SIA Blockchain to Ban Top ASIC Crypto Miners, Allows Nebulous’ Obelisk Miners to Reap the Rewards
Sia Blockchain To Block Bitmain And Other Big Miners With Kill Switch
After years debating on this situation, the Sia Blockchain has decided: it is the time to give big mining companies the boot and cast them out of the Sia Blockchain environment. David Vorick, the founder and CEO of Nebulous, which is behind Sia Blockchain, has affirmed that the company will soon change the software to lock out some certain types of specialized mining hardware.
This way, companies like Innosilicon and Bitmain hardware will be bricked from the platform and people will only be able to use hardware manufactured by Nebulous’s subsidiary Obelisk in order to mine cryptos in a lucrative way from the platform.
The company has decided to follow this path in order to avoid a parasitic or abusive ASIC monopoly in mining as he argues that this is what the companies are creating with their sales of ASIC miners.
He has emphasized that the code change will be completely optional and that it will be configured in a way that any group of people who dislike the change will be able to ignore it like it was never actually implemented and the split will not impact any functionality of the blockchain.
However, despite affirming this, it is clear that Vorick believes that the decision was nearly unanimous by the community to support this decision to change the algorithm. The change is already being debated since January, as another similar proposal made by the company then has failed to receive support from the community.
The main problem that the community has seen with this proposal is that Obelisk’s ASICs will still continue to work despite the effort to “protect the community” made by the company, which explained that it is only protecting people from the community who bought Obelisk ASIC miners by not blocking them too.
Vorick’s main goal was made very clear: he wants to block Innosilicon’s ASIC miners, which he considers to be bad for the environment that was created by this token. He said that Innosilicon controls about 37.5 percent of the total mining power of the ecosystem and that they sell ASIC miners to other miners. This gives them a monopoly of the situation.
According to Vorick, the method behind the “Sia Kill Switch” will be basically activated by adding a tiny extension to the blake2b circuit (the hash algorithm of Sia). The circuit will be only slightly more complex in a random way and this will block the ASIC miners. As a result, as soon as the network upgrades, all chips that run unaltered blake2b algorithms will become useless.
The developer believes that this effort will brick tens of millions of dollars in hardware, so it will be a very important and impactful change. Other networks are having similar discussions on how to block ASIC miners. Monero, for instance, did it in April, while Ethereum, the second largest crypto in the world, is slowly building momentum to do it too.
However, the main difference, in this case, is that Vorick is not aiming to block all ASIC miners, only the ones from certain companies (that are not his own). Companies like Bitmain and Innosilicon can produce another set of ASIC miners, too, to solve the issue.
Vorick has agreed that this might harm the security of the at the short term, but he believes that, in the long term perspective, the change will be a good thing for the company.
Some people disliked the decision to change the algorithm. This may be a common thing in this type of situation but some people are very suspicious because Nebulous is not blocking their own ASIC miners. It is likely that many people will see this as an action taken for the benefit of the company.
While Vorick might be able to explain that, in truth, the team is very concerned to keep the ecosystem decentralized, it is obvious that the whole idea has some flaws in the vision of some people.
The issues of the company with other mining companies are very well-known at the moment. Bitmain, for instance, mined tokens for a whole month before launching their ASIC mining hardware. This way, it is very convenient for Nebulous that this change will happen, despite the company affirming that the community demanded it.