Ethereum’s Controversial Algorithm ProgPoW Is Most ASIC Friendly, Reveals A Bug

Sateesh Swaminanthan
I am a techsavy, otaku and Crytogeek. loves to talk and write about latest tech, new anime and happenings in Cryptosphere.
  • ProgPow which translates to programmatic Proof of Work for Ethash.
  • Ethash is a planned Proof of Work algorithm for Ethereum v1.0.
  • The bug is proof that the higher the difficulty is the more profitable it will be in theory.

ProgPoW 64-Bit?

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ProgPow which translates to programmatic Proof of Work for Ethash. Ethash is the proof of work functions in the Ethereum based blockchain currencies, it uses a hash function eventually standardized to SHA-3 known as Keccak.

Ethash is a planned Proof of Work algorithm for Ethereum v1.0. recent findings showed that the ProgPoW is more ASICs “Application Specific Integrated Circuits” friendly than the current Ethereum Algorithm “Ethash” itself.

According to Kristy-Leigh Minehan, the public face of ProgPoW, she has been pushing ASIC resistant Algorithm for years but the findings show that they are not actually that Asics resistant.

Ethash is better!

The difference between the Ethash and ProgPoW is Ethash uses 256-bits for its seed and ProgPoW uses -Bits which compared to Ethash 192-bit less and ProgPoW makes up for that bit elsewhere.

Some finding indicates that a single seed is enough to do the memory-hard part for once. The difference between 64 and 256 might not look like much but it is proven decisive and it can just brute force the key ASICs resistance component in an ordinary laptop then the ASICs mine the rest.

The bug is proof that the higher the difficulty is the more profitable it will be and it still not conveys the intention as it is meant to be there for the backdoor of sorts to the centralized Ethereum mining.

The bug was not found by Auditors, Proposed ProgPoW or researchers but found by the Public face of ProgPoW, Kristey-Leigh Minehan.

Minehan herself is an expert in the cryptocurrency mining field and she can able to kind of hack into GPUs turning them into FPGAs that mine better than regular GPUS.

So, maybe that it is the reason that the bug was not found until the ProgPoW was shelved and this type of bugs can be spotted by someone who has very specialized knowledge in the field like Minehan and able to engage in Peer review.

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