Ethereum community submits proposal against ProgPow

  • Prominent members of the Ethereum community have submitted a proposal against the implementation ProgPow.
  • The counter-proposal has been signed by about 70 prominent members of the Ethereum community. They claim that there is no majority support for its implementation.

The ProgPow update continues to cause controversy in the community. A group of important members of the Ethereum ecosystem introduced a proposal against the implementation of ProgPoW (aka Programmatic Proof-of-Work). So far, this proposal (EIP 2538) has been signed by about 70 stakeholders and experts of the Ethereum ecosystem.

The discussion about ProgPoW resurfaced during the last Ethereum core developers meeting where it was suddenly decided that the update fpr ProgPoW will be implemented with one of the next hard forks. The update was provisionally dated July of this year. It is intended to replace the current ETHhash mining algorithm with ProgPow, a new mining algorithm that is designed to close the efficiency gap of GPU-miners compared to specialized ASIC-miners.

Proposal to update the Ethereum mining algorithm is not widely supported

The authors of the EIP 2538 proposal aim to signal to the core developers and the Ethereum community that there is a broad coalition against the implementation of ProgPow. The motivation of the authors of the proposal is strongly justified to reject ProgPow. First, they claim that the global nature of the Ethereum requires that major changes have a “clear purpose” and majority support. They believe that proposal EIP-1057 does not meet this requirements.

Second, the authors of the proposal claim that the ProgPow update will split the Ethereum community. Therefore, the purpose of ProgPow will have an opposite effect:

A stated goal of ProgPoW is to avoid contentious forks while transitioning to proof-of-stake, yet it is at odds with its own aims if activation increases the likelihood of that undesired outcome.

If Ethereum implements ProgPoW, the community members who disagree with the EIP-1057 could split the Ethereum chain. Furthermore, the authors of the proposal state that the ProgPow update is unnecessary. This is because Ethereum is moving to make a transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. Finally, the authors of the proposal claim that ProgPoW will not bring any benefit to Ethereum:

ProgPoW offers no clear benefit to Ethereum’s transition to PoS and may centralize hashpower. There is no evidence that it will serve its intended purpose of better aligning miner incentives to disincentivize adversarial miner tactics. More important than these claims is the reality that EIP-1057 has failed to achieve consensus in the Ethereum community after two years of debate which has consumed a significant amount of developer attention and community bandwidth.

The authors of the counter proposal claim that ProgPow will have a negative impact on the Ethereum ecosystem. The co-creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, also  his opinion against the implementation of ProgPow. According to a series of tweets, Buterin said that ProgPow was adopted without the consensus of the community. In addition, he said that the way the decision was taken affects the users’ confidence in the Ethereum governance model.

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About Author

Reynaldo Marquez has closely followed the growth of Bitcoin and blockchain technology since 2016. He has since worked as a columnist on crypto coins covering advances, falls and rises in the market, bifurcations and developments. He believes that crypto coins and blockchain technology will have a great positive impact on people's lives.

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