Does Dogecoins new merged mining with Litecoin signal the start of alt-coin consolidation?

Image source: Doge assets

The alt-coin mining world has been abuzz this week after the recent announcement by the Dogecoin development team that the Scrypt-based crypto would be introducing auxiliary proof of work (AuxPoW) in the next core update.

While many of the discussions have been about the impact of a hard fork on a coin that is already experiencing a decline in network power, many have focused on the upshot: Merged mining with other Scrypt-based coins, such as Litecoin.

Although AuxPoW won’t directly connect LTC and DOGE, it does enable a single miner to hash away on a variety of Scrypt pools at the same time, significantly increasingly the odds of seeing some kind of reward.

This is great for ailing blockchain networks like Dogecoin’s, providing incentive for Litecoin miners to contribute and pushing back the threat of a 51% attack.

This does, however, beg the question: If all of these AuxPoW-enabled coins are mining together, isn’t this a step towards alt-coin unification?

Are we seeing the first steps towards a new crypto paradigm aligning the major flavors of Scrypt coins into a new, more powerful network that is AuxPoW-Scrypt-coin in all but name? Could this de facto network actually make a viable mechanism for all those proposed, non-currency blockchain-using startups? Will this rising mega-alt-coin network compete with the bitcoin network, or complement it?

For established coins like LTC and DOGE, this may not be a bad thing. Although both have established niches (China and tipping, respectively), neither has gained ground against the juggernaut that is global bitcoin adoption.

As Litecoin creator Charlie Lee told CoinDesk, the Dogecoin network’s adoption of AuxPow means that the community “can focus on what dogecoin does best (tipping, donations, wow) instead of worrying about defensive dogecoin mining and network security.”