Ethereum community is not warming up to Programmatic Proof-of-Work (ProgPoW)


  • ProgPoW is an ASIC-resistant PoW algorithm. 
  • The ProgPoW is meant to replace ETHhash, the current hashing algorithm for the platform.
  • It aims to smoothen the transition of the Ethereum network from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake (PoS).

Several concerns have been raised about the implementation of the controversial Programmatic Proof-of-Work (ProgPoW) proposal in the Ethereum community. It is an ASIC-resistant PoW algorithm meant to replace ETHhash - the current hashing algorithm for the platform. The implementation was expected to take place in the middle of this year following a call of core devs on February 21. Later on Feb 26, leading stakeholders filed a petition on Github, registering their disapproval with the decision. The petition claims that this new change lacks community support:

Because Ethereum is a global platform with a large and diverse group of stakeholders, it is critical that major changes to the protocol have a clear purpose and broad support. EIP-1057 clearly lacks that support, yet activation is still being considered.

Over 70 people signed the petition, including Hayden Adams, CEO and founder of Uniswap, Andrew Keys, co-founder of DARMA Capital, and Tim Coulter, CEO of Truffle Suite.

Changing the Eth1 hashing algorithm at this point in Ethereum’s evolution sows community division and introduces technical risk at a time when efforts and attention should be focused elsewhere.

ProgPoW aims to smoothen the transition of the Ethereum network to proof-of-stake (PoS). It’s expected to reduce the gap in efficiency between Ethereum ASIC miners and graphics processing units (GPU) to protect the Ethereum network against a monopoly of ASIC hardware manufacturers.

On the one hand, the supporters of ProgPow believe the change could help prevent a miner-led fork in the months leading up to Proof of Stake. The opponents, on the other, argue that the exact opposite could occur. Ethereum is planning the transition with the launch of the first phase of ETH 2.0 in mid-2020.

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