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Despite their claims, @[email protected]'s hosted mining services are absolutely a centralisation risk, just like any other hosted mining.

If you're going to buy hosted mining anyway, pick a small-hashrate company to provide it, but don't fool yourself into thinking it's comparable to actually mining yourself.

(BetterHash only helps when you physically control the hardware.)

@lukedashjr Hold on there. If its a centralization risk, then why recommend a smaller centralization risk? Betterhash is important. Yes, everyone should run a node. Most don't. We're in a transitional phase where its still being bootstrapped. Your argument reminds me of a lot of no-coiners that don't like Bitcoin because to them it "Fails" due to unrealistic expectations. Is there a technical incentive/solution? More code, less complaining.

@TallTim betterhash does nothing special unless you control the hardware

@TallTim @lukedashjr luke always looks for extreme cases, its kinda his job. What you’re saying and what he’s saying are not contradictory. Ofc self held miners are perfect and ofc betterhash is better than current pool system.

@vbhide @lukedashjr I get annoyed when I see someone who is technically proficient offering criticisms without offering any incentives/solutions. I prefer balance in that regard. While Betterhash is a good step, perhaps there are other avenues for incentivizing less pool activity.

@TallTim @vbhide The problem in this context is centralisation of hardware, not pools.

The solution was a PoW change, but the community got FUDded out of doing it.

@lukedashjr @TallTim at this point id personally oppose any hard fork thats not required by a total crash of the current setup.

@lukedashjr @TallTim glad to be :) it takes all to make a world as the french put it

@lukedashjr @TallTim @vbhide

I’m curious, what POW algo do you think would have a chance of avoiding the pitfalls of SHA256? Something that could be designed to make ASIC fabrication extremely accessible? With an effort to avoid anything that could allow for non-trivial hardware optimizations?

It seems to me that any change of algo would increase hardware centralization in the ~near future, as chip manufacturers still have an advantage. Is the goal longterm improvement?

@htimsxela @TallTim @vbhide IIRC a number of hash algorithms have been designed specifically to make them easy to implement in hardware.

@lukedashjr @vbhide Care to elaborate? I'm wary of extreme brevity when dealing with complex topics.

@TallTim @vbhide What do you want me to elaborate on exactly?

The problem of centralised hardware control can be solved by:

1) Redistribution of the hardware.
2) Smart ASICs colocated, if they self-brick when opened/compromised.
3) Change to another PoW algorithm the compromised ASICs don't support.

1 can only be done by the centralised miners, no manufs care to do 2, and the community got scared away from 3.

@lukedashjr @TallTim you are substituting your views for that of the market. You have no idea if 1 and 2 will never occur. And 3. will be a temporary solution because specialisation will occur in due course. We don’t hardfork for temporary solutions. In fact we don’t hardfork until any client becomes explicitly unworkable on the current network. At that point the client hardforks and sometimes other clients follow the new consensus.

@vbhide @TallTim I know that 1 and 2 have NOT occurred.

3 would ideally include specialisation upfront.

The only hardfork in Bitcoin's history (2013 May) was for a temporary "solution", and was not necessary for a working network.

@lukedashjr @vbhide @TallTim if I'm not mistaken, Bitmain is only the shadow of what it used to be, and ASICS technology reached some degree of maturity and now hw manufacturer can't get as huge a competitive advantage as it was the case in the early years. I could understand the pow change proposal in 17 context even if I never agree with it, but don't you feel the facts proved it would have been wrong?

@Sosthene @vbhide @TallTim No, mining is still centralised AFAIK, and a PoW change would still be a good idea.

And even if we had a good distribution today, a PoW change previously would still have been the correct approach.

@lukedashjr @Sosthene @vbhide So then it just reconverges on another algorithm and recreates the same environment? Unless you're telling me that this PoW change is ASIC resistant. If it isn't, then we just arrive at the same point.

@TallTim @Sosthene @vbhide The new PoW should be ASIC-friendly. The problem with SHA2 came about because people found a way to turn it into an ASIC-resistant algorithm.

@lukedashjr @TallTim @Sosthene @vbhide I’m not sure what you mean by SHA256 being an ASIC-resistant algo? I haven’t seen someone use that term around SHA256 before - usually it’s reserved for shitcoin marketing. Are you referring to hardware optimizations like asicboost hindering commoditization?

Is it realistic at all to expect some new algo to avoid these pitfalls? It seems to be quite the challenge to attempt to ‘guarantee’ that such non-trivial optimizations wouldn’t exist.

@htimsxela @TallTim @Sosthene @vbhide Yes, ASICBoost makes SHA2 a lot more complex.

We don't need a guarantee, just a good chance - if it doesn't work out, we can always change again until we find one that does work.

@lukedashjr @TallTim @Sosthene @vbhide @lukedashjr @TallTim @Sosthene @vbhide

Well, at what point does a ‘less-than-perfect’ algo (which has a decade of history/hardware optimization) become the pragmatically better choice than a newly ‘engineered-to-be-(hopefully)-perfect’ algo?

If Bitcoin survives the less-than-perfect solution, to the point of chip commoditization, then why risk the turmoil and short-term centralization involved in switching?

@lukedashjr @TallTim @Sosthene @vbhide
It is perhaps unfortunate that ‘asic-resistance’ became such a meme, instead of ‘asic-compliance’. Maybe something of interest could have come of that.
But then, shitcoiners seem more interested in scams than research, for the most part.

@htimsxela @TallTim @Sosthene @vbhide That assumes it will get beyond the centralisation. So long as Bitcoin uses it, that's rather unlikely. (But if Bitcoin abandons it, it becomes probable! In which case we just switch back.)

@lukedashjr Not your keys = not your coins.
Not your electricity = not your hashes. 😁

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