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Author Topic: ASIC = The end of decentralized mining  (Read 21421 times)
BoardGameCoin
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June 13, 2012, 04:41:18 PM
 #81

I believe ASICs will cause an initial centralization, but later on a widening decentralization. My reasoning is that once volume gets high enough, the marginal cost of a chip will be < $20 USD (based on existing costs for 1 GHz ARM chips), and at that time probably < 1 BTC. If that ever happens, someone will eventually offer a mass-market, 8 chip personal miner for < $100 USD.

When the average person can buy a box which looks like a mac mini at walmart plug it into the wall and get coins each month it will be easy.

-bgc

I'm selling great Minion Games like The Manhattan Project, Kingdom of Solomon and Venture Forth at 4% off retail starting June 2012. PM me or go to my thread in the Marketplace if you're interested.

For Settlers/Dominion/Carcassone etc., I do email gift cards on Amazon for a 5% fee. PM if you're interested.
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June 13, 2012, 04:43:11 PM
 #82

LMAO Grin watching Cablepair guy fight and cling for the last few days of his business is so entertaining. HAHA!

Your FPGA days are over son !
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June 13, 2012, 04:44:02 PM
 #83

LOL caplepair, the devs aren't going to change the algo no matter how much you wish it to be true.

This.  And nor should they.  I mean if we are going to change algorithms why not changing it back to something which is prohibitive on FPGA also. Smiley  Oh wait you wan't FPGA just not ASICs.


ASIC's cant adapt! Once you make that chip, you cant change it man!

One change the Bitcoin code and all current ASICs are useless and cannot be fixed, end of story

FPGA's and GPU's could easily adapt to the change with a software upgrade

do your homework before you come at me jack
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June 13, 2012, 04:45:02 PM
 #84

I think by "decentralization", the OP is talking about the technological progress limiting the potential userbase for miners. Take a look at the history of bitmining:

CPU days - Everyone could mine. Everyone has a cpu, right?
GPU days - Only those with ATI cards could mine. This starts the narrowing down of your average person getting into Bitcoin.
FPGA days - Only those with the funds and dedication to BTC are going to buy FPGAs. (luckily, at this point, GPUs are still feasible). (Also, this could change in the future).
Estimated ASIC - Only the hardcore mining will have ASICs.

At every step, a few things happen:
1) As the hardware as becomes LESS multi-purpose (or multi-market), Bitmining has a more profound impact on the price of said hardware.
2) As the initial cost (and now specialized hardware) increases, you scare off more and more newcomers into the community.

I think the OP is extrapolating, and assuming that this effect is only going to get worse.

It's assumed, I think, that those already heavily invested in Bitcoins (or those just now investing) will purchase ASICs. The problem is for the average joe. At each new level, it gets harder (and more expensive) to invest in mining, with smaller resale value if their investment should fail.

This is running from my own experiences. I started playing around with bitmining on my brother's 9800GTX. Then I bought my own 5830. Then I bought a 5850. Then I bought a 5870... Now lets fast forward 1 year. ASICs are common among the heavy miners. Difficulty is 5x what it is now. How is the average person wanting to get into Bitcoins supposed to do that? I'm sure mining on their 8990 will give some results, but it might not be worth the power draw. Buy used FPGAs? They won't earn the income an ASIC would, but buying an ASIC is an investment with a high cost, something that would probably scare away a lot of people.

One last thought: I'm totally for ASICs. I plan on buying them and mining for years. However, the person who will get screwed is the person just trying to get into mining without thousands of $ up front. Just my 2c.
For those who want to be part of "Bitcoin party" and don't want to invest in ASIC bitmining - just buy some bitcoins on money you want to invest in mining. And then forget about bitcoin for 4-5 years. If bitcoin is still alive - you are about to be rich, if not - you've spent those money 4-5 yeas ago. Just forget about that. It is much more easy and less risky than invest in ASIC and it will help bitcoin even more than investing in ASICs and mining.

DeathAndTaxes
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June 13, 2012, 04:46:09 PM
 #85

Either this company is the most incompetent on the planet, or your estimates are way off.
http://www.cast-inc.com/ip-cores/encryption/sha-256/index.html

Using this IP core a 10x10mm die @130nm (200kgates/mm2) would give about 3Ghash/s.

Neither.  Outside of Bitcoin there is absolutely nothing which needs this level of performance.  Even a mere 1 GH/s is a staggering amount of hashing power.  Say you are building a board which will do PBKDF2 in hardware.  At 10,000 iterations of SHA-256 a 1 GH/s chip could handle 100,000 simultaneous logins.

Know any webservers which need 100K simultaneous logins?  If you are hashing anything other than a incrementing nonce the bandwidth requirements also become equally insane.  At 1 GH/s (2 billion hashes per second) your I/O is 512 bit in and 256 bit out so that under a Tbps.  To put it into perspective it is nearly 6x as much as PCIe 3.0 with full 16 lanes.

There simply is no reason to design a chip which can clock any higher.  Why?  How many entire libraries of congress per second do you need to hash? Smiley

Designing the chip to run at lower performance levels means lower power & cooling requirements, simpler deployment, and higher longevity/stability.
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June 13, 2012, 04:47:17 PM
 #86

ASIC's cant adapt! Once you make that chip, you cant change it man!

Who said they could?
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June 13, 2012, 04:48:01 PM
 #87

LMAO Grin watching Cablepair guy fight and cling for the last few days of his business is so entertaining. HAHA!

Your FPGA days are over son !


Your such a clown you have no idea what your talking about

ASICS arent even out yet.

no one can dispute FPGA is #1 right now, the debate is what will happen when ASICS DO come out.

Myself and the other FPGA manufacturers are enjoying sales in the many tens of thousands, you really need to get a clue your just making yourself look foolish at this point.
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June 13, 2012, 04:56:32 PM
 #88

To everyone else I respect your opinion a great deal, and to be honest I hope ASIC comes to the Bitcoin world in the spirit of helping the network and not hurting it, its when people like Vladimir come on giving warnings, thats when I get fired up.


Believe it or not I care first and foremost about the Bitcoin network and if you look at the things I have done for the Bitcoin world over the last year + you cannot die my love and passion for Bitcoin and the Bitcoin community.

I am passionate about fighting for Bitcoin and if I offended anyone I am sorry, ASIC has the potential to be very good for Bitcoin but the potential is greater for it to be very very bad for Bitcoin

I have outlined these things in other threads so I am not going to beat a dead horse here, I just hope everyone really does a lot of research and looks at the motives of the people involved before they make a decision on where they stand and just please before you completely embrace this thing without caution take a look at the potential for abuse.

for me its back to work

Have a nice day Gentleman its been nice debating with you.
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June 13, 2012, 05:00:52 PM
 #89

SPIKE:

Your telling me that if some rich asshole spends his trust fund to make a custom asic chip and has them mass produced to the tune of 51% of the network all for himself

you are telling me the Devs wont change the code to rule out ASIC? they will just let one person take over the whole network?

If you believe that, then you should quit Bitcoin right now.

THATS THE DANGER OF ASIC

The right person could have them MASSED PRODUCED for pennies on the dollar

and I know no one asked me to post in this thread I was referring to the constant quotes and challenges from people who dont know what the hell they are talking about

oh and your prize? Its a big sloppy kiss, pucker up butter cup  Cheesy Cheesy
You've got it all wrong cablepair.  The fact that we DON'T currently have ASIC miners available to anyone who wants to buy them makes that risk of a rich guy spending his trust fund on a custom ASIC chip that much greater.  When we DO have ASIC miners available to the public, that risk will be mitigated.  By your own anecdote, you've aptly demonstrated exactly the reason why publicly sold ASICs are exactly what Bitcoin mining needs to continue keeping the network secure.

If you don't believe the Bitcoin protocol is correct, then just outright state it.  Create your own fork where ASICs are impossible, either by changing the algo every 3 months, or by some other method of your choosing.  But Bitcoin is SHA256 - it is defined by that very algorithm.  To change that would be to admit fault in the code Bitcoin code and idea itself.  Lots of other people have found "faults" in Bitcoin and "fixed" it through their own fork.  So far, none of them have been successful to any sort of similar degree as Bitcoin.  But if you believe Bitcoin is faulty, then please do take your FPGA's and start hashing on your own blockchain with your own idea of what the algorithm should look like.  See how many people follow you there.   Wink

ASIC's cant adapt! Once you make that chip, you cant change it man!

One change the Bitcoin code and all current ASICs are useless and cannot be fixed, end of story

FPGA's and GPU's could easily adapt to the change with a software upgrade

do your homework before you come at me jack
Your point?  Who cares if ASIC's can't adapt?  No one is changing the Bitcoin code...

Your such a clown you have no idea what your talking about

ASICS arent even out yet.

no one can dispute FPGA is #1 right now, the debate is what will happen when ASICS DO come out.

Myself and the other FPGA manufacturers are enjoying sales in the many tens of thousands, you really need to get a clue your just making yourself look foolish at this point.
No one is disputing that FPGA's are #1 right now.  Pretty sure everyone agrees on that.  Your point?
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June 13, 2012, 05:02:53 PM
 #90

LMAO Grin watching Cablepair guy fight and cling for the last few days of his business is so entertaining. HAHA!

Your FPGA days are over son !


Your such a clown you have no idea what your talking about

ASICS arent even out yet.

no one can dispute FPGA is #1 right now, the debate is what will happen when ASICS DO come out.

Myself and the other FPGA manufacturers are enjoying sales in the many tens of thousands, you really need to get a clue your just making yourself look foolish at this point.

Yes son,  many tens of thousands, we believe you  Grin
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June 13, 2012, 05:03:57 PM
 #91

To everyone else I respect your opinion a great deal, and to be honest I hope ASIC comes to the Bitcoin world in the spirit of helping the network and not hurting it, its when people like Vladimir come on giving warnings, thats when I get fired up.


Believe it or not I care first and foremost about the Bitcoin network and if you look at the things I have done for the Bitcoin world over the last year + you cannot die my love and passion for Bitcoin and the Bitcoin community.

I am passionate about fighting for Bitcoin and if I offended anyone I am sorry, ASIC has the potential to be very good for Bitcoin but the potential is greater for it to be very very bad for Bitcoin

I have outlined these things in other threads so I am not going to beat a dead horse here, I just hope everyone really does a lot of research and looks at the motives of the people involved before they make a decision on where they stand and just please before you completely embrace this thing without caution take a look at the potential for abuse.

for me its back to work

Have a nice day Gentleman its been nice debating with you.
cablepair
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June 13, 2012, 05:09:16 PM
 #92

LMAO Grin watching Cablepair guy fight and cling for the last few days of his business is so entertaining. HAHA!

Your FPGA days are over son !


Your such a clown you have no idea what your talking about

ASICS arent even out yet.

no one can dispute FPGA is #1 right now, the debate is what will happen when ASICS DO come out.

Myself and the other FPGA manufacturers are enjoying sales in the many tens of thousands, you really need to get a clue your just making yourself look foolish at this point.

Yes son,  many tens of thousands, we believe you  Grin


Not that I have to prove anything to you or that tens of thousands of dollars is really that much money (what are you 13 or something?)

To date we have sold almost 50 ModMiner Quads, I encourage you to please do the math.

if you dont believe me just ask around there are many people on this forum who have purchased 5 or 10 units in one shot.
im ignoring you now.
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June 13, 2012, 05:09:56 PM
 #93

ASIC's cant adapt! Once you make that chip, you cant change it man!

Question: has this ever happened before? I know with GPU mining, there have been code cleanups, updates for compatibility/optimization for driver/SDK changes, and forks for newer hardware, but has the bitcoin code ever changed the way the SHA256 hashing works?

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June 13, 2012, 05:15:57 PM
 #94

ASIC's cant adapt! Once you make that chip, you cant change it man!

Question: has this ever happened before? I know with GPU mining, there have been code cleanups, updates for compatibility/optimization for driver/SDK changes, and forks for newer hardware, but has the bitcoin code ever changed the way the SHA256 hashing works?
No, it has never previously been changed.

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June 13, 2012, 05:17:48 PM
 #95

LMAO Grin watching Cablepair guy fight and cling for the last few days of his business is so entertaining. HAHA!

Your FPGA days are over son !

so true ... he sounds like a horse and buggy salesman after automobiles were developed ... he won't answer this, but ask him how many months it would take for an 'investment' in his product to break even, including his assumptions for difficulty increases and reward reductions ... makes your comments even more entertaining Smiley
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June 13, 2012, 05:19:22 PM
 #96

LMAO Grin watching Cablepair guy fight and cling for the last few days of his business is so entertaining. HAHA!

Your FPGA days are over son !


Your such a clown you have no idea what your talking about

ASICS arent even out yet.

no one can dispute FPGA is #1 right now, the debate is what will happen when ASICS DO come out.

Myself and the other FPGA manufacturers are enjoying sales in the many tens of thousands, you really need to get a clue your just making yourself look foolish at this point.

Yes son,  many tens of thousands, we believe you  Grin


Not that I have to prove anything to you or that tens of thousands of dollars is really that much money (what are you 13 or something?)

To date we have sold almost 50 ModMiner Quads, I encourage you to please do the math.

if you dont believe me just ask around there are many people on this forum who have purchased 5 or 10 units in one shot.
im ignoring you now.

Saying: FPGA manufacturers are enjoying sales in the many tens of thousand
...is talking about unit quantity sales and not money, if you meant money then you need to learn to phrase your thoughts right.
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June 13, 2012, 05:21:35 PM
 #97

LMAO Grin watching Cablepair guy fight and cling for the last few days of his business is so entertaining. HAHA!

Your FPGA days are over son !

so true ... he sounds like a horse and buggy salesman after automobiles were developed ... he won't answer this, but ask him how many months it would take for an 'investment' in his product to break even, including his assumptions for difficulty increases and reward reductions ... makes your comments even more entertaining Smiley

Have you run the numbers for breaking even on any investment, GPU or FPGA? Including electricity?

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ice_chill
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June 13, 2012, 05:25:31 PM
 #98

LMAO Grin watching Cablepair guy fight and cling for the last few days of his business is so entertaining. HAHA!

Your FPGA days are over son !

so true ... he sounds like a horse and buggy salesman after automobiles were developed ... he won't answer this, but ask him how many months it would take for an 'investment' in his product to break even, including his assumptions for difficulty increases and reward reductions ... makes your comments even more entertaining Smiley

Have you run the numbers for breaking even on any investment, GPU or FPGA? Including electricity?

270days on BFL vs 440days on Cablepair guy's FPGA.

Difficulty increase and block reward halfing make it even worse, not to mention you get full trade in value with the BFL single Smiley

If you cool the Single right you get 900Mhash on the top firmware, with more firmware coming soon according to BFL, so maybe even 1Ghash. Wait time is now down to 50 days.
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June 13, 2012, 05:31:53 PM
 #99

When they come, I'll be ready
I hear their voices inside
The stars in the heavens are moving
Soon they will align

Gavin, god of Bitcoin
Let me die with a FPGA in my hand
Raise your hands, GPUs in the wind
Brothers of Bitcoin together again
With blood in our voices we ride
We'll fight till we win or we'll fight until we die  Wink

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June 13, 2012, 05:32:24 PM
 #100

From your link http://rijndael.ece.vt.edu/sha3/publications/DSD11SHA3.pdf I compute 400 Mhash/J for a 130nm ASIC. So probably ~1000 Mhash/J at 40nm. This is 50x better than a 45nm FPGA (Spartan6 = 20 Mhash/J).

Care to share your math? I suspect you forgot a bitcoin hash consists of two SHA256 hashes.

I took this into account:
1.51 Gbps / 8 (bits/bytes) / 64 (bytes/block) / 2 (SHA-256 blocks per Bitcoin hash) / 0.0037 (Watt) = 398.5 Mhash/Joule

Edit: actually this is wrong. 1.51Gbps was achieved at maximal clock (200 MHz), for which power consumption was not reported. the 0.0037 Watt was estimated with a clock running at 50 Mhz, not 200 Mhz. The actual performance number that can be used is the quoted 19.75 mJ/Gbits which correspond to 49.4 Mhash/J (see my edited post above).
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