Ethereum: ASIC vs. GPU Mining debate rekindled before Constantinople Hard Fork again


The upcoming Constantinople Hard Fork and the Ethereum Devcon4 are getting closer and closer. Coming closer with the ASIC but also seems again. GPU Mining debate flare up, as many miners believe is the ideal time to shut out ASIC Miner from the Ethereum network.

Already at the end of March, the discussion arose when Ethereum core developer Piper Merriam had published a discussion proposal (EIP) on Github, which proposed modifying the ethash mining algorithm to banish ASICs from the Ethereum network. The proposal was then the result of a rumor that Bitmain will publish an Ethash ASIC miner.

In Ethereum Improvement Proposal 958 (EIP 958), Merriam stated that, in his opinion, it is a recognized fact in the crypto community that ASICs lead to centralization of the network. This should be urgently changed by a change in the mining algorithm, if Bitmain publishes an Ethash Miner.

Now some months have passed and Bitmainer has released the Ethereum-specific Antminer E3. In addition, with the new A10 Ethmaster from Innosilicons, another Ethereum ASIC miner is in the starting blocks, and mass mailing will begin in the first week of September. Therefore, some in the mining community are currently working to block ASIC mining. They argue that GPU mining rigs are being pushed out of the network by ASICs, thus ushering in the end of GPU mining.

In March, Merriam issued a vote on Ethereum’s hard-forcing to banish ASIC miners. At that time, 1079 voted in favor and only 45 against. The day before, Vlad Zamfir, also an ETH-Core developer, had compiled his own Twitter survey, in which, of nearly 7,000 votes, 57 percent of the participants voted “Yes”.

And yet, the discussion seemed to have evaporated until recently. On Monday, CryptoBlockchainTech opened a thread on‘s Ethereum community website to resume the proposal for the Hard Fork before the upcoming Hard Fork Constantinople will be activated in mid-October.

CryptoBlockchainTech writes:

“I heard a conference call a few days ago and would like to share with you the information I heard from more than 500+ Ethereum miners during the call. I know that you [the Ethereum Core developers] are trying to strike a balance to make sure the mining community accepts the reward changes and the difficulty bombing. I have a solution that would make it a lot easier. ”

CryptoBlockchainTech also stated:

“I think I can speak for the mining community by saying that if you simultaneously changed an anti-ASIC POW mining algorithm, we would be extremely open to reducing rewards and difficulty bombing.”

Another user named BsDum on the site wrote:

“The announced Bitmain ASIC, the E3, is about 10% to 20% more efficient than an average GPU mining rig – 200mh at 760W. The most pressing concern, however, is the Innosilicon A10, which has a 10-nanometer processor from Samsung with a specification of 485 mhs at 850 watts – about 150% more efficient than even the best-configured GPU mining rig. These ASICs are already in use and would begin mass mailing from the first week of September. Effectively, an A10 ASIC is equivalent to the power of 2.6 optimally tuned GPU rigs for the price of 2 GPU rigs and 50% of the operating costs. ”

Whether the current debate will come in time or at least be heard is, however, more than questionable. Especially since Ethereum Chief Wolf Vitalik Buterin did not respond when EIP 958 came out in March. In any case, it might be too late to activate such an important addition as part of the Constantinople Hard Forks. By October, there are only two months left, and all proposed changes are currently being tested.

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