Vlad Zamfir, one of the founders and key developers of Ethereum, posted a poll on Twitter, in which he asked the respondents to answer –weather they would support the hard-core, which will make ASIC miners incompatible with Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work (PoW) Ethash mining algorithm. 55% of respondents answered that they would support hardfork. 14% strongly opposed, 11% said – “It’s complicated”, the remaining 20% wanted to see the result. At the same time Zamfir stressed that this is not a proposal, but he was just wondering. ASICs use specific chips and therefore they are the most effective and profitable devices for mining crypto currency. Unlike CPU or GPU chips, which can be used for various applications, ASICs can be used in a single application. Therefore, the slightest change in the algorithm leads to their obsolescence.
According to Wall Street firm Susquehanna, the Chinese manufacturer of equipment for mining, Bitmain, has already developed an Ethereum ASIC and is ready to begin shipping until the end of the second quarter. Today, the Ethash algorithm, which is used in an Ethereum Classic and several other coins – is resistant to ASIC. This makes profitable mining using GPU. And every time Bitmain develops new equipment for mining, for new PoW algorithms – this leads to a long time debate about the centralization of mining. The appearance of ASIC for Ethash is of particular interest. Ethereum, the most popular crypto currency on this algorithm, – plans to move to the consensus algorithm Proof-of-Stake (PoS). Accordingly, many observers suggest – either Bitmain believes that Ethereum will not go from the PoW algorithm to PoS, or this transition will lead to another hardfork in Ethereum Classic.