Mining is coming back to hobbyists in a long-awaited upgrade
Ethereum core developers are moving forward with ProgPoW, an update for making Ether mining more ASIC resistant. The hardfork is tentatively scheduled for July.
Ethereum core developers, once again, came to consensus on implementing ProgPoW. The hardfork is scheduled to happen three weeks after EIP-1962, a non-contentious update that will add additional cryptographic functions to Ethereum. EIP-1962 is tentatively scheduled to go live sometime in June.
Core Developers Stand Behind ProgPoW
This is the third time the core developers have discussed and agreed to implement ProgPoW. The core developers seem to stand behind the improvement, though a few expressed “unease” at the chance of splitting the community.
The developers recognize that the hardfork for ProgPoW is “contentious.” Some raised concerns that exchanges may run Ethereum versions with both the old and the new mining algorithm—creating a new fork of Ethereum—to maximize fees on their platforms. This would split the community.
That said, James Hancock, Ethereum Hardfork Coordinator, voiced that a split is unlikely. ProgPoW is the most “ready to go” of the Ethereum improvement proposals, he said.
“I have not seen any evidence that there is an ideological or people willing to step up and actually have a network split. If I’m wrong I’ll resign as hardfork coordinator,” said Hancock.
Ethereum already split once, as some may remember. “The DAO,” the first attempt at a so-called decentralized autonomous organization, was exploited for 3.6 million ETH. Core developers decided to refund those affected. Dissenters formed Ethereum Classic in response to what they saw as developer overreach.
Notable Objections to ProgPoW
However, at least two influential project heads are opposed to ProgPoW. SpankChain CEO Ameen Soleimani and Gnosis founder (and OpenEthereum maintainer) Martin Köppelmann expressed objections to the upgrade.
These executives were invited to voice their objections at the next core developer meeting. Though, that won’t change the decision of the team, said core dev Hudson Jameson:
“There will be plenty of time for open dissent that won’t really change the decision, necessarily, because we’ve already gone back and forth and approved it twice.”