The battle between cryptocurrency developers and ASIC technologies continues to rage on. Leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin Gold’s development team recently spoke out on their trepidation regarding the increasing sophistication of some ASIC-dependent mining operations generated by top mining corporations. Bitmain Technologies’ release of a new ASIC mining device designed to operate on the Bitcoin Gold blockchain has inspired the company to consider redesigning its algorithm to prevent the intrusion of potentially-harmful ASIC technology.
The very conception of Bitcoin Gold is rooted in a desire to avoid ASIC dominance over the mining market. The Bitcoin Gold currency resulted from a split from the Bitcoin Core blockchain when the creators reorganized the hash in the hopes of providing users a way to avoid the prevalence of ASIC miners on the traditional Bitcoin protocol.
The goal of the Bitcoin Gold protocol is to provide a “one CPU one vote” system, one in which sophisticated ASIC mining rigs are unable to use their expensive technology to centralize the mining project to select devices.
The project, however, largely failed. The recent release of an Equihash mining setup caused problems in several cryptocurrency ecosystems. The highly sophisticated mining rig costs a whopping $1,999 USD and guarantees an impressive hashrate of over 10,000 Sol/s with an error margin of five percent. The major component of this miner causing such a stir is its ability to process algorithms on several supposedly “ASIC resistant” protocols.
The company seems to have taken specific steps to attempt to fight against market centralization; they limited miners to one per person with the release of their Antminer Z9 mini to attempt to “prevent hoarding” and allow users all over the world to have a shot at one of the machines.
Measures Taken At Fixing The ASIC Dominance Issue
Despite these attempts, the Bitcoin Gold development team has announced their plan to revise the existing BTG algorithm in an attempt to prevent ASIC dominance of the mining process. The developers of Bitcoin Gold recognized the evolving threat, remarking that they had been “planning to do this for some time.”
Some industry professionals speculate that ASIC resistance may be an impossible dream for the developers of the blockchain community. Bitcoin Gold isn’t alone in its commitment to ASIC resistance; Litecoin’s use of the scrypt algorithm was initially vetted to be an ASIC-resistant protocol but was eventually revealed to be clearly minable by the hyper-specific mining setups.
It seems that every time a hopeful development team attempts to release a fully ASIC-resistant cryptocurrency, a savvy team of miner developers come forward with an ASIC capable of operating to mine the currency. Some professionals speculate that the only way that a system would be able to sufficiently resist ASIC rigs is if it were to regularly change its algorithm before new mining systems were able to be developed.
Ethereum faced a similar problem to Bitcoin Gold last month when Bitmain came out with its newest miner, Antminer E3, that was capable of taking advantage of the Ethereum hash to mine the currency using an ASIC setup.
BTG’s susceptibility to this latest ASIC mining rig only furthers concerns that perhaps no cryptocurrency can truly and honestly call itself ASIC-resistant.