Ethereum (ETH) Developers Actively Looking For Beacon Chain ASICs
Apparently, Ethereum developers are actively looking to purchase application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for the beacon chain, a side-chain that coordinates Ethereum shards and Proof of Stake validators. In this regard, an Ethereum developer was recently quoted saying that he is scouring the market for exotic semiconductors to build a digital ASIC with millions of logic gates that will have an incredibly fast processor at a budget of $30 million. The developer further added that the ASIC will be created for the Ethereum open-source project and will have a n open-source electronic circuitry.
Seemingly, the Ethereum beacon chain will leverage Verifiable Delay Functions (VDFs). As per the founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, VDFs can achieve randomness by getting entropy for validators. The importance of randomness of the orders is to obscure their destination as well as their intended function. If not randomized, such orders can be easily manipulated. However, the randomization process is considerably challenging.
According to Justin Drake, an Ethereum developer, VDFS can be fundamental in the randomization of orders because it has advantages over other mechanisms. However, the problem is that a developer who build ASICs that can compute VDFs faster and efficiently than GPUs and CPUs and then use the same computer to cause havoc. As a counter measure, developers have proposed a scheme where the advanced ASICs perform the computations, present the hash for verification by other ASICs, and finally send the hash to third-party nodes.
Additionally, Justin said that the ASICs are likely to be power intensive, consuming an n average of 10W. To this end, he likened the devices to powerful high-end graphics cards. Drake concluded by expressing optimism that a VDF-capable ASIC will soon be available, referring to the $30 million budget as a sufficient incentive.