78

Bitcoin was not designed to only be mineable with specialized hardware. When Bitcoin was created in 2009, ASIC miners did not exist, SHA256d ASICs did not exist. Even GPU mining software did not exist because mining was a completely new thing. Bitcoin's difficulty was low enough for Bitcoin to be CPU mined on a laptop. However over time, as more and more ...


22

It means that there will be no significant speedup by implementing the algorithm in an ASIC, as compared to a CPU based implementation. This is usually achieved by requiring a lot of memory, which when implementing this on an ASIC, translates to needing lots of physical area on the chip. ASIC implementations derive their power from having many physically ...


15

An ASIC is another way of running a program or calculation or what have you (in our case mining) using a PCB/Hardware instead of Software running on a general purpose computer. GPUs are technically ASICs, their application being graphics processing and output. ASIC resistance means your crypto is more fairly distributed because their is no centralization ...


13

GPU-mineable cryptos are arguably more decentralized. Sure, but in a bad way. Say you want to attack or compromise bitcoin. You have to buy ASICs to do it. You could use GPUs or CPUs, but you would be at a tremendous disadvantage. The honest guys would win. So you have to invest in all these ASICs to attack bitcoin. And if you succeed, you turn your ...


9

The bitcoin community would have to decide that they don't particularly care about having significant security anymore. ASIC-resistance weakens the security of proof of work chains because it eliminates the need to invest in a chain in order to attack it. Someone who owns lots of expensive ASICs will not want to let them be used to attack the chain they are ...


9

There's 2 versions of ASICBOOST: Overt where miners use bits in the version number as extra nonce space Covert where miners "mine" merkle trees with 4 bytes collisions The overt version is very easily detectable, whereas the covert one isn't. To mine these merkle trees for the overt version, miners need to shuffle the transactions in the block. Without ...


7

Contrary to the name the proof of work used in Litecoin is significantly more difficult than SHA256 to verify (it slows sync times noticeably), while simultaneously not achieving it's goals of being only able to be mined on a CPU, or a GPU depending when you read the pitch on their website. It offers very little resistance to being mined on a GPU or ASIC, in ...


5

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 ...


5

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. https://download.wpsoftware.net/bitcoin/asic-faq.pdf


4

I'm not an expert but I'm a good at digging through academic literature, and this is what I found about SHA3 with relevance to FPGAs and ASICS (and in comparison with SHA2). Note that this paper dates back from 2011, the winner of SHA3 was not yet decided as NIST only released the SHA3 standard in 2015. Take a look at the Keccak result in this paper. The ...


4

Are there any steps which I should include in my altcoin's mining algorithm to prevent ASIC mining? That's not really what you should be asking. You should be asking, "Can someone design an ASIC which is more effective at mining my altcoin than a general purpose CPU?" At sufficient scale, that is always possible. However, you don't really care if someone ...


4

People who say that GPU mining is more decentralized than ASIC mining forget that GPUs don't descend from the sky. There are companies that manufacture them, and since GPUs are incredibly complex pieces of hardware, the barrier of entry to this market is huge. If a startup company wants to start manufacturing GPUs for mining, it can't. Right now, ...


4

ASIC-resistance is a mirage. Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) are made to do one thing only and will always beat general purpose hardware. "General purpose computational devices like CPUs, GPUs, and even DRAM all make substantial compromises to their true potential in order to be useful for general computation." –David Vorick, &...


3

The downsides outweigh the upsides: as you mentioned this would require a hard fork, and would leave everyone (not just mining farms) who owns a Bitcoin miner with a very expensive paperweight, and as such it's unlikely a large enough portion of the community is willing to make the change for it to be successful. It would require throwing away a significant ...


3

In the linked article the author describes in quite some detail the failure of asic-resistance. (Thank you @Jannes for finding it.) ASIC Resistance We’ve been pessimistic on ASIC resistance for a long time, and our journey into the hardware world solidly confirmed our position. Hardware is extremely flexible. General purpose computational devices ...


3

The Scrypt algorithm started out as an "ASIC-resistant" algorithm, but it isn't anymore. Because it is highly memory-intensive, it was thought to be prohibitive to design and use ASICs for it. Initially it kind of was. With cost of memory decreasing and the necessary research put in -- in order to unlock the profit potential attainable using Scrypt-capable ...


2

So long as the difficulty can drop low enough there won't be a problem. If nobody cares about the currency, then it won't matter. If anyone cares about the currency enough, they'll mine a block. The only threat is if a large amount of mining power leaves at once. In this case, the difficulty can be very high and it can be difficult to muster enough mining ...


2

scrypt and scrypt-jane were chosen not because thay are "more difficult" then SHA-256, they are just different, and less suitable for GPU/ASIC implementation. Whether using such algorithms is good or not is hard to tell. I'd say, since one can mine scrypt coins with commodity hardware now, while mining SHA256 coins even with decent GPU rig is futile, scrypt ...


2

Aside from the forking problems that arise from trying to change the mining algorithm, ASICs are gaining a longer shelf life, allowing for more time to distribute mining equipment, ultimately helping decentralization.


2

That Bitcoin is only mineable on specialised hardware is not itself a design choice. It is a consequence of hinging the integrity of the system on a proof of work, combined with great interest in mining. The following is an oversimplification, but it's the concepts that are interesting anyway. The Bitcoin protocol itself does not mandate that mining must ...


2

Hashcash with SHA256 is about the best possible compute bound proof-of-work. In a memory bound proof-of-work (which Litecoin's is not), like my Cuckoo Cycle, memory latency, rather than computation, is the bottleneck, thus turning commodity DRAM into the ASIC.


2

Your premise is flawed. I think being good for ASIC was one of the reasons why Keccak won: it was both the fastest and had the best performance/area ratio among the finalists for ASIC reference implementation. By the way, it's easy to see why it is easier to pipeline in hardware if you consider it uses only simple and/xor/rot/not operations, doing away with ...


2

There's a group of us working on a new iteration of p2pool based on braids (a DAG-chain) and mining into payment (Lightning) channels. Like p2pool, each miner would construct his own block, and provide commitments/proof that payouts from the share-chain will be made to the appropriate Lightning channels (probably using "channel factories"). Braids solve ...


2

This appears to be old but to correct the above answer, Bitcoin Gold used to use the Equihash algorithm but recently forked to the Equihash-BTG proof of work algorithm in order to keep in line with the protocol's main objective, ASIC resistance. As for which protocol is better? I suppose for some that is a matter of opinion but if you ask me (and the ...


1

Bitcoin uses a Proof of Work algorithm that makes it the perfect victim of ASIC mining. As a result, it is not very decentralized (more than 50% of Bitcoin's hash power is concentrated in China and most of that is concentrated in a small area). Furthermore, considering the fact that just a handful of companies produce efficient ASIC hardware those companies ...


1

Agree with David's answer, but the security detriments of ASIC resistance (of which there are many) is somewhat besides the point. The entire value proposition of bitcoin, and what makes it so valuable above all other coins, is that it cannot be controlled by humans. If such a large change were to be made, the chain would not be considered "bitcoin"...


1

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.


1

Your question lacks historical sense. When Satoshi Nakamoto considered Bitcoin, he had lots of very difficult problems to solve. For instance, the problem of distributed authentication, a problem that was never solved before. You should recall that there was no peer-to-peer electronic cash system before Bitcoin. So, some of the current problems with ...


1

An ASIC is an "Application Specific Integrated Circuit". In the case of a Bitcoin miner, the specific application is performing the SHA256 hashing algorithm. That is the only thing the ASIC knows how to do. So long as the cryptocurrency you want to mine uses SHA256, you should be able to use the ASIC on that currency.


1

To answer some questions to the best of my ability: But wasn't this tried already with Litecoin via Scrypt mining algorithm? Yes, this was tried with Litecoin. is Bitcoin Gold now a better alternative? This is a matter of opinion. What's Bitcoin Gold algorithm? They forked to the Equihash-BTG algorithm. Can it become minable by ASICs at some point too?...


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