Despite Core Dev consensus, ‘Proposition ProgPow’ faces community concerns | Segwit adoption tapers off after rapid early growth

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“It’s a nascent technology [blockchain], so there’s bound to be uncertainty around this evolution from year to year. While we don’t know what the future holds, we want to make sure we have a seat at the table shaping it.” Ana Arino, Chief Strategy Officer NYC Economic Development Corp.

The Big Block

Last week’s Ethereum Core Dev Call concluded with renewed discussion of ProgPow, a proposed change to the Ethereum hashing algorithm, Ethash, which would narrow the performance gap between generalized and specialized hardware by as much as 90%.

The rationale behind the algorithm adjustment speaks to Ethereum’s egalitarian ethos: the improved efficiency of specialized versus generalized hardware provides material advantages to ASIC owners, destroying any notion of Satoshi’s ‘one CPU one vote’ and concentrating hashpower in the hands of those who can leverage economies of scale to afford more expensive machines.

After some back and forth between Alexey Akhunov and ProgPow architect Kristy-Leigh Minehan, Ethereum Foundation’s Hudson Jameson noted consensus amongst the call’s participants, asserting that ProgPow should move ahead in the coming months barring the discovery of any major bugs during the test phase. Ethereum 2.0 client developers suggested that the adjustment could be integrated within 2-3 weeks, while the upgrade would go live in the next nine months.

However, despite ostensible agreement among Core Dev members, several notable figures within the wider Ethereum community have pushed back against the proposal, offering convincing rebuttals as to why ProgPow should not be pursued.

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