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Author Topic: Need ASIC-proof Alt coin?  (Read 2264 times)
eroxors
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July 01, 2012, 04:45:58 AM
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So, I know that LTC was supposed to be the GPU-proof Alt coin, but if BFL's announcement turns out to be half as good as they claim, could an Alt coin that breaks SHA256 so that BFL equip can't mine on it become useful? I know many GPU miners might be interested in such a thing. Just a late-night thought.

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July 01, 2012, 05:04:10 AM
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Since Litecoin is not, afterall, GPU-proof, it seems Litecoin already fills the proposed niche.

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July 01, 2012, 05:22:54 AM
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Since Litecoin is not, afterall, GPU-proof, it seems Litecoin already fills the proposed niche.

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Indeed.  But if someone were to spend the time and money on an ASIC run, wouldn't any altcoin be at risk?

I mean, GPUs have been repurposed to mine bitcoin, even though the hardware wasn't designed for it.  Then came FPGAs which could be repurposed and used to make even more efficient miners.  While not inherently designed for "bitcoin", they can do a really good job with them.  Then there is ASIC, which is even more efficient and powerful, but they must be specifically designed for the task.

It really boils down to profitability.  If an altcoin comes along that's worth mining, then a trend towards efficiency will ensue. Bitcoin went from CPU to GPU to FPGA and now ASIC.  You'll prolly see that path if any other altcoins start getting popular.

I wonder why there isn't any LTC firmware for FPGAs yet...
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July 01, 2012, 03:20:21 PM
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I think it would be a community vote and a listening developer in charge of an altcoin to make an ASIC-proof coin.  No one is going to say or do anything about LTC development until we see just what ASIC's will do to the bitcoin community.  If they make the bitcoin more stable, more popular, and there happens to be a booming market for miners, than why would we deny that for litecoin? On the other hand, if it alienates miners, makes 51% fluctuations among private farms, and causes nothing but problems and a negative vibe towards bitcoin, than why not just introduce an extra bit of code to the LTC algorithm that changes monthly?  It might cure the problem with bots as well as creating ASIC's, but active LTC developers would have to implement, and have a willing community.
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July 01, 2012, 03:59:22 PM
 #5

I think it would be a community vote and a listening developer in charge of an altcoin to make an ASIC-proof coin.

There can be no ASIC-proof coin. If general purpose CPU's or GPU's can do a thing so can ASIC's.

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July 01, 2012, 04:45:22 PM
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"Since memory is the resource of general-purpose computers which is the most expensive to reproduce for ASICs (in particular it's more expensive than ALUs), this means that a one-time investment in ASICs for Litecoin mining would be much more expensive "
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July 01, 2012, 05:00:37 PM
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There is no ASIC proof coin. I mean, you can make a much more faster processor for any kind of hash calculations than standard GPU's and CPU's.

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July 01, 2012, 05:58:46 PM
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I think it would be a community vote and a listening developer in charge of an altcoin to make an ASIC-proof coin.

There can be no ASIC-proof coin. If general purpose CPU's or GPU's can do a thing so can ASIC's.



Technically, yes.

But if the goal is to be ASIC / chip proof then the algo would need to be bound with off-chip resources, e.g. RAM, that would slow the algo down a great deal.  Once that's done producing a specialized chip for the algo would be pointless and quite dumb.
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July 01, 2012, 06:30:33 PM
 #9

Why would we want an ASIC proof coin???

So that it can be secured with commonly purchased computer hardware instead of highly specialized technology available to only the few/rich. Essentially to keep the learning/hardware curve of "mining" low and "community" surrounding it large.

Don't get caught up in the game and have a nice day!
eroxors
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July 01, 2012, 06:33:05 PM
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There is no ASIC proof coin. I mean, you can make a much more faster processor for any kind of hash calculations than standard GPU's and CPU's.

ASIC-proof in regard to the cost of producing hardware outweighing the benefit of using cheap commonly available hardware. I was also thinking specifically about BFL's future ASICs which rely on SHA256.

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July 01, 2012, 06:51:56 PM
 #11

Why would we want an ASIC proof coin???

So that it can be secured with commonly purchased computer hardware instead of highly specialized technology available to only the few/rich. Essentially to keep the learning/hardware curve of "mining" low and "community" surrounding it large.

The BitForce Jalapeno ASIC is being sold for $149. A decent CPU will cost you much more than that. So it's in easy reach as a entry level miner for everyone.

So I'll ask again "Why would we want an ASIC proof coin???"



big gpu farms would have a chance to find a buyer then?
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July 01, 2012, 08:17:41 PM
 #12

There can be no ASIC-proof coin. If general purpose CPU's or GPU's can do a thing so can ASIC's.
Actually there CAN be. It was even discussed on this forum several times under the names of "licensed mining" or "block rating agencies". The discussions in the past even showed how to implement those in the distributed fashion using the public key cryptography or web-based services. However the solutions weren't specific to the ASIC-mining problem, they were described more in terms of "Good Minekeeping Seal of Approval".

These types of activities would probably cause either hard-fork or soft-forking; and produce at least a two sub-chains:

1) Crim-coin, Sin-coin or Anarcho-coin chain based on the "might makes right" rule;
2) Law-coin where the 51% majority of voters voluntarily decide to uphold the rule of some law.

I think this neatly reflects the current observed split in the so called "Bitcoin community".

Please comment, critique, criticize or ridicule BIP 2112: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=54382.0
Long-term mining prognosis: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=91101.0
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July 01, 2012, 08:23:39 PM
 #13

There can be no ASIC-proof coin. If general purpose CPU's or GPU's can do a thing so can ASIC's.
Actually there CAN be.

Dude, your trolls are lame. Most people get better at a thing with experience but you have been going downhill over the last few decades.

Get on the short bus with Bulanula.
eroxors
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July 02, 2012, 03:38:50 AM
 #14

big gpu farms would have a chance to find a buyer then?

Mining is a business. Cut throat. GPU farm miners have 2 options:

1) Moan about how unfair it all is, watch their profits wither and die and eventually get killed off.
2) Innovate and profit.

There is no option 3 I'm afraid.


Wow, what a black-and-white world you live in.

Mining is not necessarily a business. It can be a hobby, it can also be a decision based on a principle.

GPU miners are a unique subculture as evidenced by much of the conversation on these forums (see the "show your rig" thread.) I believe that there is value in maintaining that subculture. A BFL monopoly suits no one. A simple change in LTC to break BFLs SHA256 Asic instructions, I feel, would be significantly beneficial to LTC because it would encourage former bitcoin GPU miners to make the jump over to litecoin (or another alt coin). From what I can gather, it would be a relatively trivial change in code to do this, but would effectively prevent BFL ASIC hardware from mining the alt coin and could prevent the feasibility of other ASIC runs. The currency would still grow, there would still be innovation, it would just take place through multi-function hardware like GPUs and FPGAs, which embraces the diversity of "options" in the subculture. In many ways, it would also maintain the original vision of the LTC developers in intent (replace cpu with gpu).

Don't get caught up in the game and have a nice day!
eroxors
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July 02, 2012, 03:39:47 AM
 #15

Why would we want an ASIC proof coin???

So that it can be secured with commonly purchased computer hardware instead of highly specialized technology available to only the few/rich. Essentially to keep the learning/hardware curve of "mining" low and "community" surrounding it large.

The BitForce Jalapeno ASIC is being sold for $149. A decent CPU will cost you much more than that. So it's in easy reach as a entry level miner for everyone.

So I'll ask again "Why would we want an ASIC proof coin???"



One piece of hardware to rule them all? made by one closed-source company? Yeah, that sounds great.

Don't get caught up in the game and have a nice day!
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July 02, 2012, 12:45:51 PM
 #16

Indeed.  But if someone were to spend the time and money on an ASIC run, wouldn't any altcoin be at risk?
Not really. Litecoin is scrypt-based, and if you read the original paper on scrypt its main design goal was
ASIC-resistance. More precisely, it was designed to limit the efficiency gains you can get from moving from a general-purpose processor to an ASIC. You can build a Litecoin ASIC quite easily, you just won't gain that much speed or power efficiency compared to using a CPU or GPU. (Solidcoin's hashing algorithm, on the other hand, doesn't have the same kind of ASIC-resistance. They can just change it whenever they like though.)

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July 02, 2012, 06:23:47 PM
 #17

Just some facts for the SHEEP :

BFL ASIC can never be used to mine LTC but CAN be used to mine NMC.

GPU can mine both NMC / BTC ( SHA256 algo) and LTC ( scrypt algo ).

FPGA can do same thing as GPU but the technology is hard to work out and nobody wants to share. I can bet my ass off somebody right NOW is making a killing mining LTC scrypt with FPGAs but not sharing the secret.

LTC is not supported enough by the market like BTC is due to Silk Road drugs buyers so mining LTC with all the GPUs previously used to mine BTC = market fail due to people dumping.
Nobody is willing to prop up LTC rate. Eventually profits will be same like BTC and GPU mining in ASIC period. LTC market depth is not big enough to sustain that many GPUs.
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July 02, 2012, 08:01:33 PM
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Not really. Litecoin is scrypt-based, and if you read the original paper on scrypt its main design goal was
ASIC-resistance. More precisely, it was designed to limit the efficiency gains you can get from moving from a general-purpose processor to an ASIC. You can build a Litecoin ASIC quite easily, you just won't gain that much speed or power efficiency compared to using a CPU or GPU. (Solidcoin's hashing algorithm, on the other hand, doesn't have the same kind of ASIC-resistance. They can just change it whenever they like though.)


Ah, didn't know that.  Thanks. Cheesy
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July 02, 2012, 09:30:39 PM
 #19

Bistromathematics is ASIC proof. Just build a hash algorithm based on it's principles.

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July 02, 2012, 11:22:56 PM
 #20

Just some facts for the SHEEP :

BFL ASIC can never be used to mine LTC but CAN be used to mine NMC.

GPU can mine both NMC / BTC ( SHA256 algo) and LTC ( scrypt algo ).

FPGA can do same thing as GPU but the technology is hard to work out and nobody wants to share. I can bet my ass off somebody right NOW is making a killing mining LTC scrypt with FPGAs but not sharing the secret.

LTC is not supported enough by the market like BTC is due to Silk Road drugs buyers so mining LTC with all the GPUs previously used to mine BTC = market fail due to people dumping.
Nobody is willing to prop up LTC rate. Eventually profits will be same like BTC and GPU mining in ASIC period. LTC market depth is not big enough to sustain that many GPUs.

This sheep appreciates your input. Wink

I always assumed that all alt coiners used sha256.

Don't get caught up in the game and have a nice day!
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