Ethereum [ETH]: ProgPow is not only a technical discussion but also a political one, says developer

Programmatic Proof-of-Work [ProgPoW] has been one of the key topics of discussion in the Ethereum community, with some favoring its implementation, while others staunchly against it. Kristy-Leigh Minehan, a developer working on ProgPow, recently spoke about the reason behind the debate, in an interview with BlockChannel.

The discussion on the reason for the debate began with Minehan stating that ProgPow was not only a technical discussion but also a political one. This was followed by the developer listing the reasons why it concerned the technical side as well as the political side of the Ethereum community.

Under the technical aspect of the debate, Minehan stated that the first concern was regarding the kind of hardware they want to secure the Ethereum network with, GPUs or ASICs. She stated that GPUs were naturally decentralized, readily available and cater more to home miners, while ASICs were “usually only” sold to enterprises. The second was whether there was still a need for ASIC resistance, considering that ASIC resistance was one of Etheruem’s goal four years ago. She said,

“[…] things evolve over time. So, there’s a lot of discussion from both the developers, application users, stakeholders and miners about, is AISC resistance part of our vision for Ethereum’s future. The third piece is, do we even care about the Proof-of-Work portion of Ethereum anymore because Proof of Stake is ‘on the horizon’.”

This was followed by the developer speaking about the political discussion surrounding ProgPow implementation. Minehan stated that this discussion was with regard to the governance of Ethereum. She stated that on one hand, there were a lot of stakeholders and application developers who felt that their “opinion was not heard” and that the decision of ProgPow implementation was made “without their input”. While on the other hand, miners felt like they were not heard and that their contribution to the Ethereum network was not valued anymore.

She said,

“And, the third piece is that many people are really pushing back because one ProgPow is very technical. It does take a bit of understanding of GPUs intimately work about how hardware intimately works and that can cause a bit of confusion, stress, a little bit of chaos […]

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