Ethereum Developer Sees ProgPoW As Both A Political and Technical Discussion

The entire Ethereum community has had plenty of debate and discussion over Programmatic Proof-of-Work (ProgPoW). While some are in favor of ProgPoW, there is an equally loud side of people who oppose it vehemently.

Developer Kristy-Leigh Minehan, who has been working on the ProgPoW protocol, was interviewed by BlockChannel, during which time she discussed the reasons that the debate has continued.

Minehan stated that the ProgPoW is so much more than a technical discussion about the way that the protocol will function, considering that it is a political discussion as well. Both sides have valid points in the community. From the technical side, there is the issue of the type of hardware that will be securing Ethereum with the implementation, choosing between GPUs and ASICs.

GPUs are naturally programmed to be decentralized in nature, and they are easier for home miners to work with. ASICs, however, are geared towards enterprises instead, which means that the hardware would choose who mines. The other technical issue had to do with the need for ASIC resistance, acting as the goal of Ethereum’s network four years ago.

Minehan explained that “things evolve over time,” adding that developers, miners, stakeholders, and application users have been perpetuating the discussion over ASIC resistance as the main vision. Furthermore, she said that the “third piece” is about if the Proof-of-Work aspect is even a concern of Ethereum at this point, considering how imminent that Proof-of-Stake is.

The political discussion about ProgPoW is a little difference, speaking on the governance of Ethereum. There has many developers and stakeholders that do not feel like they are behind heard at all in the discussions of implementing ProgPoW, saying that it was done without any consultation. Still, miners also feel like they have not been heard in the matter, and that the Ethereum network finds no value in their contributions anymore.

Explaining, Minehan said that there are “many people” that “are really pushing back,” due to how technical ProgPoW is.

Miners have to thoroughly understand the way that GPUs work “intimately,” and the way that the hardware works. In trying to learn and understand these functions, miners and other participants are being faced with “a bit of confusion, stress, [and] a little bit of chaos.”

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