Ethereum [ETH], the second-largest coin by market cap, has taken the center stage as the much-anticipated hard fork, Constantinople is set to happen in the upcoming days. The community has been waiting for the upgrade since 2017, with the fork proposing delaying the difficulty bomb for 12 months and reducing the block mining reward issuance to as low as 3 ETH.
The decision of the reducing the reward issuance caused a spark in the community, with many standing for the upgrade and other against it. However, the latest decision made by the Ethereum core dev team seems to be the new controversy of the town.
During the recent Ethereum Core Devs meeting, the team discussed whether there was going to be ProgPoW – Programmatic Proof-of-Work implementation irrespective of its timeframe. According to IfDefElse, ProgPow is a “GPU-tuned extension of Ethash that minimizes the efficiency gap available to fixed-function hardware”.
The proposal came into light in the year 2018 because of the miners” frustration over ASIC mining hardware on Ethereum. Based on the previous discussions amongst developers, the implementation of ProgPow could probably go live in the next hard fork or as a standalone system-wide upgrade.
Martin Holst Swende, a security officer for the Ethereum Foundation put across certain pointers on why he wants the implementation during the meeting. He said:
“We know for a fact that there exists basic miners so it’s obviously profitable to manufacture and/or buy and use ASIC miners there is some E3 as I understand it is the first generation ASIC miners but there was a second generation ASIC miners, one from Bitmain which I’m not sure if it’s even publicly released yet and there’s also some other companies produced some ASIC mining for Ethereum.”
He went on to say that the other fact was the existence of the FPGA-based GPU accelerations that can be used to make profit, sold by very few players in the market. Additionally, Holst Swende stated that ProgPow is more ASIC resistant and more resistance to accelerators like the FPGA-based GPU. He added:
“Yeah there’s grounds to believe that switching to ProgPow could postpone the level of ASIC on our network for at least a year probably a lot more than that. Yeah, so we know today that ETHhash has flaws which are actively being targeted that’s why I would like to switch as soon as possible to give us more time to move the proof of stake.”
Furthermore, it was decided that the Foundation would be tentatively going ahead with the ProgPow, and would probably hit the pause button only when a major problem is detected during the testing rounds.
Houlian, a Youtube user, stated:
“[…] I don’t see the use of progpow right now when current and next gen asics don’t have much advantages to GPUs? (resell value + hash/power). Btw your gpu miners will now hash at half of their speeds on progpow and you will have them consume more power as a result (to compensate the hash rate lost). Also, mining Ethereum will now be exclusive to Nvidia and Amd products. How does this work for decentralization of mining/crypto ?”