The Grin community plans to put up a strong fight against the ASICs for the next two years.
Grin is most known for executing MimbleWimble that refactors and helps improve the scalability and privacy of the Blockchain. Grin developers recently released a technical roadmap. The highlight of the roadmap is its strong focus on keeping powerful mining hardware away from the network.
The Grin Roadmap
The developers plan to change the cryptocurrency’s proof-of-work algorithm every six months. This has far-reaching consequences. Since these are system-wide upgrades, it prompts a hard fork with every modification.
It is important to realize that ASICs are known to work with only a single algorithm. Changing the underlying algorithm requires repeated updates.
However, hard forks have met with significant revolts from crypto communities. It is not uncommon to find community division following such events.
In the words of Igno Peverell, the pseudonymous lead developer of Grin:
“What we’re worried about is our early years and the potential first-mover advantage that would come with an ASIC manufacturer producing rigs ready on our first day. This would lead to an extremely centralized mining market.”
Furthermore, many in the crypto space share Peverell’s concerns.
Centralization in Decentralization
Various experts continue to see ASICs as a powerful centralizing force. The technology outpaces GPU miners, restricting the network group to a few mining pools at most. Moreover, Bitmain produces nearly all of the ASICs that mine cryptocurrency and thus maintains a monopoly of sorts.
Different cryptocurrency projects employ varied approaches to tackle this problem. Some are trying to eliminate hardware altogether. Others aim to compete with the Chinese mining behemoth.
Grin is focusing on merely restricting their use on the network in the short-term.
Peverell continued, “I think what’s interesting for everyone to realize, and that was maybe not true yet a year ago, is that ASICs have essentially won.”
He further said, “we do not want to keep hard forking Grin regularly for governance and policy reasons.”
“We believe regular hard forks would bring too much centralization pressure,” he added. The developer team wishes to limit these hard forks.
Once the first two years are over, they aim to adopt the Cuckoo Cycle proof-of-work algorithm. This is a unique algorithm which would require the mining machines to expend more memory than the other proof-of-work algorithms.
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