A member of Bitcoin’s Dev team, as well as co-owner of bitcointalk.org and bitcoin.org, a fellow who goes by the moniker Cøbra, wrote an open letter to the cryptoverse on February 23rd. In which he proposes an alteration of the Bitcoin network’s Proof-of-Work (POW) consensus algorithm. With the change targeted at reducing Chinese crypto-mining giant Bitmain’s stranglehold over Bitcoins hashing power.
Cøbra, known for being a rather opinionated chap who is very vocal in the defence of his ideas, called for a change to Bitcoin’s consensus algorithm in a letter to the Bitcoin community, taking sly shots at Bitmain and saying a change in consensus algorithms would ensure that no single entity gains control of the network. “We don’t want our transactions being decided by the Chinese government. The solution is to adopt a new hybrid PoW system, possibly with a PoS combination, and choosing algorithms that are very easy and simple to build ASICs for. The playing field needs to be even again, and structured in a way where it’s harder for one entity to dominate it.”
Because Satoshi Nakomoto left no clear way forward before disappearing into the void from whence he came, there is fervent debate regarding how the network’s continued growth should be approached (hence the 50 forks scheduled for this year…..so far). Bitcoin’s consensus algorithm hasn’t been a subject of much debate, however, with people focusing on block sizes and transaction speeds mostly.
Cøbra’s concern with Bitmain’s dominance is that Bitmain could proof Bitcoin’sAchilless heel as it is quickly becoming the networks vulnerable point of centralisation. “In a decentralized system, we shouldn’t be put into a position where we rely on a centralized point of failure to behave themselves. People talk about “new entrants” to the mining scene, but it’s almost impossible for anyone to catch up to the total domination of the mining space by BITMAIN” he argued.
He would sound like a paranoid conspiracy nut, were his concerns not valid. Bitmain cleared nearly four billion US dollars in 2017 alone and are responsible for a hefty chunck of the hashing power being contributed to the Bitcoin network.
Here’s the thing though, no mattet of what changes are made to Bitcoin, Bitmain could throw together new algo ASIC chips within 60 to 90 days. Besides it’s in Bitmain’s best interests to see Bitcoin survive and become a mainstream currency.
Bitmain’s head Jihan Wu had the following to say about the matter. ” That is cool. When you achieved it, Bitcoin’s market share in the cryptocurrency will fall under 10%. Good luck!”
“No. While Ethereum is discussing erc20’s improvement proposals and lots of other new blockchains are testing aggressive innovations, controller is busying with political games like change PoW, the future of Bitcoin looks not good.”
What is your opinion on the algorithm change? What do you think is the best course of action?