Cloud storage specialist, Siacoin, has opted to reset its proof-of-work algorithm in order to brick out Bitmain and Innosilicon ASIC miners. The hard-fork to v1.3.6, which takes place on October 31st, will render the hardware incompatible with Sia’s blockchain.
Siacoin’s Soap Opera
The controversial move is the latest in a long-running saga that has caused division within the Siacoin community. The Siacoin (SC) development team had initially given the green light for Bitmain and Innosilicon to produce ASIC mining rigs that could be used to mine its cryptocurrency.
However, it seems that mining giants Bitmain and Innosilicom, will have to consider other options in order to tighten their already vice-like grip on the crypto mining industry. A statement on the Siacoin website read:
After much discussion with the community and an in-depth look into the economics of ASIC manufacturing, the Sia core team has decided to reset the Sia Proof-of-Work function to brick the Bitmain and Innosilicon hardware. We are making this decision after much discussion and careful deliberation over the implications that this will have for the Sia network. We believe that this decision builds the best future for Sia, and sets an example for others in the cryptocurrency ecosystem going through similar challenges.
However, the decision isn’t merely born out of a desire to protect ‘cryptocurrency eco-systems’. Nor is it just about maintaining the ideals of decentralization that everybody seems to bang on about when it comes to blockchain technology. The move is also grounded in cold, hard financial literacy.
The Pillars of Business
Back in 2017, many in the Siacoin community parted with millions of dollars in ‘development funds’, which went towards the purchase of Obelisk mining rigs, for use on the Siacoin blockchain.
However, following a delay in their release, Bitmain grasped the nettle and released their very own specialised crypto mining rigs, thereby undermining the entire Obelisk project before it had even got off the ground.
Following Bitmain’s predictably sh**ty tactics, the Obelisk mining rigs then failed to ship, much to the consternation of those who’d invested their hard-earned. It was at this point apparently, that the idea germinated to brick out Bitmain hardware, while granting the Obelisk mining rigs exclusive access to the Sia blockchain.
This way, the Obelisk mining rigs could be shipped and the original purchasers placated.
Unfortunately, this didn’t set terribly well with hardliners within the SIA community, who argued that Siacoin’s blockchain should remain open and decentralized, even if it meant allowing Bitmain-powered hardware to dominate.
Siacoin initially kowtowed to this ludicrous philosophy and opted to proceed without a hardfork, thereby allowing Bitmain ASIC mining to continue unabated. However, yesterday’s announcement reverses the company’s climb-down, with a hard fork planned for October 31st, 2018 (Halloween no less).
So for the time being at least, it appears that the Bitmain behemoth will have to find another blockchain around which to wrap its tentacles.