RIAT Monero Workgroup updates: Monero, ASIC resistance, (Hardware) Wallets


We have been rather silent since december, but a lot of things have happened behind the curtains. We are currently setting up a more regular meetup (every month) and we have been extensively working on growing the local Workgroup and also have been reaching out to other Meetups internationally. Research intern Kun Woo will be setting up a Monero Hong Kong meetup (in ‘planning’ status) and our local RIAT Monero Workgroup is currently supporting Monerujo Android Wallet and the Monero Open Hardware Wallet. Some of you who have been at the Monero December / focus month or at the 34c3 in Leipzig might have seen the projects already. There is a lot of progress on other small projects as well, so in this post we summed up:


  • information on the upcoming network upgrade (Monero 0.12) approx. 6.April.
  • a roundup of recent news and things that happened in Monero land in the pasts months, including an update of ASIC resistance, Monero forks, Open Hardware Wallet progress and controversies in news outlets Wired and CoinDesk.
  • a short description of our local Monero Workgroup at RIAT and info on how you can help out.


Upcoming network upgrade

As dEBRUYNE_1 already was describing on /r/monero in his post “General information regarding the upcoming scheduled network upgrade and a call for community action”, a scheduled hard fork of the Monero blockchain will happen approximately 6th of April. These forks happen on a regular basis and have been recently renamed to “scheduled network upgrade” in order to keep people from panicking or thinking that they will receive free airdrop tokens. RIAT research intern Kun Woo looked into the history of Monero and has written an article titled “The long fork story of Monero XMR” on medium. Rachel-Rose O’Leary wrote an excellent piece on coindesk: Crypto Kill Switch: Monero Goes to War Against Miners. These are just two background stories describing the upcoming Monero network upgrade from different perspectives.

It is very important for users and operators of services related to Monero / XMR to update their CLI or GUI to Monero “Lithium Luna”, as this upgrade is a very important one, tackling a lot of features (see the full list of new features in the release log). The minimum ring size increased from 5 to 7, multisig support is implemented, and initial support for Ledger Nano S hardware wallet has been added. Two important changes are “tweaked PoW to block DoS attacks from ASICs”, which is dubbed ASIC resistance; and “mitigations for privacy-threatening key reusing forks”, referring to MoneroV and the more recently announced Monero0 (which is considered a fork-joke rather than a real currency).


ASIC resistance

As bitmain already has confirmed ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) for Ethereum (source) and for Cryptonight; Monero (source), the different cryptocurrency communities are discussing outlooks and changes in the overall cryptoeconomic dynamics. While the MoneroV fork is allowing ASICs to mine their currency, Monero goes to war against miners. ZCash’s Zooko said to implement ASIC resistance if the community shows enough interest, and the recent Ethereum Improvement Proposal #958 suggests to modify Ethereum’s ethash and to “hard fork to make ASIC mining harder”.  


Monero Open Hardware Wallet

The first phase of the Monero Open Hardware Wallet concluded on budget and on schedule on 31.03.2018 (see the original FFS page). Progress and outlooks can be seen on the follow-up page “Advancing Monero Hardware Wallet” and on the monero taiga page RFC-HWALLET-1 DESIGN, where a lot of sketches, but also photos can be seen. The project website is on kastelo.org.


Controversies in news outlets Wired and CoinDesk

It all started when Wired’s Andy Greenberg published a story claiming that The Dark Web’s favourite currency is less untraceable than it seems. He not only reduced Monero’s use-case to dark net markets, but also referred to a recent paper titled “An Empirical Analysis of Traceability in the Monero Blockchain”. This led to a lot of online responses, including a summary by Rachel-Rose O’Leary (Broken Privacy? The Allegations Against Monero Are Old News) and a response by Justin Ehrenhofer on getmonero.org.


RIAT Monero Workgroup

The RIAT Monero Workgroup is meeting weekly and working on communicating and documenting open issues of the Monero project. The workgroup currently focuses on communication and advocacy regarding the Monerujo Android Wallet and the Monero Open Hardware Wallet, as well developing new workshop formats to start developing. The upcoming Monero Austria Meetup will be introducing the topics and will also explain how to join efforts. If you are interested to help out, you can meanwhile join the monero taiga project management tool or the Monero Community Reddit /r/MoneroCommunity.


Posted by admin in Projects
Monero Open Hardware Wallet: Workshop day Dec 16 at RIAT, Vienna

In the workshop “Monero Open Hardware Wallet” which takes place on December 16, developers of the community-funded Open Hardware Wallet for Monero will show the progress of 2+ months of development in planning and creating the device, and will give insights into how Open Hardware projects are undertaken. The workshop will feature KiCad, JTAG and how complex designs are prepared in order to deliver a fully-featured open hardware project.

See the recent updates in another thread at the Monero Community reddit.


14:00 Introduction: The Monero Open Hardware Wallet ( /u/ms
14:30 History and overview of other projects (Ledger, Tomu, etc.)
15:00 Projekt Rundfahrt und Kommunication
15:30 Soldering, JTAG and Hands-on
16:00 Future plans and discussion

This workshop is part of the Monero December at RIAT in Vienna, Austria.

Posted by admin

As part of the Monero December in Vienna, Austria we will be working on the plans and implementation details for the Assemblies at 34c3 (Chaos Communication Congress) in Leipzig, Germany. We are organising a combined effort of the Bitcoin, Monero and RIAT Assemblies. More info will be posted here as it becomes available. Make sure to check out the external resources listed here:

Overview of resources so far:


Posted by admin
Monero December in Vienna, Austria

Monero December is series of events dedicated to Monero, the privacy-centric and security-focussed fungible cryptocurrency. In December of 2017, community and developers around the Monero project are invited to work, present and develop in Vienna, Austria – hosted by RIAT. Additionally, the time will be used to outline and plan the implementation of the Monero 34C3 Assembly and combined other crypto/blockchain related assemblies at the CCC in Leipzig.

Current schedule is available on the Events page.

2017-12-12 [Bitcoin] Bitcoin Austria Meetup
2017-12-13 [React] React December Meetup
2017-12-14 [Ruby & Rails] Bitcoin, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Ruby
2017-12-15 [Monero Meetup] Open Hardware Wallet, Traceability
2017-12-16 [Free Code Camp] Free Code Camp Meetup
2017-12-16 [Workshop] Monero Open Hardware Wallet Workshop (msvb-lab)
2017-12-17 [Workshop] Tomu.im 2FA development day
2017-12-27 [34c3] Bitcoin / Monero / RIAT at 34c3 Chaos Communication Congress

Bitcoin, Monero and RIAT at 34c3 (Chaos Communication Congress) in Leipzig, Germany

As part of the Monero December in Vienna, Austria we will be working on the plans and implementation details for the Assemblies at 34c3 (Chaos Communication Congress) in Leipzig, Germany. We are organising a combined effort of the Bitcoin, Monero and RIAT Assemblies. More info will be posted here as it appears. Make sure to check out the external resources listed here:

Overview of resources so far:


Posted by admin in Projects

In recent years global economies and city policies have set their sights on the codes of creative cultures. With questionable terms like creative and cultural industries, this movement has not been able to grasp the complex state of the art in which new innovative operations are being pushed by creative and artistic modes of delineation. In fact the involved inventors are becoming ≫disoriented≪ within the parameters of these unstable policies. Being creative, flexible, mistake-friendly, open to life long learning, economically stable and socially networked are the abilities needed to earn a living in creative labor. The current situation calls for the development of a broader view of inflationary used terms like creativity, innovation or code. This introduction presents examples and sketches theoretical descriptions as pathways to a non-economical understanding of codes and programs that underlie creative cultures.

Posted by admin in Publications

VIZINHOS is an exhibition focuses on networked art in Brazil, which takes place over two weeks in the open space of the MuseumQuartier Wien, presents positions in the synergy between situationism, media art and architecture of the BASE project. In the period of the 4th EU Latin American Summit in Vienna five Brazilian artists are invited by the 5uper.net group as part of the Artist in Residence Program of the MuseumQuartier Wien.

Posted by admin in People, 0 comments

SETUP is the platform for all in Utrecht, interested in the combination of technology and creative culture. It was founded in 2010 as an initiative of several local people and groups active in new media, art and design. SETUP is not a regular media lab: the approach is different. The initiative focuses not so much on the technology itself but on the social implications, cultural significance and creative ways to use new technologies.

The message of SETUP is spread through the organization of events such as readings, workshops and exhibitions. The target group is widespread and highly diversified, from technology enthusiasts to academics to designers and technology developers, the most diverse people meet in the SETUP premises.

Posted by admin in People, 0 comments
Newman, A., & Tarasiewicz, M. (2015b). Experiments in art and value: Burning bitcoins to buy Ai Weiwei:. In Proceedings of the 21st international symposium on electronic art. Vancouver: Simon Fraser University.

Critical new media art is based on research-based art practice. It is both research- and process-oriented, so that the final result is not “completed” works (products) but rather process artifacts. This paper describes the artistic research and development of the art-group “Artistic Bokeh”, which is developing new documentation formats, and conducting experiments about the value of artistic practice and labor.


Posted by admin in Publications
Newman, A., & Tarasiewicz, M. (2015a). Cryptocurrencies as distributed community experiments. In D. L. K. Chuen (Ed.),

This paper outlines the major criticism cryptocurrencies faced since Bitcoin’s introduction in 2009 that resulted in the iterative development of various ‘altcoins’. These alternative cryptocurrencies, which can be seen as ‘distributed community experiments’, introduced new algorithms while also tackling social and other evolving problems that emerged throughout the various phases of adaptation and collective learning processes. Often introduced through self-published white papers or online announcements, these alternative coins represent hypotheses by the respective creators until they can show a significant user-base and ultimately are accepted in online cryptocurrency exchanges. We examine the important experiments and alternative approaches to specific issues of the Bitcoin design and describe differences in coins that have been launched. We not only discuss successful experiments, but also show attempts that failed in the relatively short but eventful past five years of cryptocurrencies. We demonstrate how the initial design of Bitcoin has been extended and improved by so called ‘next generation cryptocurrencies’, while the two main aspects – the blockchain ledger as well as strong cryptography – remain key elements to all of these new systems. Finally we outline possible future problems and developments around the blockchain, which not only is the invention that started cryptocurrencies, but remains the most experimental and challenging part with no long-term strategy yet.

Purchase book

Posted by admin in Publications
Newman, A. (2017) Fake Organum: The Uneasy Institutionalisation of Art as Research. In  Proceedings of the 24th international symposium on electronic arts. Manizales: Universidad de Caldas

Artistic research is still in its infancy and continues to pander to dominant institutional discourses of what research is. In particular artists too often ‘borrow’ methodologies from the sciences to justify their practice as research. There is a need for a Novum Organum Artium that will form the foundation of an artistic method, just as Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum Scientarium did for the scientific method.

Download PDF.

Posted by admin in Publications