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Ethereum ProgPow Battle Not Over Yet as Opposition Rises

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The Ethereum programmatic proof-of-work (ProgPoW) opposition is not settling down. If anything, it seems to be rising, with an open letter and a Twitter hashtag dedicated to it now.

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“NoProgPow,” say many developers and ETH supporters, adding: “I do not support the inclusion of ProgPoW.” With this declaration, they’re signing an open letter written by the anti-ProgPow camp against its activation.

As reported, Ethereum core developers announced that the long-discussed ProgPoW (a replacement for Ethereum’s proof-of-work algorithm, Ethhash) will be implemented as a part of the July hard fork set to follow the planned June Berlin upgrade. While it’s meant to block ASIC chips usage out of fear of centralization, many are worried that it’s the core developers that have too much power and that their decision may result in a chain split.

This highly contentious issue for the ETH community seems to have culminated in a letter stating that “a broad coalition of Ethereum stakeholders and experts are strongly against activation” of ProgPoW. It continues:

  • there’s a clear lack of support for the upgrade and it failed to achieve consensus after two years of debate;
  • while it aims to avoid contentious forks while transitioning to the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, it raises their likelihood;
  • it offers no clear benefit to Ethereum’s transition to PoS and may centralize haspower, or the computing power of the network;
  • there is no evidence that it will disincentivize adversarial miner tactics;
  • it sows community division and introduces technical risk when all should be focused on the upcoming transition to Ethereum 2.0.

It currently has 73 signatories, plus 15 pseudonymous signatories, with names from Gnosis, Uniswap, Kyber Network, EthereumDC, ETC Cooperative, ETHCC, ConsenSys, MolochDAO, Synthetix, DeFi Pulse, and others.

Meanwhile, ETH is trading (10:42 UTC) at USD 226, having dropped 5% in a day and 13% in a week.