Ethereum community lead: “ProgPoW is dead”

In brief

  • Ethereum community lead Hudson Jameson has published a post on ProgPow, the contentious upgrade proposal that threatens to bring about a chain split. 
  • Jameson concludes that ProgPow is dead, based on evidence of community dissent.
  • The ultimate fate of the proposal will be discussed at the next Ethereum core developer call on March 6.

Ethereum community lead Hudson Jameson has addressed concerns about the blockchain platform’s controversial proposal ProgPoW. He said, in a blog post published on Monday, that in his opinion the proposal was dead, based on community dissent.

ProgPoW’s objective is to change Ethereum’s hashing algorithm, minimizing the advantage of so-called ASICs—specialized chips optimized for faster mining—by tilting the balance in favour of GPU miners. 

The upgrade was tentatively approved by Ethereum developers in January. A coin vote and miner vote suggested overwhelming support for ProgPoW, and the upgrade passed an audit

But, since its inclusion in a July 2020 hard fork was announced last month, the Ethereum community has argued that ProgPow threatens the platform’s fragile but lucrative Decentralized Finance (DeFi) industry, among other factors. The danger of a chain split and a rival version of Ethereum is too great, ProgPow’s detractors have argued

“In my opinion, ProgPoW isn’t worth it and is dead based on overwhelming evidence of community dissent,“ Jameson concluded in his blog. 

Jameson: Why ProgPoW isn’t worth it

After explaining the decision-making process that led to ProgPoW’s inclusion in the next raft of upgrades, Jameson explained the reasoning behind his stance. 

His primary objection, he said, was that misunderstandings about the effect of the new algorithm constituted too great a risk. 

“With the prominence and money involved in DeFi and other on-chain protocols it would not be in the interest of anyone to support an Ethereum fork long term over a contentious algorithm update that…

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