AsicBoost Mining Technology: How does it work?

Asicboost Mining Technology is a carefully ‘worked-out hoax or trick’. The expertise of Bitmain attracted a big storm in 2017. Most people, including Gregory Maxwell, Chief Technology Officer of Bitcoin, believe that Asicboost mining has a non-competitive feature; it took advantage of an error or weakness that had occurred within the Bitcoin’s mining system giving the company a huge upper hand against its competitors. Thus, this notes an important factor; Asicboost mining is just an upgraded version of an existing technology. This technology appeared in March 2016. Dr Timo Hanke was involved in its white paper as well as in its official patent together with Sergio Lerner.

How Asicboost Mining Technology Works

The operational part of Asicboost mining can be extremely technical to describe; it assumes much technological knowledge which may also not be obvious to technical gurus.

Asicboost offers a means to run the SHA256 hash quicker; it applies some features of how to run the SHA256 (these are flaws, seeing as they’re deceivable). Essentially, the PoW always occurs on the 80-byte block header. SHA256 divides the data into 64-byte portions. Seeing as the header is 80 bytes, the division creates 1 64-byte chunk and another 16-byte chunk. A major advantage of running the SHA 256 faster would occur in an instance where both chunks run ahead of time. ASIC hashes are sped up by approximately 20%. This may seem like a small ratio, but the effect if applied to any mining device is quite significant.

Going by most mining firm representatives, this knowledge has existed for quite some time; however, it has not been in application due to a combination of patent protection and industry standards. In fact, no particular person or organization have enforced these standards.

The company that is claimed to be using Asicboost mining, Bitmain, has refuted claims of the same.

Bitmain claims that their mining chip employs a different technique of the Asicboosting mining idea by employing it in the hardware. It is also contended that Segregated Witnesses (SegWit) has the ability to make the system archaic.

Exploitation or Efficiency

The questions that arise pertaining to Asicboost mining are whether:

  1. The competitive advantage that it provides is acceptable

  2. It is acceptable to employ programs that work in contrast to the system, seeing as no one particularly prohibits it

Currently, miners have an unspoken understanding not to use the program as it is detrimental to the network.  They have observed that the system isn’t “kosher” among miners, due the fact that it promotes some kind of ‘corruption’; meaning it enables miners to successfully mine without going through much of a hustle – say, handling transactions.

However, this opinion is not unanimous; some take this as a way that provides efficiency in the mining process.

Conclusion

Timo Hanke admits that the technique has potential to be disadvantageous to the Bitcoin network. He is however quick to add that he will not offer his support to any  Bitcoin Improvement Proposal(BIP) that intends to apply the technology to harm bitcoin.

Asicboost co-creator Sergio Lerner also observed on Twitter that newly propositioned Segwit2MB, a substitute for SegWit, is also going to be instrumental as a restriction to miners from the long-term utilizing of the exploit. The one thing that is for sure is that the technology is discriminatory to those who don’t have the right to use it, leading to an imbalanced mining process.

Share
Published by

This website uses cookies.