My political decision to chain-split Ethereum for ProgPoW implementation and here is why

This post is my background of why I decided to create an Ethereum chain-split for ProgPoW before Constantinople upgrade and why it is important for future of Ethereum and ERC20 tokens, GPU mining industry so please read carefully and this is not financial advice nor endorsement to sell / buy your Ethereum or ERC20 token holdings.

Hello, I am Ikmyeong Na from developer community of Ethereum & ProgPoW and today I would like to share you a story of why I decided to create a chain-split of Ethereum and to discuss the future of Ethereum ecosystem.

Background of ProgPoW

PoW Centralization is a serious issue nowadays and it is proven that ASICs make network unsecure, helping asic manufactures manipulate the network rule and dominates the hash power for their clients and their mining factory, eventually make the network unstable and insecure. ( Recent case was Ethereum Classic, being a victim of Ethash ASIC miners )

However, ProgPoW makes commodity hardware dominate the network again, instead of allowing the minority of miners generating blocks and validating the transactions, anti-asic mining algorithms like ProgPoW maintains mining activity decentralized, aim to work ethereum network decentralized as they intended to be.

Despite the fact that ProgPoW is tended to designed for commodity hardware and disallows for minority miners to dominate or manipulate the vote, they tend to manipulate the community instead before the mainnet implements ProgPoW and goes fully decentralized again.

Harassing the intend of ProgPoW and manipulating the community, spreading fake news about ProgPoW makes the situation even worse. Before GPU miners leave the network so no one will sustain the decentralization of ethereum and allows ethereum centralized by ASIC miners, I proposed an earlier adoption of ProgPoW to Ethereum Foundation, to make ASICs obsolete before we have a next issuance reduction for POS switch. ( See https://medium.com/ethereumprogpow/my-final-request-to-ethereum-foundation-to-ship-progpow-with-constantinople-hardfork-9a41bf216906and https://github.com/ethereum/pm/issues/66 ) However, my voice was censored and I received personal insulting and harassment from one of the core developers of ethereum foundation. So today, I declare a war between ASIC manufacturers and the enemy of GPU miners and to make a forkable node to reflect miner’s voice again, to achieve network decentralization and a stable, sustainable world computer platform.

My Background with ProgPoW development

Before telling a plan of the fork, I would like to introduce myself a little bit. Personally, I am an ethereum maximalist and a GPU mining enthusiast, participating on mining activity not just I feel it is fun but also a pride of being part of ethereum mainnet and participating an activity to make the network secure. However just like Bitcoin does it is almost impossible to participate on the mining activity not only the increased rate of network difficulty but also the increased rate of ASIC dominance, it makes solo mining activity even worse and eventually it is impossible to find a certain block as a solo pool.

Therefore to restore a vision of decentralized network of ethereum I started to support ProgPoW algorithm by QAing myself and fixing bugs, on the other hand I started to share the latest news of ProgPoW and called a participation for ProgPoW development activity, Gangnam testnet and Progminer is one of the results of the combination of my development & enthusiasm for ProgPoW.

After the 3 months of participation of ProgPoW development, I felt something is wrong and it is proven that Ethereum Foundation doesn’t intend to merge ProgPoW work base on their clients. Despite that ProgPoW is announced before 7 months, regarding times that we had for ProgPoW adoption on Constantinople, they don’t have any intention to fork for ProgPoW cause they don’t want to take a risk for creating a new classic chain created by ASIC miners.

The start of the Ethereum ProgPoW Project

Ethereum ProgPoW project started to create an alternative ethereum node with native ProgPoW adoption, based on Geth, the most famous ethereum client and the work base from Holiman from ethereum foundation, Ethereum ProgPoW aimed two things for developer and miners to validate ProgPoW for the real use on ethereum networks.

  1. Baked-in ProgPoW Gangnam Testnet to test mining software and pools for testing progpow compatibility
  2. Generate ProgPoW testnets without additional support of looking into source codes

And now from the support of volunteers from various locations Ethereum ProgPoW and Progminer helped Gangnam testnet to be miner-friendly, giving them an ability to test their rigs for progpow mining and to show the vision of progpow-enabled network, proven itself to be a perfect solution for anti-asic movement.

Despite that Progminer and Gangnam testnet started as a part of the creation of Ethereum ProgPoW node, Progminer is now one of the most used miner clients for GPU miners with more than 1K downloads and Gangnam testnet is a successful result for a collaboration of Ethereum Foundation and various participants for ProgPoW adoption including mining software developers, pool operators and a group of GPU miners. Both of them now have a first title regarding with ProgPoW, Progminer is a first commercial mining software that has implemented ProgPoW for the most commodity hardware available for mining cryptocurrencies, Gangnam testnet has served and will continually serve as a first progpow testnet with ethereum-like networks based on the latest technical spec revision of ProgPoW.

A creation of Ethereum ProgPoW node

I started to create a codebase of Ethereum ProgPoW since last October, but before I start to write a code for node, I must think about, what features should I include for Ethereum ProgPoW?, in order to reflect miner’s voices and to create a non-controversial network, I started some research of existing blockchain nodes to support an alternatives like Bitcoin Unlimited, Classic Geth, Bitcoin ABC, Bitcoin Gold, and Bitcoin SV.

Before we support forking to ProgPoW but they are 3 technical problems with the fork

  1. Should we support Constantinople along with ProgPoW?
  2. Should we implement additional replay protection for other chains being created?
  3. Should we lower the difficulty to help the miners?

Constantinople fork gives us a time to delay the difficulty increase at the certain point or we call “Diff bomb”, however, it also lowers the block reward and it is being regarded as a controversial issuance decrease with a centralized government like decision without discussing with miners.

So we’ve excluded Constantinople support from the codebase and we’ve 2 more left

Replay protection can be considered as essential for some service providers like wallet or exchanges however I don’t think additional algorithm modification helps to build the decentralized network and so do for the difficulty modification.

A vision of Ethereum ProgPoW development

So if you have read my modifications I believe you can assume my vision with Ethereum ProgPoW, to create a sustainable, secure network without additional modifications to make the network identical with the previous chain with the vision for ProgPoW being implemented

So far you can now ask, if there is a work commits for ProgPoW adoption and if I have my latest Geth/Parity source code, can I build my own node implementation for Ethereum ProgPoW? and that is true.

I did build a specific node for Ethereum ProgPoW but that doesn’t mean Ethereum ProgPoW itself being limited to “Ethereum ProgPoW’ software, we have our vision that if the client is compatible with the network it can still serve as a node for Ethereum ProgPoW and it is same with Ethereum Classic or ETC, anyone can build clients on Ethereum ProgPoW if they have proper specification of ProgPoW and Ethereum Yellow paper.

Ethereum ProgPoW will stick on its ideology of stable, immutable network if we believe on the vision of Ethereum and ProgPoW, without no kind of manipulation or technical attacks being allowed, the development of Ethereum ProgPoW shines toward the bright future and it can be maintained by an open-source development just like other cryptocurrencies do.

Expected affect of the chain-split

While I’ve already told that I don’t intend to make financial advice for cryptocurrency holders but I must admit, that I should warn the expected event during the chain-split of Ethereum ProgPoW

It is already expected that Constantinople Hardfork is going to happen and become a majority chain for ethereum mainnet, however Ethereum ProgPoW chain will co-live with the original chain and since I don’t intend to make a controversial chain-split nor a true vision of someone else however Ethereum ProgPoW will exist as a different, alternative approach of the decentralization of Ethereum.

While Ethereum mainnet lives on with the hash power support coming from Ethash ASIC miners Ethereum ProgPoW will also be supported by existing GPU miners from Ethereum Mainnet and my expectation is there will be no GPU miners left on Ethereum Constantinople chain while Ethereum ProgPoW is being supported by 100% pure GPU miners, and here is the clear vision of what is my intention to create Ethereum ProgPoW and why Ethereum ProgPoW is still valuable enough without being supported by a majority of existing hash or we call them “hash war”?

Via Ethereum ProgPoW, I intend to create a clean, complete split of GPU mining and ASIC mining of Ethereum mainnet without conflicting each other, I admit that there is a large demand for ASIC mining and GPU mining however, according to Vitalik, the creator of Ethereum’s opinion Ethereum would likely be move toward to POS and it may be true that GPU mining wouldn’t be needed since they are too much energy consumptive and it is a waste of money to pay them off versus POS + ASIC POW model.

However back to the ideology of Ethereum we know that the whitepaper of Ethereum is written with POW without specialized hardware like ASICs cause they cause centralized mining and will lead to the most weakness part of the network security if we ignore the risk of it, without paying for security of the network it is likely to be manipulated with low cost and thus can be breached out or can’t make a technical promise about applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference.

Breaking promises will also harm the core value of Ethereum, losing value to hold & invest in Ethereum as I said before. However we know that we can break promises for realistic reasons so we are here to compromise on reality.

By making a clean split of ASIC mining and GPU mining will give GPU miners a dedicated benefit to maintain their job to make network secure and to keep network decentralized, allowing merchants and service providers relying on the broadcast of transactions from the random node so it is impossible to censor them.

Concerns about chain-split

Again I don’t intend to make financial advice for cryptocurrency holders but if the chain-splitis being activated and two different chain co-exists, you can say that there is no problem with your funds however you should be warned about the upcoming chain-split cause they affect your funds.

First, for Ethereum holders there will be free coins that you can spend ( Yay! ), however it is when your wallet service provider provides a way to deal with replay attacks and they must know about the Ethereum ProgPoW chain-split before their funds are stolen, so I want to alert them in order to avoid a situation of loss from such replay attacks.

At first, we are going to alert mining pools that support the Ethereum ProgPoW to stop mining transactions except for the local ones so you can earn time for coin split.

It is recommended to do a coin split using Ethereum ProgPoW node if you hold ethereum for your clients, you can be neutral to fork however you must complete a coin split to protect coins for your customers who want to receive Ethereum ProgPoW coins also or it will harm your reputation badly.

You can refer the articles from Ethereum Classic or Bitcoin SV about the coin split regarding the prevention of replay attacks, now some of the exchanges can claim to recover the loss from replay attacks however we don’t have any responsibility to recover them nor we don’t have our funds to pay for you.

Not only Ethereum will be the object of the fork but also smart contracts and ERC20 tokens will be the object to be forked, those tokens and contracts will be forked without being modified and thus it is possible to receive an airdrop of these forked tokens if your provider decides to support them.

As a node developer we don’t have responsibility of Airdrop but I will happily introduce you a guide of supporting these tokens as a part of the forked network, however please note that we don’t directly give those tokens for sure, we are not the wallet service provider nor exchange, your token is on your wallet and the key of yours, if anyone asks those keys for direct airdrop them you should suspect the possibility of fraud or theft.

Conclusion and the role of Ethereum ProgPoW

As a creator of Ethereum ProgPoW project, I will do all its efforts for the success of chain-split and development of node software, we expect that Ethereum ProgPoW will serve its role as a tool for reflecting miner’s voice and bringing back decentralization of ethereum mainnet.

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