Ethereum Miner Linzhi Calls Out Project Coders for Proposed ASIC Ban
Shenzhen-based miner manufacturer Linzhi has published a statement in response to a “tentative” decision, made by ethereum developers Friday, to block specialized hardware, or ASICs, from securing the platform in exchange for rewards.
This would involve the implementation of “ProgPoW” in an upcoming upgrade, a code change that is optimized for graphic card, or GPU, hardware.
In today’s statement, Linzhi said it was “shocked” by the move, stating, “We reject arbitrary enforcement of rules, and request clear and equal guidelines to be established for all hardware makers.”
The statement continued:
“Today we are calling upon the ethereum developers to publish rules and requirements for what constitutes a good ProgPoW ASIC maker.”
Elaborating on the statement in an email to CoinDesk, director of operations Wolfgang Spraul said that such rules could include more transparency, or even monthly audits of hardware companies by ethereum developers.
“The rules should probably include defining better relationships between hardware makers, miners, and developers,” Spraul said, “That’s up to the ethereum developers to define, we think.”
Following the meeting on Friday at which the developer’s approved the proposal, discussion regarding ProgPoW has escalated, with several prominent community members coming forward to argue against the change.
ASICs for ProgPoW?
Linzhi is currently designing a chip for ethereum’s current mining algorithm, Ethash. Having expended $4 million on its production, the upcoming miner claims significant advantages over former ethereum ASIC designs.
In conversation with CoinDesk, Spraul also said that pending its implementation into ethereum, the company will research the feasibility of building specialized ASIC hardware for ProgPoW.
“I can publicly confirm today that we intend to study the feasibility, and then build, ProgPoW ASICs,” Spraul said.
Because ProgPoW changes ethereum’s underlying mining algorithm, Ethash, to be more memory-heavy, the code switch is said to make GPU hardware competitive with ASICs.
Proponents of ProgPoW say that if hardware designers try to build ProgPoW ASICs – which is to say a specialized chip with the sole function of computing ProgPoW – it would just end up resembling GPU hardware.
Still, Spraul denied this, stating that “Hardware innovation is non-linear,” and “We can accelerate ProgPoW by a factor of 3x to 8x.”
Yesterday, ethereum classic underwent a 51 percent attack – something that the cryptocurrency’s Twitter account claimed may have come from Linzhi. Spraul pushed back on such claims, saying “They are entirely baseless.”
Miners image via Shutterstock