Hudson Jameson, a core developer at the Ethereum Foundation, announced that funding had been secured for a third-party audit of ProgPoW, a controversial code change to the Ethereum network. Jameson made the announcement on April 26 during the latest of the Ethereum core developers’ bi-weekly meetings.
Jameson explained in a March blog post that the audit is intended to examine“the expected effect of ProgPoW on the security of ethereum,” and on ethereum’s mining industry. The audit will be conducted by Least Authority, a Berlin-based company that was previously employed by the Electric Coin Company (the company that created Zcash.)
“The ProgPow audit is going to be funded,” said Jameson in the meeting. “Everyone has confirmed their funding. It should be started this week or next week hopefully. There’s just some logistics to work out, meaning people have to sign some paperwork and the funds have to be sent.”
The developers’ efforts to raise the necessary funds for the audit (50,000 DAI, or roughly US$50,000) began in February. The funds were raised through crowd-sourced donations on Gitcoin, an open-source bounty platform, and through a few anonymous donations from the cryptocurrency community.
ProgPoW Will Level the Playing Field for Ethereum Miners
Since it was proposed, ProgPoW has caught quite a bit of flack–if implemented, the code change will make it much more difficult for costly, specialized hardware units earn mining rewards on the Ethereum.
A quote #ProgPoW proponents should consider:
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“The review of a [mining] algorithm is a very critical task…if someone designs an algorithm without explaining why the algorithm has been designed this way…it’s very hard to state that ‘yes’ this algorithm is secure.”- Dr. Bertoni https://t.co/iXbAZXpqAt
— Syncubate (@Syncubate) April 21, 2019
Specifically, this would seriously limit the return on Ethereum miners who operate mining rigs with ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) chips, a kind of GPU (graphics processing unit) that is often used in cryptocurrency mining rigs.
One of the intentions behind the new code is to level the playing field for miners who may not have access to costly equipment.
The new algorithm makes it easier for Ethereum miners with lower-cost GPUs to earn mining rewards, which is good news for miners without fancy equipment–however, this is expected to seriously kick up the competition for mining rewards on Ethereum.
Currently, Ethereum’s total mining rewards are estimated to be around $700 million annually. At the time of writing, Ethereum’s market cap was roughly $16.7 billion.