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Author Topic: Why ASIC's Should Not Be The Future Of Crypto Currencies  (Read 10511 times)
Ja・1337
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October 20, 2012, 05:14:38 PM
#1

Why ASIC's Should Not Be The Future Of Crypto Currencies


ASIC's are not a natural technological generation leap like going from CPU to GPU was. ASIC's are simply specialized processing units made specifically for Bitcoin. Which i do not beleive is following the original intentions of Satoshi, for many reasons.

Moving from GPU to ASIC mining will not be the same as going from CPU to GPU mining. The reason here is because CPU's and GPU's have decentralized distribution. They are mass produced by huge companies  giving you the option to buy their products in any city, no matter where you live! This allows us to be in control of when and where we get our mining hardware, and to a certain degree, at what cost. (Which helps the decentralization process). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decentralization

While on the other hand, ASIC's are/will not be mass produced, supply is controlled, price is controlled, they are in limited quantity, can only be bought from a few companies/sources, that in reality nobody even knows for sure they can trust. So what will happen is all the miners in the world will be forced to rely on those few small companies for ASIC's, as well as the small quantities that they produce. And we will be subject to their pricing. They will also control the supply of the mining rigs, which can have an effect on the bitcoin economy that is similar to the effect that the U.S Federal Reserve and banks have on the money supply. I'm not talking about the amount of money/BTC, but when it is available/mineable to the miners. This allows ASIC  manufacturers to be in control of when and where we get our mining hardware. (All this hurts the decentralization process)

People will have to rely on the small quantities that these companies produce, which causes people to have wait for their hardware, which in the end causes people to potentially lose money. This is exactly what is happening right now. Many people are waiting to see what happens with ASIC's, so that they can start buying mining  hardware again. So, basically if ASIC didn't exist people would continue to buy video cards as i type this, which would have meant more profit for those people now and in the future, which would have meant more money in those peoples pockets. This is where the 'Federal Reserve effect' comes in, because now mining hardware companies can control when people buy/receive their hardware, plus control when people get more or less profit through controlling the mining hardware supply. Also, buying ASIC's from a few small companies means whenever those companies come out with a new model, this process will start all over again. More lost money, more time lost waiting for release/shipping.

Another downfall of ASIC, is the fact that ASIC's will make everyone have to 'restart from scratch' buying mining hardware all over again, when most people already  have their mining hardware in the form of video cards, and it is already payed off. Now you will have to sell all your video cards, then have to buy $1000's of dollars of ASIC's just to be able to keep up with all the other players with the increasing difficulty. After that, you will have to wait all over again to get your return on  your investment! Which could take half a year or more, once difficulty adjusts, which should just take about a month or so.

Once ASIC comes out, the difficulty will adjust accordingly. Which will just cause everyone to make the same amount of money as they were before ASIC's. So the question is, is it necessary for us to go through all of what i mentioned above, to just end up making the same amount of money as you were before with GPU's, just a month or so later, with ASIC's?

Because of the above mentioned costs, plus the added cost of ASIC'S, this can hinder the widespread global adoption of Bitcoin just because of the sheer expense. This is especially true for people in other smaller, less wealthy countries. It is much easier to obtain a used video card for those people. People that could be helping to build security and decentralization for Bitcoin!

ASIC's threaten to ruin any anonymity that Bitcoin has left. This is by potentially making it easier to track who is buying the mining rigs through the few small companies that sell the ASIC's. Which could potentially be bad if Bitcoin ever became illegal!

There are also many more smaller disadvantages of moving towards ASIC that are of less importance.

So now it comes to the advantages of ASIC. That's where everything boils down to in the end. The problem is there are not enough advantages to using ASIC, for them to outweigh the disadvantages it brings to the table! In my opinion, network security and lowered power consumption cannot make up for the potential problems that it brings. This is an economy. This is not about power consumption! It will all come down to economics in the end. And that is what I'm talking about. And that is the infostructure that Satoshi built Bitcoin on!

The  Bitcoin developers, and the Crypto Community in general needs the recognize ASIC's as a threat, and we should all do something to stop this from happening. I do not think that Satoshi would think the way these ASIC's are to be distributed would be good for the Bitcoin economy in general.  There are a few things we can do to combat this, like changing the algorithm to prevent the usage of ASIC's. Or, we could all switch to another crypto currency that that uses a different algorithm that is resistant to ASIC's, like Litecoin, so that we can save Bitcoin and our crypto-independence!

By Switching To Another Bitcoin Algorithm, Or By Using Litecoin We Can Save Our Crypto-Independence!


The only options we have now is to change the Bitcoin algorithm, or for everyone to switch to another ASIC proof crypto currency. The ideal situation would be for the Bitcoin developers to change the algorithm, but that does not seem to be what they plan to do. So that's where Litecoin comes in. While Litecoin is not ASIC proof, it is ASIC resistant. It runs on an algorithm called scrypt that is highly memory intensive, which makes it much harder to produce an ASIC for Litecoin. Even if a company would find a way to produce an ASIC for it, it would take at least a year to design, produce and ship them. So it would be our 'safe heaven' from ASIC, saving us from the many disadvantages and negative effects that ASIC threatens to bring to Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency world. At the very least, it would be buying us more time to work on something to prevent mining hardware companies from taking over our crypto currencies. People will be able to continue to GPU mine, continue to profit, once again allowing us to be in control of when/where we buy our mining hardware, as well as, at what cost we buy it at. Allowing the control of the crypto world to stay in our hands, not the hands of greedy companies!

Jay1337

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October 20, 2012, 05:22:07 PM
#2

Litecoin will also get ASICs if it succeeds.

You can only fix this problem by switching to proof of stake. PPCoin is the right choice (though its design could be improved). Litecoin could make this switch too. Bitcoin won't.change.until it is forced.to by meaningful compeetition.

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hazek
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October 20, 2012, 05:22:23 PM
#3

You see people, these few companies that you shouldn't even expect to keep their promises are different from all the other companies on this planet and don't seek a profit by building and selling as many copies of their product as possible. No, no, these companies are quite sinister, if one can even trust them, so sinister in fact that they don't want to make a profit!  Shocked

 Roll Eyes


No but seriously you fail, because this:

While on the other hand, ASIC's are/will not be mass produced, supply is controlled, price is controlled, they are in limited quantity, can only be bought from a few companies, that in reality nobody even knows for sure they can trust.

is contradicted by reality.

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meebs
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October 20, 2012, 05:22:29 PM
#4

"can only be bought from a few companies"

Considering AMD is the ONLY company that makes decent GPU mining hardware.. a few almost sounds like a good thing......

Ja・1337
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October 20, 2012, 05:30:00 PM
#5

actually i should have said

 "can only be bought from a few sources"

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October 20, 2012, 05:37:52 PM
#6

ASIC's are just going to speed up the process of centralizing the money, and making the poor poorer and the rich richer to an even greater extent than things are already.
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October 20, 2012, 05:43:56 PM
#7

Or By Using Litecoin We Can Save Our Crypto-Independence!
Litecoin doesn't help. It modified the normal scrypt behavior for inexplicable reasons to use only a very tiny amount of memory compared to the scrypt paper recommendations. It's quite easy to throw 128k of sram on a chip and scream out one cycle/hash.  You'd get an even bigger speedup over GPUs and CPUs than you get from Bitcoin.

As others have pointed out, in GPU land AMD was really the only game in town. The situation with bitcoin fpgas and asics appears to be more diverse. Moreover, without the public using asics an attacker could get a big speedup.

I've seen some POW ideas that I find intriguing for other reasons like amiller's idea of using fast random access to the txout set as proof of ability to rapidly process Bitcoin transactions but I've not seen anything that prevents people with custom hardware from getting a substantial advantage over the public except by getting specialized hardware into the hands of the public.

If Bitcion itself is made illegal (which seems like far out scaremongering to me, but whatever) then no amount of technical mumbo-jumbo can help it. People like to compare the prospects of outlawing Bitcoin to the unsuccessful drug war or to preventing the illicit distribution of copyrighted goods... but the comparison is not fitting: An unlawful drug still gets you just as high even if your upstanding friends won't touch it an illicitly copied movie still makes you laugh. But a money like thing derives its value from other people's willingness to accept it and even underground arms dealers need to eat and pay the rent, so even outlaws have little use for an outlaw currency.  For Bitcoin there is a double whammy: Bitcoin isn't secure if used by only a small niche, resistance to overpowering requires widespread usage.

Bitcoin will not be compromised
Meizirkki
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October 20, 2012, 05:46:39 PM
#8

ASIC's are the future of every cryptocurrency. It's only a matter of time. Without ASIC's bitcoin network wastes ton of power for no real reason.
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October 20, 2012, 05:47:51 PM
#9

There are two other factors to consider:

(1) The first wave of sales of a new technology are often riddled with bugs, problems, and failures (think first 4g phone that was released as an example).

(2) The next wave of sales of a new technology are historically significantly cheaper in price compared to the first.

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October 20, 2012, 05:51:32 PM
#10

The future of crypto currencies is forever to be the bleeding edge of computing processor design. So ASICs right now. Then it will be Quantum CPUs. Then quantum GPUs. Then quantum FPGAs. Then quantum ASICs. Then stuff I havent imagined yet.
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October 20, 2012, 05:57:54 PM
#11

1. CPU also can be brought from only two sources. Can You trust AMD or Intel not to include anti-Bitcoin features in CPU?

2. Next generation of GPU might be badly suited for Bitcoin GPU mining because of GPU architecture change.

3. ASIC manufacturing in few centralized places does not mean Bitcoin mining cannot be decentralized. Mining also is nothing to do as adopting it as a payment method. Not every Bitcoin end-user need to be a miner and most of them even will refuse to run full node.

OP just wasted bitcointalk.org SQL database space with pointless rambling.

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October 20, 2012, 06:01:31 PM
#12

Or By Using Litecoin We Can Save Our Crypto-Independence!
Litecoin doesn't help. It modified the normal scrypt behavior for inexplicable reasons to use only a very tiny amount of memory compared to the scrypt paper recommendations. It's quite easy to throw 128k of sram on a chip and scream out one cycle/hash.  You'd get an even bigger speedup over GPUs and CPUs than you get from Bitcoin.



Is it possible to use scrypt with memory requirement linked to difficulty? This could be GPU and ASIC-resistant forever.

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October 20, 2012, 06:10:47 PM
#13

Here's another perspective on ASICc coming to Bitcoin: the "nuclear weapons" perspective.

Let's say that we don't go the ASIC way and decide to stay with GPUs. However, the ASIC can be built and their hash power compared with GPUs is like nuclear weapons compared with AK-47s (and a few tanks, aka ATI 7970). It seems like a bunch of individuals can set an ASIC project up and deliver (Avalon, Reclaimer). Would you rather have that threat on the Bitcoin network of a possible ASIC disruption from a mal-intended person or would you rather give everybody the "nuclear weapons"?

Are you familiar with M.A.D Cold war concept? If those "evil companies" decide to keep the "nukes" to themselves or do fishy business-es every other miner will get pissed of, Bitcoin level of trust and interest will fall, word will spread out and in the end it could mean the fall of Bitcoin as a whole. What would those companies do with the mined Bitcoin now worthless?

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Ja・1337
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October 20, 2012, 06:27:13 PM
#14

Quote
It's quite easy to throw 128k of sram on a chip and scream out one cycle/hash.  You'd get an even bigger speedup over GPUs and CPUs than you get from Bitcoin.

Yes, wow, i didn't think it would be so easy to make one  Undecided

Also, i realize some of the things i say are highly theoretical, but i'm just looking at all possibilities.

My main concern is the centralized distribution of ASIC's. I mean, i can walk down my street and pick up a GPU. Can that be done with an ASIC?  Wink
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October 20, 2012, 06:31:05 PM
#15

Are you familiar with M.A.D Cold war concept? If those "evil companies" decide to keep the "nukes" to themselves or do fishy business-es every other miner will get pissed of, Bitcoin level of trust and interest will fall, word will spread out and in the end it could mean the fall of Bitcoin as a whole.

I am currently designing a bitcoin equipped walking battle tank to circumvent that problem. I call it Bital Gear.
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October 20, 2012, 06:53:12 PM
#16


My main concern is the centralized distribution of ASIC's. I mean, i can walk down my street and pick up a GPU. Can that be done with an ASIC?  Wink
You will probably be able to do this N years from now if Bitcoin goes really mainstream. Larger market of potential miners = more business opportunities for ASIC makers. Bitcoin ASIC must not be so complex to develop like CPU. I already have crypto ASIC for IDE harddrives that cost me about 150$ and IDE have much more complex commands and besides that it must encrypt the data with AES in XTS mode. More than simple double SHA256 operation and compare.

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October 20, 2012, 08:12:27 PM
#17

What a fail thread. Fail is over 9000
Meizirkki
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October 20, 2012, 08:31:00 PM
#18

What a fail thread. Fail is over 9000
^
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October 20, 2012, 11:21:25 PM
#19

Once ASIC comes out, the difficulty will adjust accordingly. Which will just cause everyone to make the same amount of money as they were before ASIC's. So the question is, is it necessary for us to go through all of what i mentioned above, to just end up making the same amount of money as you were before with GPU's, just a month or so later, with ASIC's?

Most definitely, YES! Difficulty isn't a means to make money. It is a means to provide security. When the difficulty skyrockets, the security of the blockchain also skyrockets. That isn't just a good thing. It is a crucial requirement for the health of the blockchain.

Buy & Hold
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October 20, 2012, 11:33:59 PM
#20

Once ASIC comes out, the difficulty will adjust accordingly. Which will just cause everyone to make the same amount of money as they were before ASIC's. So the question is, is it necessary for us to go through all of what i mentioned above, to just end up making the same amount of money as you were before with GPU's, just a month or so later, with ASIC's?

Most definitely, YES! Difficulty isn't a means to make money. It is a means to provide security. When the difficulty skyrockets, the security of the blockchain also skyrockets. That isn't just a good thing. It is a crucial requirement for the health of the blockchain.
Absolutely true!

The OP might be concerning that the consolidation of ASICs in hands of wealthy might pose a risk, but remember that the distribution of people preordering ASIC scam from BLF are distributed worldwide and sometimes are not highly wealthy. Some might been buying with bitcoins they mined with GPU. 30 000$ for asic rig is not unreal for average westerner working high income high-tech job.

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