[bitcoin-dev] Making AsicBoost irrelevant

Jannes Faber jannes.faber at gmail.com
Wed May 11 09:21:10 UTC 2016

On 11 May 2016 at 05:14, Timo Hanke via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

> There is no way to tell from a block if it was mined with AsicBoost or
> not. So you don’t know what percentage of the hashrate uses AsicBoost at
> any point in time. How can you risk forking that percentage out? Note that
> this would be a GUARANTEED chain fork. Meaning that after you change the
> block mining algorithm some percentage of hardware will no longer be able
> to produce valid blocks. That hardware cannot “switch over” to the majority
> chain even if it wanted to. Hence you are guaranteed to have two
> co-existing bitcoin blockchains afterwards.
> Again: this is unlike the hypothetical persistence of two chains after a
> hardfork that is only contentious but doesn’t change the mining algorithm,
> the kind of hardfork you are proposing would guarantee the persistence of
> two chains.

Assuming AsicBoost miners are in the minority, their chain will constantly
get overtaken. So it will not be one endless hard fork as you claim, but
rather AsicBoost blocks will continue to be ignored (orphaned) until they
stop making them.

That hardware cannot “switch over” to the majority chain even if it wanted
> to.

They will in fact continually "switch over" to the majority, they just are
unable to extend that majority chain themselves.

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