During the recent Ethereum Core Dev Meeting, the developers team discussed developments pertaining to ProgPow, aka Programmatic Proof-of-Work, with Hudson Jameson heading the meeting. Other topics discussed by the team included the Istanbul Roadmap, eWasm, Pruning, and Ethereum client updates.
Programmatic Proof-of-work is an implementation proposed by the IfDefElse developer team in order to reduce the control of ASIC miners over the Ethereum network. This was made due to the rise of ASIC miners, resulting in GPU miners earning little to no profit for mining on the Ethereum network. The protocol is an extension of Ethhash, the current Ethereum algorithm and the main function of the protocol is to make graphic cards more competitive.
According to a blog post by 2.miners, there are two main features of ProgPow. The first is that it changes the statement of the problem in mining on a regular basis. Second, it ensures that all the components of graphics cards are used to their full extent, contrary to ASIC mining chips that focus on only one function. Currently, the IfDefElse team is collaborating with Nvidia and AMD, leading graphics cards producers, for the testing and implementation of ProgPow.
The schedule for implementation on the Ethereum network is yet to be decided by the Ethereum developers team, and the proposal is currently under third-party audits. In the meeting, Hudson explained that there will be “two components” to the audit.
The first component is benchmarking; funds for which the team is trying to raise on ProgPow. The second is checking how long it would take the ASIC chip producers to build a ProgPow ASIC and its performance compared to a GPU by a factor 1x or 10x.
“We can see if its even going to be worth it to implement or if someone is going to make another ASIC in three months and all our work will be for nothing since the work isn’t entirely done yet. And, so I feel like this would be a more major factor, whether or not to go forward with ProgPow.”
This was followed by Hudson speaking about miner’s preference over implementation. According to EtherChain, 57.8% of miners have voted on whether to go ahead with the implementation, with all of them in favor.