Ethereum Developer Expresses His Reasons For Supporting The Implementation Of ProgPow On The Network
One of the biggest discussions in the Ethereum community has been the implementation of the Programmatic Proof-of-Work (ProgPow). Most of the community has been supportive of adding the protocol, and there have been many people to speak out on why they are in favor. Martin Holst Swende, who is a core developer with the Ethereum Foundation, released a statement on exactly why he is following along.
Least Authority recently audited ProgPow, after being selected by Ethereum Cat Herders, hoping to discover if the protocol follows through with the promises of how it will perform. While the funding appears to be adequate, the team is built to still continue without the audit or benchmarking.
Swende commented that the current algorithm, ETHhash, is already “pretty well-designed.” Still, the reason that ASICs were recently implemented was the result of Innosilicon, Bitmain, and similar manufacturers. He implied that the other ASIC adaptions for POW mechanisms were more dramatic in the improvements, and there are still plenty of flaws to be corrected.
Still, Swende commented that he is under the belief that there is no ASIC that will be launched to handle ProgPow. If it ever is created, then the “scale would be kept low enough to fly under the radar.” Creating a ProgPow ASIC at a large-scale level would be risky, potentially leading the hardware to be bricked again. As Swende writes,
“Their next-gen Asic also needs to beat the next-gen GPU.”
In the past, and even now, Ethereum has largely been resistant to ASICs, which means that a “conservative” past is best. He explained the potential of remaining with ETHhash, miners will have to purchase ASICS from one of the main three manufacturers in the industry. If it is developed, miners will be forced to buy the latest ASIC model to stay involved with the community. Then, the questions arise of how capable the manufacturers are of supplying the whole ecosystem with these tools, and if this option would be profitable or even worth it.
There has even a risk of that these miners may be completely eliminated from being blacklisted. Considering that mining farms are around the world, and ETH hash is based within certain miners, there is a chance that the mining will end up being dominated by Chinese miners that have the hardware. In switching to ProgPow, the mining farms in the industry can keep operating in the best places for them, and the GPUs aren’t centralized to one place in the world.
With an ASIC ecosystem, there is nothing for that hardware to do beyond mining a specific coin, which could either prevent an attack on the coin, or it can create resistance towards PoS and push out ASIC. Swende believes that both of these options are good, but that the former would mean that ASICs would be less likely to attack Ethereum over GPU miners, which has yet to be a concern for the platform. He said that he would not “choose the benefit of [the first option] at the expense of the [second option].”
He concludes the statement by adding a few more reasons that he continues to support the ProgPow implementation, including the community of Ethereum as the top reason. The community obviously wants it, which is the biggest reason to keep it anyway. He adds that the “small overhead” and the “known ‘evils.’”
View the entire blog from Swende, visit https://swende.se/blog/Progpow.html.