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Author Topic: ASICMINER: Entering the Future of ASIC Mining by Inventing It  (Read 3771381 times)
eb3full
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September 02, 2012, 03:11:48 PM
 #361

Mining will yield ZERO income if the Bitcoin community decides ASICMINING is a threat and changes the hashing algorithm so our ASICs don't mine valid blocks.

I'm really disappointed someone as prominent as you would make these misinformed suggestions over the rise of ASIC. It's not like this hasn't been debated thoroughly over the years here.

Attempts to fiddle with the hashing algorithm to deter FPGA mining is Litecoin's strategy and mostly a temporary gesture of goodwill toward casual miners. (Of course this feel-good mining atmosphere would make a pool operator happy.) It would also ruin the credibility of Bitcoin going forward, is impractical of a change to make at this time, and there is no justification for it. Right now there exists a perfectly free market for building and competing on hashrates. There is no financial incentive for anybody (except someone with a vested interest in destroying Bitcoin) to misuse their network position.

Think emergent phenomena. You're going to have to deal with it, because there isn't even a way to change the algorithm to deter ASIC mining anyway. It will eventually exist and I hope it is developed faster to better position Bitcoin against entities who truly wish it harm.

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September 02, 2012, 03:24:11 PM
 #362

Why should one take actions against asics? When someone will attack the network with 51% then he will do. When he starts to mine normally why block him? Only because he possibly could harm the network? If so then it would be wiser to attack the network before someone could do something against it. So all this doesnt make sense to me.
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September 02, 2012, 03:44:45 PM
 #363

If they haven't yet - the mining pools should introduce variable share difficulty. P2pool supports it. This way strong and weak miners can coexist peacefully.
That only solves the share/result side of the problem. You still need to getwork for every 4 GH/s.

An ASICMINER chip is expected to make 1GH/s so a getwork request so 1getwork/4s per chip, while a japaleno makes 3,5 GHash/s? I wonder why you come on this problem here and not in an BFL thread.

There https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=102040.msg1122034#msg1122034 you stated:

Quote from: Luke-Jr
There are currently zero legitimate grounds to justify even wanting ASICs broken.

And now as BFL gets an competitor this isn't still true? Sounds like BFL lobbying.

As friedcat stated in his technical thread make an ASIC in a very advanced technology (comparable with the sparse numbers by BFL about power/Hash power) a chip could produced for $1/1Ghash after quite huge NRE cost. Under such circumstances it would be quite profitable to sell only 25% of the whole chips/ miningunits at an maximum price and let the other run for 'other' purposes.

I don't say that it is BFLs business plan, but since we speak about possible attacks against the bitcoin network in general you should consider such scenarios as well.


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September 02, 2012, 03:52:59 PM
 #364

"but since we speak about possible attacks against the bitcoin network in general you should consider such scenarios as well."

Indeed. As well as weighting the perceived integrity of friedcat, based on his dialog in this thread, versus the demonstrated quality/honesty of BFL's historical statements.

--

Luke-Jr, you really need to maintain some amount of consistency when posting in various locations lest charges of hypocrisy be levied.
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September 02, 2012, 05:10:11 PM
 #365

Mining will yield ZERO income if the Bitcoin community decides ASICMINING is a threat and changes the hashing algorithm so our ASICs don't mine valid blocks.
I'm really disappointed someone as prominent as you would make these misinformed suggestions over the rise of ASIC. It's not like this hasn't been debated thoroughly over the years here.
I'm not suggesting it be done, just concerned about the risk that it might be considered necessary by the community (no one man can do it).

If they haven't yet - the mining pools should introduce variable share difficulty. P2pool supports it. This way strong and weak miners can coexist peacefully.
That only solves the share/result side of the problem. You still need to getwork for every 4 GH/s.
An ASICMINER chip is expected to make 1GH/s so a getwork request so 1getwork/4s per chip, while a japaleno makes 3,5 GHash/s? I wonder why you come on this problem here and not in an BFL thread.
I was asked here. The same "problem" applies to BFL ASICs and any other super-high speed mining device. I assume anyone making ASICs (and I know for sure including BFL) has given thought to the problem by now, and it's not like there isn't a solution developed already.

There https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=102040.msg1122034#msg1122034 you stated:

Quote from: Luke-Jr
There are currently zero legitimate grounds to justify even wanting ASICs broken.

And now as BFL gets an competitor this isn't still true? Sounds like BFL lobbying.
BFL says they are selling 100% (or close to it?) of their ASICs immediately, and a bunch at the same time to prevent any one person from having a chance to abuse it. ASICMINER has announced they plan to hoard their first batch and mine with it before anyone else has ASICs, thus centrally controlling a Bitcoin-threatening amount of hashrate. See the difference? As for "BFL lobbying"... while I do stand with BFL, I also stand with ASICMINER - I want them to succeed, and am even a shareholder; but that doesn't make these risks/concerns just disappear either.

All that being said, I'd like to note the following for anyone considering changing the algorithm:
  • It sounds like ASICMINER's total will be under the 50% required to do anything evil, even accounting for some variance.
  • With BFL (and other vendors) shipping ASICs to consumers within 2 months, any opportunity time for abuse is very limited.
  • Most 51% attacks can be dealt with after the fact; that is, the algorithm change would be more or less just as effective if it is only IF abused. So there is no need to cut it off just for holding (near) 51% short-term.
  • While the "time travel" attack remains a risk that cannot easily be dealt with after the fact, the practical reality is that it takes much longer or much more percent of hashrate to pull off, which ASICMINER probably won't have (less than 2 months and not much more than 50% if that)
  • Changing the algorithm breaks all old clients and miners, requiring more work for developers and forcing every miner to update.

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September 02, 2012, 05:16:24 PM
 #366

Mining will yield ZERO income if the Bitcoin community decides ASICMINING is a threat and changes the hashing algorithm so our ASICs don't mine valid blocks.
I'm really disappointed someone as prominent as you would make these misinformed suggestions over the rise of ASIC. It's not like this hasn't been debated thoroughly over the years here.
I'm not suggesting it be done, just concerned about the risk that it might be considered necessary by the community (no one man can do it).

If they haven't yet - the mining pools should introduce variable share difficulty. P2pool supports it. This way strong and weak miners can coexist peacefully.
That only solves the share/result side of the problem. You still need to getwork for every 4 GH/s.
An ASICMINER chip is expected to make 1GH/s so a getwork request so 1getwork/4s per chip, while a japaleno makes 3,5 GHash/s? I wonder why you come on this problem here and not in an BFL thread.
I was asked here. The same "problem" applies to BFL ASICs and any other super-high speed mining device. I assume anyone making ASICs (and I know for sure including BFL) has given thought to the problem by now, and it's not like there isn't a solution developed already.

There https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=102040.msg1122034#msg1122034 you stated:

Quote from: Luke-Jr
There are currently zero legitimate grounds to justify even wanting ASICs broken.

And now as BFL gets an competitor this isn't still true? Sounds like BFL lobbying.
BFL says they are selling 100% (or close to it?) of their ASICs immediately, and a bunch at the same time to prevent any one person from having a chance to abuse it. ASICMINER has announced they plan to hoard their first batch and mine with it before anyone else has ASICs, thus centrally controlling a Bitcoin-threatening amount of hashrate. See the difference? As for "BFL lobbying"... while I do stand with BFL, I also stand with ASICMINER - I want them to succeed, and am even a shareholder; but that doesn't make these risks/concerns just disappear either.

All that being said, I'd like to note the following for anyone considering changing the algorithm:
  • It sounds like ASICMINER's total will be under the 50% required to do anything evil, even accounting for some variance.
  • With BFL (and other vendors) shipping ASICs to consumers within 2 months, any opportunity time for abuse is very limited.
  • Most 51% attacks can be dealt with after the fact; that is, the algorithm change would be more or less just as effective if it is only IF abused. So there is no need to cut it off just for holding (near) 51% short-term.
  • While the "time travel" attack remains a risk that cannot easily be dealt with after the fact, the practical reality is that it takes much longer or much more percent of hashrate to pull off, which ASICMINER probably won't have (less than 2 months and not much more than 50% if that)
  • Changing the algorithm breaks all old clients and miners, requiring more work for developers and forcing every miner to update.

Not to mention invalids the BFL ASICs as well, which means a couple $ 100.000s goes down the drain.... I don't see many people voting for an algorithm change... those days are over, there is too much money pre-invested...
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September 02, 2012, 05:19:57 PM
 #367

Not to mention invalids the BFL ASICs as well, which means a couple $ 100.000s goes down the drain....
That is not necessarily true. ASIC vendors are advised to implement an alternative algorithm they can switch to in case of emergency like this. If the community felt it necessary to block out ASICMINER (or some other hostile ASIC hoarder), the other ASIC vendors would then publish their secret alternative algorithms, and Bitcoin could be made to support those.

Edit: There is no single "secret alternative algorithm" being issued/given to ASIC vendors. They are all expected to come up with their own and not share it outside the company except in an emergency.

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September 02, 2012, 05:28:01 PM
 #368

Not to mention invalids the BFL ASICs as well, which means a couple $ 100.000s goes down the drain....
That is not necessarily true. ASIC vendors are advised to implement an alternative algorithm they can switch to in case of emergency like this. If the community felt it necessary to block out ASICMINER (or some other hostile ASIC hoarder), the other ASIC vendors would then publish their secret alternative algorithms, and Bitcoin could be made to support those.

That's the first time I hear of this.... That's more dangerous in my mind than what has been said in this thread so far... Basically BFL and some big time BFL ASIC miners can protect their investment by switching over to another protocol when a competitor comes along.... If BFL ASICs represent more than 51% of the network (and from the long list of pre-orders, it sure does look like it); they can force others to switch to their other BFL protocol.... Now that is scary ! Attacking the network for commercial profits... so much for the decentralized mining theory that was the start of this conversation !

 Shocked

Edit: I hope ASICMINER has also been advised to implement this 'secret alternative' algorithm...
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September 02, 2012, 05:32:07 PM
 #369

That is not necessarily true. ASIC vendors are advised to implement an alternative algorithm they can switch to in case of emergency like this. If the community felt it necessary to block out ASICMINER (or some other hostile ASIC hoarder), the other ASIC vendors would then publish their secret alternative algorithms, and Bitcoin could be made to support those.
Oh, the drama! The licensed mining comes up again. Except this time the licenses are issued in the secret.

Hollywood has nothing going on bitcointalk.org.

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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September 02, 2012, 05:34:55 PM
 #370

Not to mention invalids the BFL ASICs as well, which means a couple $ 100.000s goes down the drain....
That is not necessarily true. ASIC vendors are advised to implement an alternative algorithm they can switch to in case of emergency like this. If the community felt it necessary to block out ASICMINER (or some other hostile ASIC hoarder), the other ASIC vendors would then publish their secret alternative algorithms, and Bitcoin could be made to support those.
That's the first time I hear of this.... That's more dangerous in my mind than what has been said in this thread so far... Basically BFL and some big time BFL ASIC miners can protect their investment by switching over to another protocol when a competitor comes along.... If BFL ASICs represent more than 51% of the network (and from the long list of pre-orders, it sure does look like it); they can force others to switch to their other BFL protocol.... Now that is scary ! Attacking the network for commercial profits... so much for the decentralized mining theory that was the start of this conversation !
Mining majority cannot change the algorithm, only an economic majority can. I don't think anyone would be able to get most BFL miners to switch without a good reason, anyway - it's simply too risky since "greed" won't fly with the non-BFL miners.

Oh, the drama! The licensed mining comes up again. Except this time the licenses are issued in the secret.
There are no licenses or issued secrets. Each ASIC vendor is expected to come up with their own reasonable "secret alternative algorithm" and not tell anyone else (including developers) until such an emergency occurs. When/if that happens, Bitcoin would be made to accept any of these alternatives.

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September 02, 2012, 05:42:54 PM
 #371

Not to mention invalids the BFL ASICs as well, which means a couple $ 100.000s goes down the drain....
That is not necessarily true. ASIC vendors are advised to implement an alternative algorithm they can switch to in case of emergency like this. If the community felt it necessary to block out ASICMINER (or some other hostile ASIC hoarder), the other ASIC vendors would then publish their secret alternative algorithms, and Bitcoin could be made to support those.
That's the first time I hear of this.... That's more dangerous in my mind than what has been said in this thread so far... Basically BFL and some big time BFL ASIC miners can protect their investment by switching over to another protocol when a competitor comes along.... If BFL ASICs represent more than 51% of the network (and from the long list of pre-orders, it sure does look like it); they can force others to switch to their other BFL protocol.... Now that is scary ! Attacking the network for commercial profits... so much for the decentralized mining theory that was the start of this conversation !
Mining majority cannot change the algorithm, only an economic majority can. I don't think anyone would be able to get most BFL miners to switch without a good reason, anyway - it's simply too risky since "greed" won't fly with the non-BFL miners.

Oh, the drama! The licensed mining comes up again. Except this time the licenses are issued in the secret.
There are no licenses or issued secrets. Each ASIC vendor is expected to come up with their own reasonable "secret alternative algorithm" and not tell anyone else (including developers) until such an emergency occurs.

But in these early stages of Bitcoin, economic majority = mining majority, don't you agree ? Greed is rampant in the bitcoin mining community because every miner wants to protect their investment and maximize their profits, understandably so. There are not many miners that hash for free to strengthen the Bitcoin network.

And with BFLs pre-sold ASICs + FPGA-range they have a pretty good lock on the mining majority unfortunately... a mining majority that  has been paying a lot of money to be the first to get their hands on an ASIC to profitably mine them for as long as they can....

I hope you are right !
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September 02, 2012, 05:48:26 PM
 #372

Not to mention invalids the BFL ASICs as well, which means a couple $ 100.000s goes down the drain....
That is not necessarily true. ASIC vendors are advised to implement an alternative algorithm they can switch to in case of emergency like this. If the community felt it necessary to block out ASICMINER (or some other hostile ASIC hoarder), the other ASIC vendors would then publish their secret alternative algorithms, and Bitcoin could be made to support those.
That's the first time I hear of this.... That's more dangerous in my mind than what has been said in this thread so far... Basically BFL and some big time BFL ASIC miners can protect their investment by switching over to another protocol when a competitor comes along.... If BFL ASICs represent more than 51% of the network (and from the long list of pre-orders, it sure does look like it); they can force others to switch to their other BFL protocol.... Now that is scary ! Attacking the network for commercial profits... so much for the decentralized mining theory that was the start of this conversation !
Mining majority cannot change the algorithm, only an economic majority can. I don't think anyone would be able to get most BFL miners to switch without a good reason, anyway - it's simply too risky since "greed" won't fly with the non-BFL miners.
Oh, the drama! The licensed mining comes up again. Except this time the licenses are issued in the secret.
There are no licenses or issued secrets. Each ASIC vendor is expected to come up with their own reasonable "secret alternative algorithm" and not tell anyone else (including developers) until such an emergency occurs.
But in these early stages of Bitcoin, economic majority = mining majority, don't you agree ? Greed is rampant in the bitcoin mining community because every miner wants to protect their investment and maximize their profits, understandably so. There are not many miners that hash for free to strengthen the Bitcoin network.

And with BFLs pre-sold ASICs + FPGA-range they have a pretty good lock on the mining majority unfortunately... a mining majority that  has been paying a lot of money to be the first to get their hands on an ASIC to profitably mine them for as long as they can....

I hope you are right !
I don't think economic majority is equivalent to mining majority anymore, and certainly won't be after this ASIC upgrade. Even with GPUs and FPGAs, a lot of the bigger miners have had to sell most of their profits for fiat currency. I expect the biggest influence for such a change would be MtGox: who's going to use an algorithm they don't support these days? And I think MtGox's integrity is such that they would not go along with such a change merely to satisfy greedy miners.

Edit: For an example, note that some big GPU miners have been trying to push for an algorithm change, but they're not getting anywhere because it's based only on greed.

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September 02, 2012, 05:53:33 PM
 #373

There are no licenses or issued secrets. Each ASIC vendor is expected to come up with their own reasonable "secret alternative algorithm" and not tell anyone else (including developers) until such an emergency occurs. When/if that happens, Bitcoin would be made to accept any of these alternatives.
I'm just quoting this for posterity. Here we have Luke-Jr playing the role of Hans Buehler from the old Crypto AG drama: "Honestly, dear Iranian interrogators, our cryptograhic chips have no secret backdoor algorithms implemented!".

But in my opinion Erik Voorhees plays this role better in the Satoshi Dice thread:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=101902.msg1140872#msg1140872

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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September 02, 2012, 06:04:14 PM
 #374

There are no licenses or issued secrets. Each ASIC vendor is expected to come up with their own reasonable "secret alternative algorithm" and not tell anyone else (including developers) until such an emergency occurs. When/if that happens, Bitcoin would be made to accept any of these alternatives.
I'm just quoting this for posterity. Here we have Luke-Jr playing the role of Hans Buehler from the old Crypto AG drama: "Honestly, dear Iranian interrogators, our cryptograhic chips have no secret backdoor algorithms implemented!".

But in my opinion Erik Voorhees plays this role better in the Satoshi Dice thread:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=101902.msg1140872#msg1140872
... what?

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September 02, 2012, 06:05:59 PM
 #375

There are no licenses or issued secrets. Each ASIC vendor is expected to come up with their own reasonable "secret alternative algorithm" and not tell anyone else (including developers) until such an emergency occurs. When/if that happens, Bitcoin would be made to accept any of these alternatives.
I'm just quoting this for posterity. Here we have Luke-Jr playing the role of Hans Buehler from the old Crypto AG drama: "Honestly, dear Iranian interrogators, our cryptograhic chips have no secret backdoor algorithms implemented!".

But in my opinion Erik Voorhees plays this role better in the Satoshi Dice thread:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=101902.msg1140872#msg1140872

You lost me.

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September 02, 2012, 06:30:15 PM
 #376

These "secret algorithms" thingy is really bizarre...
It opens up the door for conspiracy and hostile take over in the future.

Remember the powers that control current financial system have been able to get where they are by first creating the "problem" and then showing the "solution". It's a very simple scheme and it pretty much always worked.

So the following scenario is possible:
 - they first create a "mystery miner" (Pirate's GPUMAX anyone?) which gets dangerously close to the half of the network hashpower.
 - in response to that, lead developers of several Bitcoin clients publish a plea to community to switch to a new "secret algorithm" conveniently supported by "benevolent" ASIC manufacturer BFL.
 - they will keep the algorithm secret so that those "terrorists" don't have a chance to attack again.

See where it's going...?
We need more projects like ASICMINER to diversify, otherwise it won't end well.
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September 02, 2012, 06:32:39 PM
 #377

ASIC vendors are advised to implement an alternative algorithm
Please provide a link to where this has been discussed.
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September 02, 2012, 06:42:01 PM
 #378

You lost me.
... what?
This is what makes good drama: you don't know what's gonna happen next.

Initially story starts that a supposedly open source project dictates the technical parameters to the hardware manufacturers.

In second part both friedcat and Inaba/Nassim GNasser Gh Moeini unveil their secret algorithms and start the fight for domination, kidnap Gavin and try to force him to change the official Bitcoin hash algorithm. firedcat is backed by the Umbrella Corporation and Inaba/Nassim GNasser Gh Moeini obviously by the Taliban.

In the 3rd part Magical Tux unveils their Tekken-hash and with the help of ragtag group of karate kickers and hot asian girls they free Gavin and conquer each of the ASIC usurpers. The Tekken-hash is the key to the win: it runs well on AMD, Nvidia & DirectCompute on Intel GPUs and spreads itself as a cross platform first-person-kicker computer game (this is why hot Asian girls are important) . We also learn that Magical Tux is a secret son of Gavin Andresen(or vice-versa).

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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September 02, 2012, 06:50:09 PM
 #379

In my humble opinion this problem should sort itself out by the free market. If it so profitable to mine with ASIC, there will be several compaines that will develop it and the free market will make sure there is no monopoly on ASIC chips and mining. I'm sure that when there will be 250 Thash/s hashing power that it won't come from one place and that the people that invested in ASIC will make a lot of money. Of course the ones that come out first will make the most money... And that's what it's about - it's profitable and it's good for bitcoin, so it's perfect. We won't have to worry about Bitfountain having 12 Thash/s at their house because with bigger miners it won't be so weird to have 1 Thash/s at home. And then if the goverment comes to try to take over the bitcoin, we will be more then a match for them...
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September 02, 2012, 06:51:44 PM
 #380

BFL says they are selling 100% (or close to it?) of their ASICs immediately, and a bunch at the same time to prevent any one person from having a chance to abuse it.

So BFL wants to sell their thing while ASCIMINER first wants to earn from mining. And youre sure that there arent a third competitor that doesnt want to sell but instead want to earn from mining only? I think that would be the better roi. And what then?

Anyway... both companies are speaking freely about their plans. When one would want to attack the network he surely wouldnt say a word until the attack is done. And even then im wondering if the amount of money invested would be low enough to take the risk that the 51% attack doesnt succeed. I highly doubt anyone would try such thing when it means investing so much money upfront. Am i wrong? Only a government maybe could try that because they would pay it from the peoples money easily.

Regarding the alternative algorhythm... asics are chips that run software arent they? So a changed algo only would mean a change in software. Doesnt sound that everyone couldnt implement a change at this point. Or is it really hardware that has to be changed?
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