Is Ethereum resistant to Asic mining? No, this is a rumor!

In the past two days, the news of Ethereum's anti-Asic mining has become hot. Mining machine manufacturers are anxious to see it, and miners are also paying attention.

It is reported that the core developers of Ethereum have reached an agreement on upgrading the anti-Asic algorithm ProgPoW and tentatively scheduled a hard fork upgrade in July. This means that after the upgrade, the current two Ethereum Asic miners, Core Motion A10 and Bitmain Ant E3, will either switch to ETC or be laid off.

However, on the 24th, Qiu Xiaodong, the head of the Spark mining pool market, quoted Ethfans editor-in-chief as saying that the source of the above information was mainly an overseas media, but this media probably did not listen carefully to the developer's video conference. Ethereum Core Developers Conference on 21st.

What is the truth of the matter?

In fact, James Hancock, the Ethereum hard fork coordinator who expressed strong support for ProgPoW, but at the time some participants said what to do if the chain forks. So everyone does not agree with him.

Secondly, although James Hancock initially talked openly about when PorgPoW will be launched (so that there will be something like three weeks after the June fork), this does not mean that everyone has reached an agreement to launch an update.

A Jian believes that the media stated in the report that the EIP-1962 agreement was not controversial or accurate. It was not without controversy. Both the developers of Geth and Parity stated that this EIP was too large to be added at once.

In an interview with Babbitt, A Jian concluded that the information given in the above news was almost all wrong.

In short, there is nothing that Ethereum core developers can agree on asic ProgPoW. At least it won't be clear until the next core developer conference.

What is ProgPoW? Whether it can go online is essentially a game

The full name of the ProgPoW algorithm is Programmatic Proof-of-Work, which has a long history and was proposed as early as April 2018.

In short, it can be understood as an upgraded version of the Ethereum consensus algorithm Ethash, which is roughly a modification of Ethash to improve the efficiency of GPU mining as much as possible.

Once Ethereum is upgraded to this algorithm, even if Asic mining machines appear, these mining machines will not improve the mining efficiency much compared with graphics card mining machines. This further suppressed the development of Asic miners in Ethereum.

If this algorithm is to be upgraded, it is necessary to complete a hard fork of Ethereum. Of course, if the community agrees to the upgrade, the fork will not really happen.

However, around the question of whether the ProgPoW algorithm is worth upgrading, the Ethereum community has experienced about 2 years of discussion. The reason for this has not been conclusive. The differences behind it come from many aspects, including whether the ProgPoW algorithm is safe and whether it is Asic miners will also be born. Does Asic bring centralization of computing power? Does Ethereum need anti-Asic miners?

Whether or not to upgrade the ProgPoW algorithm involves many stakeholders, such as development teams, Dapp developers, miners, currency holders, miners, and even GPU chip manufacturers such as Nvidia. Therefore, this is undoubtedly a multi-party game process.


▲ Ethereum mining machine revenue ranking provided by Spark Pool

ProgPoW algorithm problem, which makes the development of Ethereum Asic mining machine a dilemma?

Bitcoin was born in 2009. In 2012, Jia Nan Yunzhi founder Pumpkin Zhang created the world's first Asic mining machine Avalon.

Ethereum was born in 2014, but it was not until April 2018 that Bitmain launched the Asic mining machine ant E3. To this day, Ethereum has only two types of Asic miners, in addition to Ant E3, and Core Motion A10. Babbitt knows that the mining efficiency of these two types of mining machines is not high.

Ethereum's algorithm is Ethash, which is a memory-hard proof-of-work algorithm. It is more difficult to design an Asic miner on this algorithm. Xinghuo Mining Pool Qiu Xiaodong told Babbitt that Ethereum's algorithm needs to write a file to video memory, so GPUs with video memory particles have more advantages. Asic miners can also pile up video memory, but the cost is relatively high. Coupled with Ethereum's need to transfer POS algorithms, Asic miners are more cautious when designing Ethereum miners.

Qiu Xiaodong estimates that the current computing power of Asic mining machines may not account for 5% of the total computing power of Ethereum.

Earlier, Chen Min, a chip engineer who had left from Jia Nan Yunzhi, founded Xunzhi in order to cover enough Ethereum mining machines. After a short announcement, there is currently no voice. In addition, Zhejiang Microcomputer Technology, which was previously invested by Jia Nan Yunzhi, also revealed that it is developing an Ethereum mining machine, but there is currently no voice.

Du Chao, the head of the ETC Fans Chinese community, told Babbitt that the ProgPoW algorithm problem did affect the attitude of some Chinese Asic miners to deploy Ethereum miners, so that Asic R & D was in a dilemma.

"Anti-Asic, the Ethereum community may consider fair mining. The computing power should not be in the hands of some institutions, but in fact, Asic has greatly increased the computing power of Bitcoin. In addition, mining machine manufacturers will not monopolize computing. Power, they must sell the mining machine, they cannot afford heavy asset operation work. In addition, if the ether continues to resist Asic, it may give opportunities to other new and powerful public chains. For example, Grin and Conflux , Microcomputer Technology has announced that Grin miners will be available soon (but their Ethereum miners are on hold). "

Du Chao said that in the ETC community, there are also different opinions on the ProgPoW algorithm, but he personally thinks that it should not be resistant to Asic.