Ethereum Devs Delay ASIC-Resistant PoW Algorithm Decision Until Third-Party Audit

Ethereum (ETH) core developers have delayed the decision to implement Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC)-resistant proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm ProgPoW. According to an Ethereum core developer meeting on Feb. 1, the team wants to wait until the algorithm is audited by a third party.

Ethereum core developer Hudson Jameson declared during the call that “there is a group forming or multiple groups forming to perform an independent audit on ProgPoW.” He explained that the audit is an attempt to establish how effective the algorithm would be in leveling the playing field for different kinds of hardware used to mine crypto, including GPUs, Field-Programmable Gate Arrays and ASICs.

Jameson also noted that data derived from such an audit should give devs enough confidence to make a decision. While there isn’t a timeline on when the audit would be concluded, Jameson noted that he expects it to be completed in March or early April.

After another core developer, Martin Holst Swende, declared that they have been trying to decide about ProgPoW implementation for several months and that he wonders how it is going to be resolved, dev Greg Colvin responded in a seemingly frustrated and moderately angry tone:

“It’s resolved by us making a f*****g decision.”

Also, when asked whether they need more data or if they should make a decision, Colvin answered that they “should just make it.”

Still, the overall consensus has fallen on waiting for the audit to be completed to decide on ProgPoW implementation. In the end, Colvin declared:

“I would happily decide today, but I’m not the expert. I’m happy to wait for the audit, but I’m not happy to make this decision in May or something. An awful lot of people would like to know so they can get on with their business. [...] ‘Am I going to spend $1,000 to buy a rack of CPUs or not?'”

The group also talked about collecting feedback concerning ProgPoW implementation from the community, with a particular focus on miner signaling. The signaling consists of miners embedding data on the chain, which signals their opinion.

As Cointelegraph reported at the beginning of last month, ETH developers at first had reached a tentative consensus to implement the ProgPow algorithm, which would decrease the divide in efficiency between ASIC and GPU mining on the network.

A few days later, an Ethereum code contributor suggested that Ethereum developers should actually embrace ASICS in a reply on developer forum Ethereum Magicians.