[Bitcoin-development] ASIC-proof mining

Luke Dashjr luke at dashjr.org
Fri Jul 4 20:38:30 UTC 2014

On Friday, July 04, 2014 8:21:42 PM Jorge Timón wrote:
> On 7/4/14, kjj <bitcoin-devel at jerviss.org> wrote:
> > 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.
> I assumed this was obvious and self-evident for anyone who knows what
> a Turing machine is, but judging from the number of smart people
> wasting their time on the pursue of the "anti-ASIC" myth (also known
> as pow wankery) it seems I was wrong.
> Anything you can do with software you can do with hardware and
> viceversa (you can even do it with ropes and fire in Minecraft!!)
> Does this really need any proof?
> I think it's the hard-pow cultists who have to provide a counterexample.

Really, if people want to pursue a goal anything like this, they should be 
looking for "ASIC already widely owned" as the property rather than "anti-
ASIC". Thus, a sufficiently memory-hard PoW would really be "RAM is the ASIC". 
Whether it's possible to make this or not, is another question. And then we 
get back to "is is really a desirable property to have people capable of 
mining who have not given any indication of interest?"

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