Ethereum is going ahead with the ASIC-resistant proof-of-work algorithm.
During today’s Ethereum core devs meeting, the team decided to tentatively move forward with implementing programmatic proof of work (ProgPoW), a proposed algorithm to close the ASIC mining rig efficiency gap. Core developer Hudson Jameson noted the devs will pursue the algorithm’s implementation unless a major problem is discovered during testing. Also, a definite time frame was not agreed upon, as the core devs are discussing how much time is needed for testing and implementation.
There have been various development efforts surrounding ProgPoW thus far. The Parity and Geth clients have pending pull requests to add ProgPoW support, a testnet for the algorithm (called Gangnam) has been launched, and ProgPoW support was added to the Open Ethereum Pool (an open-source mining pool), among other developments.
Though ProgPoW will not be implemented with Constantinople, some community members want the algorithm to be included with the upcoming hard fork. A commenter on the meeting’s public forum suggested that ASIC resistance “is needed ASAP” to protect the Ethereum network from a centralization of hash power among ASIC miners.
Core dev Martin Holst Swende, however, thinks that “trying to squeeze [ProgPoW] into Constantinople would be reckless.” Although he firmly supports the algorithm, he also acknowledges that there have been various specification changes and limited testing regarding ProgPoW so far. “I hope to see it accepted, and ideally rolled out within a few months,” he added.
Some core devs also indicated that they were generally opposed to the idea of lumping Ethereum changes together into megaforks. Parity’s Afri Schoedon said, “We should not go down the rabbit hole whenever anything comes up to try to squeeze it in [to the upcoming hard fork].”
Although ProgPoW implementation is a work in progress, Constantinople is just around the corner, estimated to occur on January 16.
Dani Putney is a full-time writer for ETHNews. He received his bachelor’s degree in English writing from the University of Nevada, Reno, where he also studied journalism and queer theory. In his free time, he writes poetry, plays the piano, and fangirls over fictional characters. He lives with his partner, three dogs, and two cats in the middle of nowhere, Nevada.
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