Nist5 is a Proof-of-Work mining algorithm. This algorithm is built as a combination of the hashing algorithms that were finalists of the NIST hash function competition.
Main page: Nist hash function competition
The US National Institute of Standards and Technology hash function competition was a competition established by NIST to develop a new hash function called to complement the older SHA-1 and SHA-2. The winner was the Keccak algorithm and it became a base for the SHA-3 family of hash functions. However, Keccak was not the only interesting and promising algorithm that participated in the competition. 51 hash functions were chosen to participate in the first round, 14 managed to get to the 2nd. However, only 5 hash function were efficient and secure enough to get to the final. These are the algorithms that were chosen by the NIST5 development team to combine in attempt to develop the best algorithm for cryptocurrency Proof-of-Work.
The five finalists of NIST hash function competition were the following algorithms:
- Keccak (Daemen et al.)
- Skein (Schneier et al.)
- BLAKE (Aumasson et al.)
- Grøstl (Knudsen et al.)
- JH (Hongjun Wu)
There is not much known about the development team of the algo. The development started at 2014 and got a pause several times but was finished at the same year and gave a life to multiple cryptocurrencies. NIST5 is developed as an ASIC-resistant algorithm. Developers wanted to make it very approachable for the average miner. NIST5 was also aimed to be unavailable for mining with multipools. NIST5 is energy efficient and well suited for building hybrid POW/POS coins. Examples of POW/POS hybrid coins built with NIST5 are Electra (ECA) and Bulwark (BWK). Both of the coins are currently full Proof-of-Stake, but they started as a NIST5 Proof-of-Work coins. The developers see a main feature of NIST5 in the fact that different demands of the different hash functions make mining somewhat egalitarian, averaging the advantages of the particular types of gear.
- Approachable for almost any grade of gear
- Very secure due to the 5 algo-based protection
- Lost its ASIC-resistance
- Not popular in the community
Most of the NIST5 coins are either dead or switched to another type of consensus. However, there is one NIST5 coin that managed to preserve their initial state - Electra (ECA), Hybrid Proof-of-Work/Proof-of-Stake NIST5 coin. Most of the coins, that are still active and NIST5-based are Proof-of-Stake coins, including prominent cryptocurrencies, are coins mentioned earlier:
- Bulwark (BWK)
and coins like
- SpaceChain (SPC) - QTUM NIST5-based token
- Denarius (DNR)
Other NIST5 coins which are dead now, some of them are:
- Virta Unique Coin (VUC)
- IcebergCoin (ICB) and Talkcoin (TAC) that were pretty popular in 2014.
- Vites (VITES) - former WAVES-based token, that switched to its own blockchain on NIST5
- NamoCoin (NAMO)
- PWR Coin (PWR)
NIST5 is a memory-oriented and initially ASIC-resistant hashing function. It can be mined using consumer grade hardware’s like quite cheap CPUs and GPUs. However, it is not as ASIC resistant as popular memory-heavy algorithms like Bytecoin’s CryptoNight, Ethereum’s Ethash or Zcash’s Equihash. For some time until 2018 NIST5 was ASIC-resistant, but in the spring of 2018 Baikal BK-X ASIC miner was updated and added NIST5 as an option for mining. Before the upgrade, it supported such algorithms as Skein Quark, Quibt, X11, and Myriad-Groestl. Alongside NIST5, X11 Ghost was added. The potential of the ASIC dominance in the networks of NIST5 coins made most of them, especially those that were the most popular to change either their consensus or their hash function. NIST5 coins still can be efficiently mined but there are not many of them and even less of them are of any significance or value.
- CoinGuides: Nist5 ASIC miner (Baikal) and list of all Nist5 Coins
- Recbit: Nist5
- Shu-jen Chang, et al.: Third-Round Report of the SHA-3 Cryptographic Hash Algorithm Competition
- NIST hash function competition
- Krahdollara: NIST5 mining lagorithm coins