[Bitcoin-development] ASIC-proof mining
bitcoin-devel at jerviss.org
Fri Jul 4 16:50:00 UTC 2014
Just some general comments on this topic/discussion.
I suspect that there exist no algorithms which cannot be done better in
an application-specific device than in a general purpose computer. And
if there is such a thing, then it must necessarily perform best on one
specific platform, making that platform the de facto application
I'm not sure how one would go about proving or disproving that, but it
seems very likely to be true.
IO-bound is exactly the same as memory bound, for devices that have
enough memory. 20 GB is already trivial today, and you don't really get
into ask-the-wife-for-permission money until you cross 128 GB. The
exception would be if the IO was to an oracle outside of the device's
control, and artificially limited in throughput. Such a centralized
oracle would be contrary to the goals usually stated by people thinking
about anti-ASIC designs, so there isn't much point.
Keeping the algorithm simple, and ASIC-easy, has one other advantage.
Just about anyone can sit down and design an ASIC for SHA, for example,
leading to diversity in the marketplace. A harder algorithm can still
be made into an ASIC (or more generally into an ASD), but will require
more skilled designers, more expensive fabrication, etc. This actually
concentrates the ASIC advantage into the hands of fewer people, which
again, is contrary to the stated goals.
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