There has been countless debate about ASIC miners. Many people share the opinion that they are harmful, but no one disputes their dominance. ASIC miners are without a doubt the apex predator when it comes to mining technology. Some developers have publicly stated that the mining chips should be outright banned, while others want to limit their capabilities.
Last week, the security chief at the Ethereum Foundation, Martin Holst Swende, shared his support for ASIC miners removal. He said he fully supports swift removal of any ASIC mining hardware from the Ethereum platform. Martin is currently working on ensuring code changes to the Ethereum platform are not in any way harmful to the blockchain.
ASIC miners are mostly harmful to others
Martin Holst is not the only technologist expressing such views. On the contrary, he has joined a growing number of professionals, who are currently working on the platform. Most of them believe that the chips have absolutely no place on the blockchain.
Just had a very productive chat with @OhGodAGirl about ProgPOW. I’m now pretty convinced it achieves its goals of being resistant to performance gains on fixed function hardware (ASICs etc), and that we should adopt it for Ethereum.
— Nick ‘Poisonous Sting’ Johnson (@nicksdjohnson) September 19, 2018
One of the biggest issues concerning developers is that ASIC miners will reduce incredibly the number of participants, who actually profit on the blockchain. This has also been discussed numerous times in relation with the upcoming hard fork Constantinople.
The upgrade has been in development for many months and developers are still debating on the issues that need the most attention. If no unexpected issues arise, the update will go live on the Ethereum testnet Ropsten on the 9th of October. By approximate calculations, it will occur around block 4.2 million.
Some experts are not entirely “anti-ASIC miners”. In defense of the chips, some technologist state that every GPU utilized for mining, should be considered an ASIC. Many people disagree with such statements and do not want ASIC-friendly views. Even though GPU’s are with a far lower cost and respectfully easier for the majority of the community to acquire, it will still not be worth it if they force a mass exodus of miners from the blockchain.