Sia hard fork bricks Innosilicon, Bitmain ASIC miners as punishment

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Siacoin is hard forking to ruin competing miners, while leaving its own Obelisk miners fully functional.

An equally exciting and troubling development has gone down today, with Siacoin passing through a hard fork that destroys competing application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) mining machines, turning them into so many tens of millions of dollars’ worth of useless paper weights. Specifically, the fork will be bricking Innosilicon and Bitmain Siacoin miners.

At the same time, Obelisk miners are left unaffected. The same people run both Siacoin and Obelisk, so this decision is essentially just Siacoin handing its own partner company a complete, highly centralised monopoly over the Siacoin network.

It’s well worth unpacking this fascinating development, and its implications, for quite a few reasons.



Piece by piece

Proof of work is highly centralised by nature

There were several different motivations behind the fork, and it wasn’t one that the Siacoin team took lightly. In fact, the issue first came up months ago but was decided against largely because people were worried about what would happen if Siacoin’s creators got a mining monopoly over their own network.

But as David Vorick, lead developer of Sia and CEO of Obelisk said, almost any proof-of-work cryptocurrency will inevitably find itself under a mining…

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