Below are my reasons for supporting Progpow. This post may change over time, if I change my opinion or add more thoughts on the matter.
Ethash was pretty well designed. After a couple of years, the first ASICs started coming, from two manufacturers, Innosilicon and Bitmain. These were not dramatic improvements, compared to other ASIC-adaptations of POW mechanisms.
So at this point, while we know that ETHash was ‘pretty good’, we also know that it suffers from a few flaws. These are fixed by progpow.
Progpow modifies ETHash to be even more GPU-friendly. This means that the already pretty slim margins for creating an ETHash-asic become extremely slim indeed,
My personal belief is that no progpow asic will ever be produced – and if it is produced, the scale will be kept low enough to fly under the radar – since large scale production, and wide-spread use, creates the risk of the hardware becoming bricked again.
A progpow asic producer is not only in a race against Ethereum PoW developments, but also in an arms-race against Nvidia and AMD. Their next-gen asic also needs to beat the next-gen GPU.
Ethereum has historically been aimed to be ASIC-resistant.
We should not consider original intent as sacred – and please don’t think that’s the argument I’m making here.
However, to me, this means that the ‘conservative’ route forward is to keep this model. And conversely, if we are to change this model, then the burden of proof for why we should change this model is on the progpow opponents.
I think we should keep this aim unless we have very good reasons not to do so. A change in that policy should be an explicit decision based on rational discussion.
If we remain with ETHash, a miner / mining farm have the following option:
That is an incredible monopoly to hold –
If you are on their blacklist, they might not even sell to you.
Today, mining farms exist geographically spread – north america, iceland, china etc.
If we stay on ETHash,
If we switch to Progpow,
An ASIC ecosystem of miners means that there is nothing else for that piece of hardware to do, other than mine that particular coin. There are two sides to that coin:
These arguments are both good, in my opinion. However, the first argument means that ASICs would be less incentivized to attack Ethereum than GPU miners. During the lifetime of Ethereum, this is not something we have had problems with. So while I concur that it’s a theoretically valid point, I would not choose the benefit of (1) at the expense of (2).
The GPU ecosystem, on the other hands, can find other uses for their hardware when Ethereum transitions to PoS.
So, above are the reasons about why I support progpow. There are a couple of more reasons why I also think that Ethereum should go forward with the switch to progpow.
94%yes. That is almost 3 million ether voted yes, against
184Kether voting no.
77%of all miners voted, and all votes were pro progpow.
I’m not married to the progpow proposal – this is not a hill I’m willing to die on. But based on technical merits and community signals, I think it is the right thing to do, and I think it’s worth doing,
Edits: I originally wrote Intel when I meant Nvidia