Is ASIC resistance really a good thing?

I was thinking the other day, after the China ban news, and the huge difficulties miners are facing in China, that actually ASICS after all are a good thing overall for a network:
1-An ASIC is a physical device, not so easy to manage, that ties the owner for the good of the network. You’re basically physically and financially attached to the network, since an ASIC could not have another function

2-ASIC doesn’t mean centralisation. It simply means that only big players can get in. So what? Multiple big players make multiple nodes and thus decentralization. You don’t have to have small players to have decentralization.

3-A GPU, having the ability to mine several cryptos, and have other use cases, does not tie its owner to the network as much as an ASIC does.

Maybe point 2 does merit a little bit of more details, but on average, as I might estimate it, I don’t think that’s completely false for the least.

Any thoughts?

Asic resistance is stupid since gpu miners are not bound by anythin to a specific coin making a 51% attack way more profitable/likely while for example if u were to buy an eaglesong asic for the nervos network and tried to do 51% attack u might make some profit from double spendin but all those asics u just bought ar now completely useless especially since they can only mine a single coin unlike the sha256 miners that hav more choice. Asic minin is basically proof of stake but with machines since in both cases u lose more from an 51% than u gain while with gpu minin u can do 51%, kill a coin, make the big bucks and switch back to yo main coin unscathed.

Point #2 means that mining becomes inequitable thus creating centralization in terms of who can afford to mine, thus who controls the supply of Ergo.

I also recall Butterfly Labs having an extremely limited supply of ASICs which were bought up by the wealthiest, knocking out competition day after day.


Being GPU mineable doesnt make it more decentralized automatically, the same ppl who can buy thousands of antminers can also buy thousands of GPUs (which is what is already happening with the CMP series) so u still end up centralized also minin is a business ofc theres gon be competition its not for everybody. And miners dont control the supply of Ergo cuz all they ar here for is to sell it, if they dont sell they dont make money and ar at a loss so idk what miners u ar referrin to but most miners sell pretty frequently.

1 Like

Point 1: This is a centralizing force that not only prevents competition for different cryptos (bad for decentralization) but also prevents the crpyto for which the ASICS was designed from being able to adapt to a changing market.

To point 2: It also means that a manufacturer could hold a patent on the most efficient ASIC, and only sell to people they like, or a particular class of people.

To point 3: This is a good thing for decentralization. Competition is important in crypto to ensure decentralization. Better that there is Cardano and Algorand than just one or the other from a decentralization stand point.
That miners can leave is also a way to keep the crypto asset honest: If the crypto changes fundamentally in a way that miners do not like they can go elsewhere. Crypto’s have to appeal to GPU miners by having good technology or perceived market value, becasue they can mine elsewhere or offload their hardware to gamers.


U do realize that theres tons of ASIC coins and they are all doin just fine also ASIC/FPGA resistance is pointless cuz theres already fpgas/asics with hbm2 and they ar gettin cheaper by the day so eventually the only way to stop these “evil” asics would be to go the route of Monero and use randomx but even that algo could be asic-ed by makin a CPU specifically designed for monero so all we ar doin with this asic resistance is delayin the inevitable. I wouldnt be surprised if an fpga bitstream for ERGO gets made in the next few years.

And on top of that most GPU miners aint loyal to a single coin they just jump around lookin for the most profitable one and this ability to switch between coins makes a 51% attack way easier and actually profitable while with ASICs if u were to do 51% u would tarnish the coin and now all of those asics u bought are now useless scrap so u lose in the end just like with PoS 51% attacks where even if u manage to get the majority of the staked coins and did an attack u ar now left with a bag of worthless coins.

The market as a whole has yet to realize the importance of decentralization

ASIC coins can stay ahead in value and dominate the market of the future if they can make ASIC machines competitive in price and decentralized manufacturing capability as GPUs.

I am unaware of any PoW asset on the market that financially values decentralization. I know that Cardano does, and that they are building Conclave which is an automated means of stake pool generation as called for by the market. When a technology like that comes to PoW (likely in the case of Ergo, as Cardano and Ergo use the same eUTXO model) The market would have leverage to shove ASICs out of the realm of profitability by incentivizing those with less hashpower that an ASIC can provide to stay connected to the network and provide DECENTRALIZED security.

1 Like

Pretty good points, and interesting conversation. But for me, it’s not like a cut clear answer that ASIC resistance is a good thing in itself. I see your point about decentralisation, and it’s a true point in my view.

But the question to answer is do you have to have that much decentralisation for the coin to be secure. Decentralization is and only is about security, making the network work properly and honestly. Whether be it big organizations, wealthy individuals, they will be able to secure the network, and competition will naturally happen as the network grows and more organisations will get in to mine, and you have decentralisation. Now of course, you will be having more decentralisation with GPUs, but do you have to have that for more security. Not sure, and a pretty weak argument in my view.

You cannot ignore that all of those Bitcoin miners, I believe in no way shape or form would attack the network because they will be bankrupting all of their multimillion dollar enterprises.

Very fair points.

ASICs provide an excellent security guarantee to platforms that do not value decentralization. The point of decentralization is to mitigate risk that any entity may stop acting rationally. If a large organization were mining ERG (nanopool), or the only company producing ASICs stopped acting rationally, everyone else suffers.

In a world were there was no competition between crpyto platforms and fiat, your argument is very sound. There are many variables, many people capable of doing stupid greedy things. Decentralization mitigates that risk.

A pool operator could double spend or run away with a pot for some short term gain. A propriety ASIC manufacturer could build backdoors and take a cut of profits, or otherwise compromise nodes.

If a company came a long and they said, “Hey here is an open source RISC-V ASIC design for Ergo that is many time more energy efficient than GPUs” I don’t think their would be much of a fuss, as anyone could improve upon or produce the hardware if they had the means.

Trustlessness is the key to all of this. I don’t want to have to trust nanopool, I don’t want to have to trust a hardware manufacturer. Trustless and security come directly from decentralization. I trust Cardano to be acting several magnitudes more honestly than Ergo because it is systematically designed to encourage decentralization.

Please compare these two sets of data:

Cardano Stake Pool distribution (The largest group ‘Single Pool Operators’ is not acutally a single entity and can be ignored. It is the most heavily distributed section of the graph, comprised of over 2000 individual stake pools)

Ergo Pool distribution notice nanopools’ dangerously high percentage of hashpower.

From the Ergo Manifesto:

Ergo should be as decentralized as possible. Always strive to spread and grow. Any party’s social leaders, software developers, hardware manufacturers, miners, funds need to avoid central points of failure. All actors whose absence will disrupt the function of the system need to have contingency plans in the event of a disruption. Decentralization is born from education and adoption. The tools we build need documentation, the community needs to actively participate and grow. Teach others to use and adopt the tools. The internet is a powerful driver of decentralization. It can be a powerful tool to teach. Decentralization is born from education, both on the development side and the user side.

Malicious behavior that may affect the security of the network, should be avoided. If any of these parties do appear during Ergo’s lifetime, the community should consider ways to decrease their impact level. There will always be those who seek to disrupt, take advantage, misuse and abuse their power. What is the answer? Education. Educating users to protect themselves, how to identify malicious actors, how to avoid them, how to work together to minimize their power. I would encourage all community members to continually seek to learn, adopt tooling, assist and teach in one way or another. A strong community is born through strong cooperation.


No one sees it as a problem that regular people will be unable to mine ergo. Bitcoin will be a gated asset. With regular people unable to participate they will flock to proof of stake or another proof of work. Eth is already on pass to flip it in the future

Ergo is smart contract PoW so it can just soft fork and patch the new ASIC miners like it did old ones. You don’t see it as a problem that regular people will be unable to mine bitcoin. Bitcoin will be a gated asset. With regular people unable to participate they will flock to proof of stake or another proof of work. Eth is already on pass to flip it.

ASIC? Did you drink? ASIC in any cryptocurrency network brings centralization, because ASICs are expensive, to have many units you need to have a lot of money.

An example of ASIC entering a cryptocurrency is Bytecoin, see what happened with that coin, Monero has the same algorithm but updated its algorithm to prevent ASIC from mining, Monero follows 100%, Bytecoin is practically dead.

Anyone who mentions that ASIC is good for a cryptocurrency is because they have an ASIC and want a possibility to mine another coin with ASIC.

1 Like

Can the wealthy still dominate based on investment… sure.

However, having multiple manufacturing sources, widely available hardware, and a low barrier of entry are all good things.

1 Like

Hey man, it’s just our assumed ethos: a platform for anyone. That means anyone can contribute to security, code, or usage of the platform.

There are points to be made about the benefits of centralization, but there is a better question to ask yourself, do you believe in our vision? Read the Ergo Manifesto. Does our Manifesto inspire you?

1 Like