Ethereum Classic rejects ProgPoW, while SHA-3 gains majority support

Programmatic Proof-of-Work aka ProgPoW, the most controversial proposed implementation of Ethereum, made a short appearance in the Ethereum Classic community. ProgPoW and SHA-3 were the proposals submitted for changing Ethereum Classic’s mining algorithm.

The discussion on the change of Proof-of-Work mining algorithm was held on November 22, 2019, with the other topics in the agenda being change of mining limits, or to maintain the current status quo.

Why the shift?

While the Ethereum community wants to shift the existing PoW mining algorithm with the intent to make mining egalitarian, Ethereum Classic is moving away from Ethhash as the algorithm was first introduced as a temporary stay on Ethereum till proof-of-stake.

Since the DAO hack, which resulted in a chain split creating Ethereum Classic and Ethereum, the latter still leads in terms of majority chain, even though Ethereum Classic is often dubbed as the original Ethereum as it continued on the old chain. This, in turn, makes Ethereum Classic susceptible to a 51 percent attack even by mid-sized mining pools.

On one hand, ProgPoW, a protocol proposed by IfDefElse, would be a GPU-extension of the current Ethash. The protocol aims to reduce the control of ASIC mining on the network by making graphic card mining more competitive.

On the other hand, SHA-3 proposal was made by taking into consideration the 51 percent attack suffered by the leading smart contract platform earlier this year.

At the beginning of the year, SlowMist, a Chinese blockchain security firm, was the first to raise alarm on the attack, with the security firm concluding that a private mining pool had managed to take control of over 51% of the total network hash rate.

A follow-up blog post by Coinbase revealed that the exchange had initially discovered that the attacker had managed to double-spend around 88,500 ETC. On further investigation, the exchange also found that there were 12 other attacks that “included double spends, totaling…

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