Ethereum (ETH) Developers Again Split Over Issue of ASIC Resistance

The Ethereum core developers hinted at a possible ASIC resistance mechanism to arrive soon, while others suggest an ASIC-friendly network.

The fate of the Ethereum (ETH) network is still unclear when it comes to the issue of ASIC-resistance. During their latest meeting, the Ethereum Core developers suggested an upgrade to disable ASIC, but the question of the need for it was reopened by independent Ethereum developer Aleksey Akhunov.

He suggests that Ethereum will always pose interest to ASIC producers, and given enough time, a specialized machine can be created to mine any algorithm. Akhunov suggested that the Programmable Proof-of-Work, or ProgPOW, update for Ethereum may not disable ASIC production for good, and instead lead to the creation of a new batch of secret machines.

The decision to launch ProgPOW could only achieve a temporary effect, argues Akhunov.

In the past, the Ethereum network showed a huge increase in hashing power that arrived months before the official announcement of the E3 mining rig by Bitmain. This led to the conclusion that ASIC producers may use the first months of an ASIC’s production to mine profitably, and thus outcompete GPU miners.

The Ethereum network remained in limbo since the first mention of ASIC resistance in the summer of 2018. In the meantime, other networks like Monero (XMR) changed their mining algorithm, and projects like Siacoin (SC) disabled Bitmain and Innosilicon machines to favor Obelisk miners.

However, the potential abandonment of Ethash renewed the talks, especially given the interest expressed by ASIC producers in continuing to build machines for the Ethereum network. The presence of a robust mining business has also helped coins significantly, as a high hashrate and multiple miners and nodes increase a network’s security.

After last Friday’s developer meeting, Chinese ASIC producer Linzhi Corp made a call for the potential to cooperate with Ethereum and still keep the chance to produce and unleash specialized machines, but with a stipulation that updates in the Ethereum code will not make the machines obsolete:

The decision puts a brake on the plans of Linzhi to build with Ethereum in mind, while offering a more energy-efficient solution.

The business of ETH mining may be at a crossroads, with the reward falling in days. Ethash mining may not be as attractive for Ethereum Classic (ETC), especially after the 51% attacks in the past days.

ETH market prices remained relatively unchanged at $151.89, with days remaining until the Constantinople hard fork.

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