I have seen several cryptocurrencies list the feature of decentralization of mining through ASIC-resistance and pool-resistance. However, I have not yet found any whitepapers which explain how the pool-resistance feature is implemented and what are the proofs that such feature actually accomplishes its stated purpose. I want to learn more about ASIC-resistance and pool-resistance by reading some indepth white papers.


ASIC resistance is a buzzword thrown around by scammers trying to sell you what is actually impossible as well as a bad thing. Pool resistance doesn't sound much better.



To expand on @Jannes’ answer:

‘ASIC resistance’ is not technically possible in the absolute sense. No matter the algorithm, it is theoretically possible to create some hardware that can run the algorithm more efficiently than a general purpose device (such as a GPU). What ASIC resistance does accomplish is making situations in which creating a more efficient device is much more difficult, and perhaps only possible by a select few skilled and connected individuals and manufacturers.

So with this in mind, ‘ASIC resistance’ actually leads to outcomes of more intense centralization since a smaller group of individuals will have access to create/run the specialized hardware. Generally this is counter to the original intent of making an ‘ASIC resistant’ algorithm in the first place.

I have not seen any claims of ‘pool resistance’, but I suspect the same principle will apply: Making it harder to create/join a pool will only give the technically capable a larger advantage at the end of the day, because an absolute ban on pools does not seem technically possible.

  • Thanks for the better answer. And to expand even a bit further: the only way to get some sort of real asic resistance is by having humans change the algorithm, which puts those corruptible/bribe-able/blackmail-able humans squarely in control, i.e. another form of centralization. – Jannes Apr 15 at 12:24
  • An algorithm can be designed that makes creating an ASIC a lot more expensive. If the cost of an ASIC is exceptionally high it could actually deter them and help decentralization. – blues May 13 at 12:09
  • @blues reread my answer, high cost of development is a centralizing force, you have it backwards. If a system becomes valuable enough (which is the goal, to create value) then we should expect someone to create an ASIC. The easier it is to create an ASIC, the more decentralized the mining power can be. – chytrik May 13 at 17:38
  • Only up to some threshold. The cost can be prohibitively high: if asics aren't really profitable they are not going to be used, which in turn helps decentralization. I'm also not talking about hight cost of development, I do mean high cost of manufacturing. (High compared to the gain derived from using them.) – blues May 13 at 20:56
  • @blues practically, such an upper limit does not seem to exist for any algorithm used by a coin that becomes worth anything at all. 'ASIC resistance' is pretty much a scam sold to uninformed users. Having a high cost of manufacturing/development means a smaller number of people will be able to create the ASICs, and this is the very definition of 'centralization'. For a good overview of ASIC manufacturing in this regard, see this article: blog.sia.tech/the-state-of-cryptocurrency-mining-538004a37f9b – chytrik May 13 at 21:19

I found multy-pool resistance: https://github.com/goldcoin/wiki/wiki/GoldCoin-Whitepaper#multi-pool-resistant

And for asic-resistance see https://whitepapersindex.com/?q=%22asic-resistance%22 there are ~100 whitepapers found.

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