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just a general question, would it be ethical to start mining bitcoin using a shortcut, in the SHA256 hash (if that may even be possible), and mining at a much much faster speed using very less processing power/electricity than everyone else?

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    Ethical positions are going to be opinion-based (and thus off-topic), however no system can be secure under the presumption of "someone won't do something because it might be seen as unethical". We should presume that if it is possible, someone will do it.
    – chytrik
    Dec 3, 2021 at 1:32

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This is how all markets work: some individuals try to produce a good faster, cheaper, and better than everyone else, in order to make more profit. Over time, these advantages are diffused into the general public, allowing competitors to catch up. This process is called innovation.

In Bitcoin, people who produced ASICs initially had an advantage over those using CPUs, GPUs, or FPGAs. So did people who had access to cheaper electricity. However, Bitcoin's difficulty adjustment means that this rise in hash rate will result in a rise in difficulty for all miners.

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