When you thought things couldn’t get any more interesting, George Kikvadze, Vice Chairman of BitFury firing some shots on twitter. According to him, those that might possibly change the POW protocol for Bitcoin will get prosecuted to the fullest extent. It is obvious why BitFury is terrified of a POW change, the company raised over $90M in funding which could become futile if Bitcoin’s consensus mechanism is altered.
For the nontechnical people, Bitcoin currently uses the SHA256 algorithm in order to secure the network, this type of mechanism is called Proof of Work (POW). However, the POW protocol can be altered if the algorithm is changed from SHA256 to a different one. There are dozens of hashing algorithms all having their own pros and cons, some are more energy efficient, while others prevent ASICs from taking over the mining process. Recently, there have been some talks of possibly changing Bitcoin’s POW algorithm, which didn’t sit so well with the large conglomerate miners.
The idea started as luke-jr, a renowned Bitcoin Core developer proposed a Proof-of-Work upgrade initiative. This initiative sent shivers down major miners’ spines as their million dollar operations might become completely useless. The proposal looks to restructure the mining pool playing field as Bitcoin’s POW algorithm would be changed from the current SHA256, to a different possibly more secure algorithm. Effectively, the hundreds of hours used to research, create, and upgrade ASICs will all be put to waste as new miners and algorithms will be required moving forward.
Whether the proposal is positive or negative is up to debate, but the fact that miners’ like BitFury are using their millions to threaten lawsuits on open source developers is simply unethical. The reason for the Bitcoin Unlimited fork is that many users are tired of paying ridiculous mining fees. SegWit would alleviate the congestion causing the spike in fees, but not everybody agrees with that solution.
Bitcoin miners and users are becoming more and more frustrated with each other, and more and more proposals are popping up that are looking to fix the disconnect. Threatening lawsuits on developers as if the Bitcoin protocol belongs to you is not only useless, but also extremely detrimental to one’s reputation. It is understandable that one has to protect their investment, but one should resort to innovation instead of litigation.
Check out the full twitter rant here:
We contacted Bitfury and asked on what grounds would they sue developers, but they declined to comment.
Bitcoin is a decentralized network, the fact that it is controlled by the miners and not the users is not a positive trend by any means. After all, miners are the ones who are monetizing the network, while users are the one growing it. Changing the POW algorithm, or even switching to a POS consensus might be exactly what the network needs. Tell us whether or not you agree with George’s litigation threats, and whether or not they can be substantiated.
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