Ethereum Classic mining algorithm change proposal sparks new debate

The ETC Cooperative development team announced that it supports the proposal to change the mining algorithm on the Ethereum Classic network to replace the current Ethash with Keccak256 (SHA-3), an ASIC-friendly algorithm. The programmers argue that the migration would raise the platform’s security levels against attacks by 51%.

The improvement ECIP-1049 Entitled “ETC Proof-of-Work Algorithm Change to Keccak256,” it was introduced early last year by developer Alexander Tsankov (@p3c-bot) and now championed by Henry Quan, CEO of the startup de equipos ASIC, ePIC Blockchain.

When he posted one Article in which he detailed that “a fork to SHA-3 would be an easy transition for current GPU mining on the ETC network” and that it would open the doors to a more diverse mining hardware universe.

Quan’s analysis is cited by ETC Cooperative as an “excellent technical document”, which would have motivated its decision to support the transition, which in theory would take effect in September this year, at the height of the 11,000,000 block, according to Tsankov’s own activation proposal.

Views on implementation

ETC Cooperative supporting migration to a new mining algorithm generated a new debate among the enthusiasts of this project, who on the one hand criticized its possible implementation, since it would affect the smallest miners. Although on the other hand there was also support, since it is considered that ASICs are used in other projects with low market capitalization, in addition that the changes would be made following an already established time line.

“Adopting an ASIC compliant algorithm, with a small market cap coin, is going to destroy the poor ETC community (…) The community is 100% committed to ASIC and GPU miners. A fork to an ASIC-compliant algorithm will mean that the chain will be dominated by FPGAs (reprogrammable devices) from the start and GPUs will just go off to ETH and ASICs will secretly mine. ‘ explained developer Kristy-Leigh Minehan from her Twitter account, @OhGodAGirl.

Other Username with skepticism it was @shn_noursalehi, who indicated that the community should make sure which way to go, because if ETC is upgraded to an ASIC-friendly algorithm, then the big miners that use GPU “will migrate to a #ProgPoW friendly currency and that hurts in ETC. These days a currency must clearly decide if it wants to work in CPU / GPU or in the ASIC area.

Since last year the debate on potential migration has raised its tone. In GitHub the user @phyro He indicated, in November of last year, that he did not support the proposal because this “will not solve the 51% attack because it really is something that cannot be solved.” He indicated that he “agreed with the idea of ​​having a simpler / minimalist and more standard implementation of the hashing algorithm.”

Meanwhile, @p3c-bot highlighted on GitHub that testing for potential implementation started in January last year on the Astor network and that he liked the project because, among other things, “Ethash is so poorly documented that only 1 or 2 companies know how to build a profitable ASIC for it,” but that “with SHA3 startups are likely to and others already known (such as Intel, Cisco, etc.) feel comfortable participating in the mining hardware market, since they know that the SHA3 standard is transparent.

According estimates By way of comparison, there are currently an estimated 6 million GPUs mining ethers (ETH), but in the case of ETC there would only be 800,000. If a modification in the algorithm were to be executed, at least 15,000 reprogrammable FPGA devices would arrive on the network, which would increase the processing power of ETC to 540 TH / S, nowadays and 16.4 TH / S.

At the time of publishing this article, Ethereum Classic, the cryptocurrency associated with the project, was trading at $ 12.14, up 2.37% compared to its price on Tuesday, February 11, according to statistics de CoinMarketCap.

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Ethereum Classic mining algorithm change proposal sparks new debate

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