Monero is almost certainly subject to massive use of ASICs belonging to some undefined company. It seems that almost 85% of hashrate comes from ASICs in the hands of a few, thus with a concrete risk of attack of 51%. The Monero team has announced that it will carry out an “emergency” fork to the 1788000 block (around 9 March 2019)
It is a hard fork for the change of the Proof of Work (PoW) Cryptonight algorithm, which will undergo some variations to exclude the ASICs currently in use from mining. The next fork of the Monero protocol update (XMR) should have been in April, given the semi-annual frequency, but the situation now unsustainable for the loyal miners and the risks for the network have pushed the developers to call an emergency hard fork.
At the moment, not many details about the hard fork have been communicated. The fork will be in four weeks and not before, because tests and final checks are needed before the final release. Who owns a network node, an exchange, a pool etc, will have to update its client to the latest release as soon as it becomes available.
With this new partial change of PoW Monero should temporarily return to the ASICs and the FPGAs. At the moment we do not know who to whom the devices active on the network belong. According to the communities, the main culprit could be the producer Baikal, even if we do not exclude Bitmain.
It could also happen, as happened last April 2018, that following the fork new coins are born with the current PoW. It ‘a remote hypothesis but not to be excluded because the birth of “Monero Classic”, “Origina” l and other clones occurred in April 2018 was announced by surprise a few hours before the hard fork. We’ll see!