Several miners and developers ethereum have come forward with the goal of stopping the specialized data mining hardware from the actual operation of the network.
In progress since April, controversies over application-specific integrated circuits (or ASICs) on ethereum have climbed since last Thursday's news of a new line of specialized mining hardware claiming to generate more than six times the profit of its product main competitor, the mining giant Bitmain.
Following the news – and citing concerns about the lack of actions taken by developers to stop the growing use of ASIC on the network, which many believe would have actually assessed the smaller miners – some supporters have called for a "strike" total by the miners of the GPU.
A GitHub user using the "Mdaria510" handle said:
"The only plausible way for GPU miners is to" strike "and commit to continuing to undermine the existing chain and undermine the ethereum unit and force the compromise."
In support of this sentiment, another user with the name "MoneroCrusher" added that the requests of the mining community of ethereum to implement measures resistant to the ASIC have been "clearly ignored" and have promised to join the revolt with their hash power.
However, in the wake of the uproar, 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-wide network upgrade.
The algorithm in question is part of a proposed ethereal improvement (EIP) dubbed "ProgPoW".
As illustrated by CoinDesk, ProgPoW aims to minimize ASIC extraction on the platform by maximizing the effectiveness of specific GPU traits, such as memory.
But most of the developers believe that the update should be performed only after Constantinople, the imminent update of the fixed network of the network, scheduled for October or November of this year.
Speaking in Github, Martin Holst Swende, responsible for security for the Ethereum Foundation, wrote: "I do not think we should conclude it in Constantinople".
"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 testing … My opinion is that we should consider a dedicated service [proof-of-work] changing the rigid fork shortly after Constantinople. "
Even so, there are signs that the GPU miners 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 victim to the whims and desires of a centralized population of ASIC miners.
Although not yet a reality, the simple existence of ASIC miners on ethereum, along with the more recent development of even more powerful ASICs, was sufficient for GPU extraction supporters to seek community intervention. of developers – and soon.
Tagging him as "a very high threat against ethereum", a user who was following the "gfunksound" handle on GitHub claimed:
"We have many cases of ASICs that completely dominate a currency and force them to make political decisions under the threat of arms, and I do not think Ethereum's core developers want to put themselves in this situation."
In fact, some argue that, in the case of a platform dominated by 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 which eliminates energy expenditure by extracting it altogether.
Since this was the final goal of the first days of the creation of the network by the founder Vitalik Buterin, the user of GitHub "Sinabi" adds that "the centralization by miners will force the ETH team to meet in definitive more [ASIC miners’] requests with respect to the original neutral vision on which it was founded. "
Allegations of censorship also emerged.
MoneroCrusher, 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 initially been removed just as he "began to gain traction".
The developers, however, rejected this accusation.
Ethereum client developer Afri Schoedon told CoinDesk that the Reddit thread in question had been "scolded by a moderator for error" and that there was no "deliberate censorship going on". And according to independent ethereum developer Alexey Akhunov, the rumors about Reddit seen in the past few days have been "too emotional to actually be useful anywhere".
Yet other developers have taken a more open stance on the notion of a rigid fork focused on the strength of the ASIC.
The developer of Ethereum Nick Johnson has argued that after speaking with the main proponents of ProgPoW, he is in favor of the objectives of the proposal.
"I am also fairly confident that it is a useful and necessary change to preserve the decentralization of Ethereum mining until the PoS is ready to be distributed," he told CoinDesk.
At the same time, developers like Schoeden are wary of making any hasty implementation, stating that "urgent changes" would risk both "network security and stability".
Schoeden also reiterated on GitHub that, in terms of implementation, ProgPoW would certainly not be considered in time for Constantinople, saying:
"We have been working on Constantinople for 11 months, and the hard gallows are final.Any other proposal, however small, must go on the next hard fork."
For 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 likely or likely to succeed as ProgPOW.
On the other hand, developers like Schoedon see a longer time horizon, anticipating that the proposal will require "at least 12 months from the implementation, test, to the distribution of the main network".
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