.exchange. This was followed by the first fork of Masari’s code by Fonero; however, the code did not retain copyright notice on Fonero’s end. This led to public disagreements and a disabling of Fonero’s GitHub.Adjustments to the difficulty algorithm were later added as well as some tweaks to close potential exploits.

Masari eventually merged upstream changes from Monero’s v0.12.0, including subaddresses, multisig, and a PoW change (CryptoNight variant 1) that addressed centralization threats by the ASIC manufacturer Bitmain. This was scheduled for block 170k. Block 169,999 hit at 7:12 UTC on May 1. As the network sought to find the 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 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 — which was quickly fixed to include measures to protect the network.

Masari then went for another fork only 2,500 blocks after the previous one which brought 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.