Why did Electroneum revert to the ASICS?


#1

This may come as a surprise to many but one of the main reasons was in fact security and integrity of the blockchain. I believe it was one of the best decisions they could make under the circumstances surrounding the hash spikes.

By having a dedicated ASIC mining base as opposed to miners who can switch at will provides significantly more security. This is why I believe block chain communities should embrace ASIC development on their networks, rather than resist it. Many developers in the cryptocurrency world say that the fears of centralization are overblown and that ASICs actually improve the security of a cryptocurrency network by making them harder to dominate with raw computing power.

While there are plenty of home of the GPU miners that are fairly loyal and would like to mine the coin there was simply not enough of them to maintain the stability and security of the block chain. Many of the GPU miners wake up every morning and check, then decide what is the most profitable coin to mine for the day. Even worse with the large GPU-based mining operations there is a lot of jumping from coin to coin and mining the most profitable coin, ETN was abused by them way too long.

Leading up to the fork Electroneum block chain was raided almost daily causing spikes and destroying everything the GPU miners worked for during that day. For smaller networks in particular like ETN at the moment, high volatility in hash rate did pose a threat as it lead to less stability with increasing vulnerability. it was not if - but - when someone came along with enough rented hash power and raided the network for 51%.

There were only two options: Fight the ASICS or Embrace it.

The only effective (albeit short-sighted) way to fight ASICS would be to hard-fork every time we need an adjustments to diff levels and algo types. This strategy of catching up to something that already occurred makes no sense and does not really seem to be very sustainable as a strategy. This would end up in a “cat-and-mouse” game where the community would have to change the protocol anytime new hardware comes out. Once again, you don’t have to look further for proof than to Monero. When they added ASIC resistance to their main protocol it led to the messy hard fork of four new projects, each with the pre-fork software open to ASIC miners - yes they are still fighting this battle and with the programmable FPGAs on the horizon it will get harder if not impossible. .

There was really no choice but to embrace the ASISC and accept certain truths about them, many in the crypto sphere are pointing to outdated examples from 2014 / 2015 how ASICS took from an average home gpu miner, unfortunately staying on with the GPUs would come with disastrous ending and no one wanted to accept this as a fact. it seems obvious that the ideal scenario would be a diversified landscape with miners purchasing their ASIC hardware from various manufacturers and thus creating an ecosystem where the long term utility value of their respective hardware is tightly connected to the value of the specific network/coin they are mining for.

Obviously more specialized hardware would move mining even more away from small scale operations in private household basements to rather large scale and professionally run mining operations. However, this is a trend that the ecosystem has seen over the years with GPUs already and in the end could eventually just be the price a crypto-network would have to pay for an increased level of network security. BTC is slow but very stable becasue of the ASIC miners, why resist it? Embrace it!

There are many arguments that one can make in either direction ultimately a decision was made and a good one at that so lets not argue about decentralization/centralization. Anyone can go on ebay and buy an ASIC miner to mine ETN. Ever since the fork our block chain is purring like a kitten and Electroneum can concentrate on building a product that will revolutionize this entire crypto space.


#2

All valid reasons to be honest, however as an invested GPU miner I feel ETN let me down, its really to only coin I ever had faith in and wanted to mine, and now I cannot.
After the first update could there not have been some way to increase the payments to miners which would have made the coin irresistible and therefore you would have easily gotten the hash-power you desired, you could also have built in Nicehash resistance to help stop people directing loads of intermittent hash power at heir command.
There will be lots of miners feeling this way, would you ever change the algo again ? I’d love to hear some feedback .


#3

I would recommend mining another cryptonight coin that is ASIC resistant, and then exchanging those coins for ETN. In essence you will be doing the same thing. I don’t think ETN will ever change the algo to be anti asic again. Unfortunately, the market is moving this way and GPU mining will become a thing of the past, similair to how CPU mining is today. This will be especially true when FPGA’s come out and become the norm.


#4

I feel for you, and I also have 2 rigs that I used to mine ETN. I have moved to other coins so it is not a total loss by any means, in fact there is plenty to choose from, if the ROI is what you are after.

As for the emission output adjustment that simply out of the question. You do realize what it is right now? It is already into millions per day, increasing that would be unsustainable and still would not solve/prevent the hash raids in fact that would be even a bigger incentive to attack and get the coins.

Forking with nicehash resistance would be only a temporary band aid solution as they would also adjust and we would be back again at it looking into another fork. Please do not forget that everyone, all nodes and wallets/exchanges have to be updated every time ETN forks, so it is not just a matter of forking and flip flopping from one algo to the next.

There was one other factor that I did not mention but perhaps I should. In a very near future FPGA chips will hit the markets and take away from the GPUs even more, there will be no stopping them as they are re-programmable and much much faster than what you have right now.

All in all, there was really no other choice.


#5

Yes its hard, anyway I’m still behind ETN and looking forward to whats in the future for us all, hopefully, that will include a trip to the moon!


#6

Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come. Electroneum will have its day in the Sun, I am sure of it.

M.


#7

Not trying to fud it up in here. But I was heavily invested into mining with gpu’s on etn. When that whole fiasco happened it made me so upset. I mine with a phone still but my profits are no longer 500etn+ per gpu/day anymore it’s more like 1-10etn a week now.


#8

I too made a bad choice in early 2018… I thought it would be best to use my saving and build a mining rig that would generate more ETN in the long run than buying it outright. Things were good for a few months, but when price dumped, and ASICS came and left, then came back again, i had no choice but to sell my rig at a loss.

Unortunately the GPU community was not big enough to avoid 51% attack and the ETN team were forced to open up to ASICS for a faster, more stable hashrate that could not so easily be manipulated.