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Author Topic: What are the pros and cons of asics in relation to bitcoin in general?  (Read 1553 times)
notig
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February 03, 2013, 06:08:52 PM
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The title pretty much says it all... how will asics hurt or help bitcoin itself? What benefits do they provide if any? what cons?

I suppose one con I can think of without knowing much is that it might be harder for your average person to just get hold of bitcoins if they can't mine them. Not being able to mine them is simply one less way of acquiring them so that is a provable con.
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dresdenreader
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February 03, 2013, 06:22:10 PM
 #2

At least initially, the people that have asics right now before anyone else does are going to be making mad BTC.

Other than that, when it's confirmed that the 1st and 2nd batches of avalon are out, along with the first order of BFL, the difficulty is going to rise pretty fast.

Ultimately I believe it will just make bitcoins more valuable as time goes on, and in fact it will make the entry point a little bit easier for people. A good example of this would be the BFL jalapeno. If it can actually put out 4.5 GHash/s, the payment of $163 versus the amount of money it would take to make a GPU rig pulling the same hash rating is insane. At the bare minimum you're looking at a price difference of at least $1500.

As a whole though, I think it will just make GPU mining more obsolete, just like GPU mining made CPU mining obsolete.

I think it's good for the system as a whole personally.

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Moshi
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February 03, 2013, 07:04:31 PM
 #3

From what I've gathered/inferred:

Pros:
The network is far more secure now that miners can get their hands on ASICs. While it's arguable that it's easier for a single miner to gather <51% of the network hashrate using ASICs rather than GPUs, it would have been even easier for a malicious party with enough funds to produce an ASIC to do just that while miners were still using GPUs.

The exclusivity of ASICs may pull the concept of using Bitcoin away from "mining" to "spending". My first impression of the system was not "instantaneous, anonymous, irreversible, decentralized transactions", it was "free money". That's not what Bitcoin's meant to do, obviously, but considering that any friends of mine who had heard of the system had the same "free money" idea, I wouldn't be surprised if it's a common conception. When you add in ASICs, however, there's no logical reason to bring up "free money" any longer as the average person cannot produce much from mining. Arguably a bad situation, but it'll bring focus back to Bitcoin's original intentions.

Cons:
There's an exclusivity in mining now. While (as stated above) there's arguably good to that, it also means the average Joe can't help secure the network. This is mostly overturned by point 1 (again, arguably). The bigger issue, however, is that at most 300 people will control almost half the network. That's a much scarier number than, say, 20,000 people, and means that's there's just that many fewer miners that need to turn malicious to really screw some things up.

...I can't think of anything else right now. Oh, mercy me...

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alexeft
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February 03, 2013, 09:08:57 PM
 #4

The bigger issue, however, is that at most 300 people will control almost half the network. That's a much scarier number than, say, 20,000 people, and means that's there's just that many fewer miners that need to turn malicious to really screw some things up.


That's exactly what I totally dislike about asics. At least until asics become easily and widely accessible, bitcoin is going to be less secure, just because relatively few people
have a lot of power in their hands compared to others. I just hope they are aware that doing anything malicious would be like shooting themselves in the foot [/rant]
dresdenreader
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February 04, 2013, 05:07:24 AM
 #5

The bigger issue, however, is that at most 300 people will control almost half the network. That's a much scarier number than, say, 20,000 people, and means that's there's just that many fewer miners that need to turn malicious to really screw some things up.


That's exactly what I totally dislike about asics. At least until asics become easily and widely accessible, bitcoin is going to be less secure, just because relatively few people
have a lot of power in their hands compared to others. I just hope they are aware that doing anything malicious would be like shooting themselves in the foot [/rant]

Seriously. They will have such an advantage with coin gain anyway, so for them to actually band together and take things over pirate style... But really asics will just make it better for everyone, especially if they just join pools, then everybody wins. Might not get as many shares but the blocks would be flying by so fast it wouldn't matter.

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mokahless
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February 08, 2013, 02:03:02 AM
 #6

Seriously. They will have such an advantage with coin gain anyway, so for them to actually band together and take things over pirate style... But really asics will just make it better for everyone, especially if they just join pools, then everybody wins. Might not get as many shares but the blocks would be flying by so fast it wouldn't matter.
yeah super fast... at 1 block every 10 minutes... just like right now.

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