Ethereum mining may usher in huge changes, core developers tentatively upgrade ProgPoW in July to resist ASIC miners

Ethereum core developers are working on improvements using ProgPoW, and this update makes Ethereum mining more ASIC resistant. According to the latest news, the hard fork required to complete this improvement has been tentatively scheduled for July.


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Recently, Ethereum core developers reached consensus again on the implementation of ProgPoW upgrade. A hard fork is planned for three weeks after EIP-1962. EIP-1962 is a non-controversial update that will add other encryption features to Ethereum. EIP-1962 is tentatively scheduled to go live sometime in June.

Core developer team supports ProgPoW

This is the third time Ethereum core developers have discussed and agreed to implement ProgPoW. Core developers seem to support this improvement, although a few say it has the potential to split the community.

Developers realize that the hard fork of ProgPoW is "controversial." Some people worry that the exchange may use both the old and new mining algorithms to run the Ethereum version (creating a new branch of Ethereum) to maximize platform fee income. This will divide the community.

Ethereum hard fork coordinator James Hancock said it was impossible to split. He said ProgPoW is the "most ready" Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP).

"I don't see any evidence that there is some kind of ideology or someone willing to split the network. If I am wrong, I will resign as a hard fork coordinator." Hancock said.

Ethereum has been split once, and some may remember it. "TheDAO" was the first attempt at a so-called decentralized autonomous organization, but it stole 3.6 million ETHs using a smart contract vulnerability. The core developers finally decided to implement a hard fork to return the stolen ETH to those affected. Those who disagree with this practice set up Ethereum Classic (ETC), and Ethereum split.

Obvious opposition to ProgPoW

However, at least two influential project leaders opposed ProgPoW. SpankChain CEO Ameen Soleimani and the founder of Gnosis (also the maintainer of OpenEthereum) have objected to this upgrade.

These executives were invited to voice objections at the next core developer meeting. However, core developer Hudson Jameson said that this will not change the team's decision:

"There will be a lot of time for public objections, but this will not really change the decision because we have approved it back and forth twice."

How did ASIC develop on Ethereum?

ASIC resistance was originally a core consideration for Ethereum. The first edition of the Ethereum white paper explained how to distribute ETH through easily accessible computer hardware, which is more beneficial to community participation and the decentralization of tokens.

Unfortunately, this ideal does not last. Bitmain, a leading mining hardware company, developed Ethereum ASIC miners in 2018. A year later, Canaan also released Ethereum ASIC, which is five times more efficient than similar consumer hardware.

Having said that, although chip makers like Bitmain, Canaan, and Linzhi are clearly interested in keeping Ethereum with its current ASIC algorithms, this is not what most miners want. Mining pools that account for more than three-quarters of the computing power have voted in favor of ProgPoW.

When discovering the evidence of ASIC, the famous character of Ethereum, V God, Vitalik Buterin expressed hesitation about using network resources to resist ASIC, and said that PoS was imminent, which would make such an update unnecessary.

Two years have passed, and the release date of Ethereum 2.0 is still uncertain. However, according to the plan, the first phase of Ethereum 2.0 will be launched this year.

When asked about Kristy-Leigh Minehan, the author behind the ProgPoW mining algorithm, when she asked how this upgrade would affect Ethereum, she declined to comment, saying "the code itself says it all."

Ethereum Foundation security director Martin Swende clearly summarized this decision. "Everything has to be said. I think we just need to move forward."

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