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Author Topic: If Core had to hard fork and use another mining algorithm, what would it be?  (Read 3151 times)
ChromaticStar
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September 27, 2017, 04:00:29 AM
 #61

With all the talk of "ASIC resistance" in the thread, here is a thought provoking question. Is the mining "industry" that was built around Bitcoin beneficial for its sustainability and longevity?

Like the crude oil industry, the whole world will not be able to drop it if it wanted to that easy because it is already embedded in the economy and has become a big part of society. Is Bitcoin going to be in the same position in the cryptocurrency world through the industries built around it?

Personally, I don't know if we need this many miners right now anyway. They're here to chase the money, not support BTC. When BCH was more profitable, what did they do? They left BTC to go mine BCH. If they even think they deserve a seat in the scaling/developer debate, they are wrong. The only thing we need them for is to verify transactions and protect the network, which they themselves proved requires a lot less or them than we currently have at the moment. There is a huge glut of miners, most of them are dispensable.
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September 27, 2017, 04:04:27 AM
 #62

@Carlton Banks: OK, now we established a communication channel, I think Wink. Your hopes for "randomly changing algos" are probably legitimate as it would be comparatively less profitable, compared to today, to use and develop ASICs. I am only a little bit skeptic, I think it should be tried if it's necessary, for now I think you convinced me that this would be better than Scrypt.

With all the talk of "ASIC resistance" in the thread, here is a thought provoking question. Is the mining "industry" that was built around Bitcoin beneficial for its sustainability and longevity?

A little bit of speculation (still without scientific foundation):
- Investments in Bitcoin mining are investments in Bitcoin's ecosystem, like it would be investment in exchanges or other service providers. So miners should have an interest in that the cryptocurrencies for which their miners are built (SHA256) are strong and see increasing usage (and value). If there is danger for Bitcoin to massively lose users, they could use their financial power to "back" it or try to solve the problems investing in a solution (e.g. in developers if a bug is found). However, as there was never such a situation, we don't know it. Until now I saw very little of such activity  ...
- On the other hand, the same happens with all other investments in Bitcoin infrastructure. In that sense there is nothing special about the "mining industry", although they definitively add value that "backs" Bitcoin in some way.
- A dedicated mining industry means probably more professionalism and more specialized knowledge when it comes to the PoW "part" of Bitcoin's security model.
- One could speculate what would happen to transaction fees and questions like the "blocksize debate" if we begun to use an ASIC-resistant algorithm. If most (bigger) users were also miners (like in the beginning of Bitcoin's history) and "usage benefits" are equal or higher than "mining benefits" (e.g. most miners were also Bitcoin service providers or important users), then there could be a trend to declining transaction costs (fees), because the miners would "vote" for all improvements that decreased the cost for mining, running a full node, and transacting. For example, they could embrace sidechains (e.g. the Drivechain proposal) or extension blocks, but they would probably not vote for larger "mainchain" blocks because these would increase bandwidth, hardware and storage costs.

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Carlton Banks
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September 27, 2017, 11:36:53 AM
 #63

@Carlton Banks: OK, now we established a communication channel, I think Wink. Your hopes for "randomly changing algos" are probably legitimate as it would be comparatively less profitable, compared to today, to use and develop ASICs. I am only a little bit skeptic, I think it should be tried if it's necessary, for now I think you convinced me that this would be better than Scrypt.

Well it's very much the nuclear option. I wouldn't expect a change that significant to be rolled out without a substantial period of public dissemination testing, more plausibly:

  • Code that disconnects BTC1 nodes on the basis of their fork-signalling bit (I believe that's already running on the Bitcoin network with versions >= 0.15.0)
  • Short testing period of a hash algo that's difficult to develop an ASIC for, followed by immediate deployment
  • Longer testing period of a the approach using a series of hashing algos + randomisation of constituents, series length and switching interval

The disruption and uncertainty of launching the series + randomisation approach as an essentially emergency measure would be too much even for the sophistication of the Bitcoin ecosystem. It would be difficult to achieve on the timescale currently presented, either sufficient design, testing and debugging or sufficient market contemplation or acceptance. There's a necessary amount of time to deploy the idea effectively, and so steps need to be taken to make that time available as a prerequisite.

But as an ASIC miner ejector seat, it would be rather effective on a more medium term timeframe Smiley

Vires in numeris
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September 27, 2017, 03:14:35 PM
 #64

I just wonder how the hashrate would look like when we have a lottery of different hashing algorithms changing in random times (or isn't the time random and fixed?)

Anyway I would like to see some simulation models of that before we go with it. It's clear that sooner or later we may need to do something like this, but it's not clear to me how it would turn out.

I predict for every type of hashing algo someone would be specialized and would have a monopoly for that period of time. Wouldn't that be a problem? What if someone has 51%+ of hashrate for a particular algo?
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September 27, 2017, 04:17:34 PM
 #65

As a miner, this thread is "interesting" to say the least......lol

How far we've come that the people who maintain the Blockchain are now labeled the enemy.
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September 27, 2017, 08:04:59 PM
 #66

I just throw in sth very abstract but killing:


For the long run, it does not matter.


Since some legends stated way before me at other places but very true, all profitable mining tend to centralization, no matter what algo you might choose.

The only 2 things  will disrupt this centralization are the typical Klumpen-Risks (lump risk)  that these central guys are taking. We can see this very good in China right now. Who knows, how long they have this ideal env there with cheap energy, non-regulated, chips....?  Also Island is on risk due to tectonic activities.

The second but most important one is the NashEquilibrium, that will keep down the monopolists due to lost of user- confidence in this game.

Relax and keep watching or do better risk analysis.

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September 27, 2017, 08:22:33 PM
 #67

@Carlton Banks: I basically agree, that looks like a doable "roadmap" - only in the case it's necessary. Let's hope it's not, at least not already in November.

@hv:
Quote
all profitable mining tend to centralization
While you are right that there will probably mining operators with large "farms" even if a "truly ASIC-resistant algorithm" is chosen, there are degrees of centralization. It is a difference if you _can_ try your luck with a PC at least in a low-electricity-cost country (or with solar/wind energy) or if you have to invest in hardware that only serves for one purpose. So I basically support the ASIC-resistant (or better: ASIC-unfriendly) approach if it's doable.

Quote
Klumpen-Risks
I think in English that is called "cluster risk", but maybe I'm wrong Wink (I think you refer to the risk that too many miners/pools are in similar regions with similar risk profiles -> China, Iceland ...)

I however do not get your point with the Nash equilibrium ...




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hv_
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September 28, 2017, 08:24:20 PM
 #68

@Carlton Banks: I basically agree, that looks like a doable "roadmap" - only in the case it's necessary. Let's hope it's not, at least not already in November.

@hv:
Quote
all profitable mining tend to centralization
While you are right that there will probably mining operators with large "farms" even if a "truly ASIC-resistant algorithm" is chosen, there are degrees of centralization. It is a difference if you _can_ try your luck with a PC at least in a low-electricity-cost country (or with solar/wind energy) or if you have to invest in hardware that only serves for one purpose. So I basically support the ASIC-resistant (or better: ASIC-unfriendly) approach if it's doable.

Quote
Klumpen-Risks
I think in English that is called "cluster risk", but maybe I'm wrong Wink (I think you refer to the risk that too many miners/pools are in similar regions with similar risk profiles -> China, Iceland ...)

I however do not get your point with the Nash equilibrium ...





Ok I 'll try it again:

There are two main powers that work against the centralization, which is a classical fix point problem where the attractor is given by the positive returns from mining profits - really, this equation has no varaible in the type of the algo, so you can chose ANY - all efforts to find a better one is net negative! Physics can save you lot of work here, but feel free to learn that hands on.

1. External forces, that destroy any (artificial) order in this universe, better known as entropy or dissipation at work/ fricktion. Here all operational risks fall in, like lump risk (to high centralization, compare big datacenters with no proper backup!), desaster risks ( fire, sonic shocks, war,...) and also regulative risks (China!), technical development risk (some better ASIC or quantum tech), here can be lot more other risks be named!

2. Nash Equilibrium / inner force: Since all bigger players are aware of the real need of a 'decent' decentralization, there is a pressure ( inside of each player) to NOT create a monopoly. Why?  -> Reputation risk! Once the other players notice the monoply, they will fold the game and leave!  We've seen this with a pool reaching 50% some years ago. Where is that? Gone!
I predict that china pools will never really collude, only for the reason to destroy bitcoin ( could be a short time event with potential revival) and go for bitcoin cash?

Carpe diem  -  cut the down side  -  be anti-fragile
A feature that needs more than one convincing argument is no and Satoshi owes me no proof.
My coding style is legendary but limited to 1MB, sorry but cannot come much over my C64, Bill Gates and Tom Bombadil
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