The Pros and Cons of the X11 Algorithm

Firstly, let me start out by saying that we fully support the X11 Algorithm and that we do believe it is the future for many coins out there. Especially considering that Scrypt ASICs have already been spotted in the wild, and that there are new ASICs of an expected 250 MH/s!  The X11 Algorithm has its flaws though (cons), but do they outweigh all of the pros?  Without further ado, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the X11 Algorithm.

The Pros and Cons of the X11 Algorithm

Litecoin’s supposed X11 Logo


First Pro of the X11 Algorithm?

Security: The algorithm uses eleven hashing functions from the Blake algorithm to the Keccak algorithm making it very secure which really is needed for coins that do so well for CPU’s

Effectiveness: The X11 Algorithm gives amazingly fast hashes for both GPU’s and CPU’s. It also keeps GPU’s over 30% cooler making your expensive graphic cards less prone to overheating. The reason? Graphic cards don’t require as much processing power in order to mine the coins with this algorithm

Power Cost: Due to how effective it is, graphic cards do not require that much power in order to mine it. Therefore, you will see significantly lower electricity costs at the end of the month. This makes coins running this algorithm to be a favorite in places where electricity costs are far from bearable.

Mineability: Being more complicated than a SHA​256 ASIC implementation, the use of X11 will prevent the use of ASIC miners in the short­​ term to mid​­term future. It will also allow for a longer period of mining for CPU/GPU users

The Intention: Why do I think the X11 Algorithm is great? It’s what Satoshi Nakamoto intended Bitcoin to be. It decentralizes hashing power by making it easy to mine through affordable hardware which is what Satoshi Nakamoto originally wanted.(Yes! I think this is a Pro. Increases peoples faith in the algorithm and helps build hype).  We must note that Satoshi did predict the coming of ASICs, though.

The fact that some Litecoin developers considered changing to the X11 Algorithm makes me think that it is something special and obviously many others must feel this way.



Longevity: The X11 Algorithm is not as long-term as some expect it to be. We’d give it a maximum of two years before this algorithm gets ASIC’d. Even though it’s complex, all algorithms have their weaknesses and this algorithm might not be an exception.

Botnet Attacks: The algorithm has not seen any botnet attacks of significant magnitude, but it is a concern. CPU’s mine at hashrates of GPU’s on SCRYPT that makes it susceptible to botnet attacks.

(Lack of) Network Effect: The X11 algorithm may sound like a miner’s dream come true; however, newcomers to mining will be ill equiped to fully appreciate any of the aforementioned pros.

Community?: Without the right community behind a coin running the X11 algorithm, said coin could suffer fatally from just a few bad dumps. The incentives and methods behind such an attack would obviously change as difficulty rises and could also change depending on block rewards and halving rates. With many X11 algorithm altcoins going to be released, it is a matter of patience to see how supportive people are of the algorithm, in general as opposed to each specific coin.



The X11 algorithm is very effective and unique on its own but the success of an X11 algorithm altcoin depends on other features within the coin. If some way is found to keep longevity and effectiveness while still having great support behind an algorithm, then we could safely say that it would be the best algorithm choice, for any altcoin. For the time being, X11 is the algorithm most should prefer and until we have an even more improved version of it…

We support it in its entirety.

The X11 Algorithm is a Winner

If there is any pro or con you can think of, please feel free to add a comment or join our discussion in the Mining Group at CCN.

Updated: April 10, 2014 at 1:22 am CET.

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  • Web Webprods

    Why I don’t know what i’m doing??I’m doing mining since 2010 .My question was very simple.How peeps getting 700 MHs without renting somebody rigs??? for 700MHs
    They probably renting 17 rigs with 40MH/s .If I’m wrong ,please let me know how i can get more then 10,5 MH/s per card ( R9 290x) Because I can get 10.5MH/s from my new sapphire cards .Total 4 x R9 290x ( 42 MH/s) using Wolf improved alg for X11 coins.

  • Evan Warnock

    many reasons, but to be blunt, you dont know what your doing.

  • Web Webprods

    Ok..My question is..How the miners can got over 150 Mh/s or even 700 Mh/s as I’ve seen at x-11 coin pools ??I’m looking all around to find answer because I’m using very good 4 x R-9 280x Asus and the best what I got was at Nakamotodark coin pool 52 M/hs while my sgminer shows 28 MH/s..I know that pools hash rate is depends how many shares your miner can find for pool. But again .What they using that they getting very high hash rate .Almost 20 times higher then my rigs can do.Thank you

  • cryptocrooks

    Interesting comparision

  • Theguyuk

    They ways to beat Asic introduction to CPU coins is to just change the protocol once Asics get a problem in the network. ie switch from method A to B then C or E,T,X Y, D. Just keep making it to costly to keep developing now ASICs. After all with a CPU computer you just change the software.

  • Rich Brumpton

    The name is problematic, X11 is also a common UNIX remoting protocol that is used to display applications locally and across networks on millions of systems…

  • stefan

    I’m sorry but this article is pure propaganda, and the cited ‘pros’ make no sense at all. Lets take a look at all pro’s according to this article::

    Security: Combining multiple hashing algorithms makes the result less secure due to an much higher chance of collisions.
    Effectiveness & power cost: 1. The fact that current GPU implementations of X11 are less efficient does not imply that that will always be the case. 2. if lower efficiency was a pro, there would be much better ways to archive that on current GPU’s than throwing 11 hashing algorithms on a pile. 3. I can underclock my scrypt/SHA256 GPU to archive better ‘effectiveness’ than X11 in terms of calculations per watt. 4. This is an argument for asics due to their outstanding power efficiency, but later in this article asus resistance is a pro.
    Mineability: Again, there are much better ways to make an algorithm ASIC resistant than throwing 11 hashing algorithms on a pile.
    Intention: this argument is valid for any hashing algorithm that isn’t already available in ASIC’s.

    In short, none of the arguments in this article provides an compelling argument to use X11 over, say, sasa20 with sufficiently chosen parameters. Which is 1. more secure, 2. more effective according to your definition of effectiveness and 3. less cost effective to implement in asics than X11.

  • Sebsebzen

    Why don’t you just mine Primecoin? GPU miner was just released, and algorithm is extremely ASIC-hostile.

  • Armaan Chandnani

    That will be taken in-depth very soon in another article that should be very interesting to everyone

  • Armaan Chandnani

    Enough time, yet it would be ideal to have an algorithm to last many years before getting Asic’d

  • Armaan Chandnani

    Yes. If you mine with the x11 algorithm, high end processors get the same hashrates as graphic cards on the scrypt algorithm. So it is much more effective due to this.

  • Armaan Chandnani

    It still is a major advantage to any coin being mined which runs on this algorithm. I had read what you just said somehwere else while researching for this article but you cant deny that if a result of a crippled software or no, it still is a very good incentive for miners who dont want to suffer from huge electricity bills. Compared to the likes of heavycoin, quark and some others, the x11 algorithm still does very well even if it is due to a crippled software. Miners will still consider it as an advantage and so should everyone else, though it does come down to ones opinion at the end

  • Micah Riley

    I am more into what can hold out in the long run. VTC, which is based on Scrypt-N. It has a developer/community striving to resist ASICs.

    Satoshi, I’m pretty sure, wanted to keep it CPU mining only.

  • evgeniykurtovlessless

    so, there are two more years to figure out the next ASICS-resistance algorithm ;)

  • luke

    Be careful, this thread has been moderated and locked by the well know forum trolls.
    Posts exposing author’s agenda have been deleted. Judge for yourself.

  • Zoltan

    I’m afraid the “effectiveness” and “power cost” pros are products of a seriously crippled mining software, not an actual advantage.
    I recommend this bitcointalk thread to read :

  • srb

    CPU’s mine at hashrates of GPU’s on SCRYPT??

  • David Parker

    Thanks for the notice.

  • luke

    Why there is no mention about the creator of the algorithm – Evan Duffield, and the first coin which he introduced with it, Darkcoin?
    This is also anonymous coin and proven resistant to pumps and dumps with very stable prices and strong community behind it – in addition to clearly very talented developer.

About The Author

Director of CCN

Director of CryptoCoinsNews. Contact me by sending an email to david.parker (at)