A tough question for Ethereum folks

jph108jph108 Member Posts: 7
Dear Ethereum,

You have a lot of great ideas and I am looking forward to seeing Ethereum be a big success. I have a question on the development of the mining algorithm. In your DEV Plan it's mentioned that a new mining algorithm is being worked on that holds promise. Here is my tough question that I hope you'll take in the good spirit that it is intended. Since the mining algorithm is central to the whole process - do you have fallback plan in the case that finding a more decentralized and fair mining algorithm proves difficult? Could your system run on SHA256 or S-Crypt if needed, even though that is obviously not desired? If so then you are in a really good position.

With Best Regards,


  • StephanTualStephanTual London, EnglandMember, Moderator Posts: 1,282 mod
    Actually ethereum is very modular, and was designed as such since its inception (I remember a very old wiki article from January where Vitalik make a very specific point about this). RLP, the VM, and many other elements are useful in their own right.

    The mining algorithm could indeed be anything, in fact if you look at our codebase you'll find we have the testnet running with mining implemented as SHA256. Replacing this with a new algo is just a matter of changing a small amount of code in a single file.
  • cigcig Member Posts: 7
    Isn't trying ASIC resistance a waste of time? It sounds hard to get right, and ASICs are pretty fair once you've got to the end game of the race (which Bitcoin has done, or will shortly do, for you for SHA256).

    Fairness is where the price per hash unit doesn't go up too much when you buy in small quantities. I expect the bulk discount of hash power to end up being similar (same slope/shape of the price/quantity curve) to that of CPU power (you may get a discount if you order 100k ASIC chips, but then if you order 100k Intel or AMD CPUs, they will also do you a deal) because both are defined by the same fab economics.
  • jph108jph108 Member Posts: 7
    Thanks Stephan, that's really good to know.
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