“We’re going back to stuff we were tired of talking about months ago. We decided the only issue is whether there are errors in the algorithm [or] back doors in the algorithm.”
So said Greg Colvin during a heated debate during an ethereum developer call Friday over a proposed change to the network’s mining algorithm known as Progressive Proof-of-Work or “ProgPoW.”
A change that would impact the estimated $655 million annual market for ethereum’s mining rewards, ProgPow is aimed at reducing the efficiencies of specialized mining devices called ASICs and maximizing the performance of general purpose hardware called GPUs. Both types of machines can be deployed on the network as of 2018, a development that has set off a contentious debate.
Some believe optimizing the network for GPUs will enable more ethereum users to compete for new cryptocurrency awarded by the protocol, while others believe large mining firms are likely to push out such individuals regardless of what types of chips are capable of conducting the computing requirements needed.
Still, developers reached a tentative agreement about the code in early January, prompting Colvin today to question why the agenda item discussing the proposal persisted.
“Nobody objected. Many agreed. Nobody blocked it. We had a consensus that we’re moving forward unless there were technical issues,” said Colvin.
But investigating these potential “technical issues” is proving to be harder task than expected.
Having initiated third-party security audits of the ProgPoW code, core developers agreed that a working group of project managers would be in charge of executing and reporting the findings of these audits.