Momentum is building to block the Ethereum ASICs


Several miners and developers of ethereum have come forward with the goal of stopping specialized mining hardware from effective network operation.

In April, the controversy over application-specific integrated circuits (or ASICs) on ethereum arose after the news last Thursday a new line of specialized mining hardware has been beaten that claims to generate more than six times the profit of that of its main competitor, the mining giant Bitmain.

Following the news – and cites concerns over the lack of action taken by developers to stop the growing use of ASICs on the network, which many believe would cost effectively smaller miners – some supporters demand a total "strike" by the miners of the GPU.

A GitHub user who passes by the "Mdaria510" handle said:

"The only plausible way for GPU miners is to" strike "and commit to continuing to dig the existing chain and undermine the Ethe unit

In support of this sentiment, another user with the name "MoneroCrusher" added that the requests of the ethereum mining community to implement measures resistant to the ASIC have been "clearly ignored" and have promised to join the revolt with their hash power.

Still, in the wake of the protest, some developers of ethereum have said that a code change aimed at blocking the growing number of ASICs could perhaps be implemented as part of a system-level network update

the algorithm in question is part of a proposed ethereal improvement (EIP) dubbed "ProgPoW."

As illustrated by CoinDesk, ProgPoW aims to reduce minimum ASIC extraction on the platform maximizing the effectiveness of specific GPU traits, such as memory.

But most developers believe that the update should only be performed after Constantinople, the imminent update of the fixed network scheduled for October or November of this year.

Speaking of Github, Ma rtin Holst Swende, responsible for security for the Ethereum Foundation, wrote: "I do not think we should conclude it in Constantinople."

He continued:

"The implementation of the algorithm is one aspect, but there are other things that need to be done to ensure that a transition works smoothly, and those things need to be tested .. My opinion is that we should consider a fixed switching fork [proof-of-work] shortly after Constantinople. "

Dangerous play?

Even then, there are signs that the miners of the GPU are not willing to wait.

Described as "playing with fire" by Reddit commentator "Bayminer", some have expressed concern that without immediate action, ethereum could fall prey to the whims and desires of a centralized population of ASIC miners.

Although not yet a reality, the mere existence of ASIC miners on ethereum, coupled with the more recent development of even stronger ASICs, was sufficient for GPU extraction advocates to ask for the & # 39; developer community intervention – and soon.

Labeling it as "a very high threat against ethereum", a user who followed the "gfunksound" handle on GitHub claimed:

"We have many cases of ASICs that completely dominate a currency and force them to make decisions policies under the threat of arms and I do not believe that the core developers of Ethereum want to put themselves in this situation. "

Indeed, some argue that, in the case of a platform dominated by the ASIC, miners would prove powerful enough to stop or significantly delay progress on the passage of ethereum to the pole test (PoS), a consensus switch that completely eliminates energy-intensive extraction.

With this having been the ultimate goal established in the early days of the network The creation of founder Vitalik Buterin, user of GitHub "Sinabi" adds that "centralization by miners will force the ETH team to ultimately meet more requests [ASIC miners’] compared to the original neutral vision on which it was founded. "

The allegations of censorship have also emerged.

Moner OCrusher, for example, accused "Bitmain and other producers" of using social media to sell off "every critical ASIC post".

Having also claimed to be censored, MoneroCrusher noted that his original anti-ASIC Reddit thread had been initially removed as "started to gain traction."

Changing attitudes

The developers, however, rejected this accusation.

Ethereum client developer Afri Schoedon told CoinDesk that the Reddit thread in question had been "mistakenly removed" by a fellow moderator "and that there was no" deliberate censorship going on. "And according to the independent ethereum developer Alexey Akhunov, the rumors about Reddit seen in recent days have been "too exciting to actually be useful anywhere."

Other developers have taken a more open stance on the notion

The developer of Ethereum Nick Johnson has argued that, after speaking with the major proponents of ProgPoW, he is in favor of the objectives of the proposal.

"I am also quite confident that it is a necessary change to preserve the decentralization of the Ethereum extraction until the PoS it will be ready to be distributed, "he told CoinDesk.

At the same time, developers like Schoeden are wary of making any implementations rushed, saying that "urgent changes" would risk both "network security and stability".

Schoeden also repeated on GitHub that, in the matter of implementation, ProgPoW would certainly not be considered in time for Constantinople, saying: [19659013] "We have been working on Constantinople for 11 months, and the hard gallows are final. however small, it must go to the next fork ".

To this, Johnson accepted, saying: "Constantinople is practically finalized now."

However, he left the door open for implementation "shortly thereafter", reiterating that no other proposed proof-of-work change is just as thought or that will probably be successful as ProgPOW.

On the other hand, developers like Schoedon see a longer time horizon, providing the proposal will require "at least 12 months from the implementation, test, to the distribution of the main network."

Image of the brick wall via Shutterstock

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