[Bitcoin-development] ASIC-proof mining

Ron Elliott ronaldbelliott at gmail.com
Fri Jul 4 18:39:07 UTC 2014

I feel everyone should re-read that last paragraph as it carries the most
weight IMO.

On Fri, Jul 4, 2014 at 9:50 AM, kjj <bitcoin-devel at jerviss.org> wrote:

> 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
> specific device.
> 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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- Ron
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