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An Ethereum developer has opened an Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) to discuss whether the community should modify its Ethash extraction algorithm to maintain ASIC resistance.
EIP 958, posted on GitHub by the Ethereum developer Piper Merriam, formally proposes that an improved ASIC resistance be implemented in the Ethash network instance, a consensus algorithm Proof-of- Work (PoW).
“I believe this is the wisdom recognized that ASIC-based mining leads to greater [in] centralization than that of GPU operation” , wrote Merriam
The EIP is a direct response to reports that Bitmain – by far the largest platform manufacturer using Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chips – has developed an Ethash ASIC miner and will begin shipping them in the coming months.
As their name indicates, ASICs are designed to accomplish a specific purpose, which allows them to maximize the effectiveness of a single application rather than a general use such as the processors and more powerful GPUs.
Bitmain and other manufacturers have already built ASICs for various data mining algorithms – including the SHA-256 algorithm used by Bitcoin – but other cryptocurrencies have attempted to use PoW algorithms that are resistant to ASICs.
However, the Chinese firm, which would have generated a profit of 4 billion dollars last year, has gradually developed ASICs, even for less used algorithms.
Since the ASIC market is dominated by Bitmain, many people fear that the development of the ASIC minors Ethash centralizes the Ethereum hashpower and gives Bitmain a disproportionate influence – an influence that she can not exert for the good of the community.
These fears are not isolated from the Ethereum community. Monero, for example, is committed to modifying his instance of Cryptonight ‘s extraction algorithm every six months in order to render unnecessary the production of a Monero ASIC miner.
An informal survey conducted by Ethereum developer Vlad Zamfir suggested that the majority of 6903 respondents would hypothetically favor a range to maintain ASIC resistance, while only 13 percent expressed an explicit disapproval of l & # 39; idea.
Merriam also requested that EIP 958 be added to the agenda of the Ethereum Senior Developers meeting next week, scheduled for April 6 at 14:00 UTC and broadcast on Youtube.
Image from Shutterstock to photo
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