Jeff Garzik Asks Community if Asicboost Optimization Should be Disabled

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Asicboost optimization

Jeff Garzik posted a section to his Bitcoin Improvement proposal (BIP) June 1 on Github. He asked the community if the Asicboost optimization should be banned or removed entirely from the Segwit-2mb plan. He brought up the issue to determine if the community wants the patented feature to be disabled or rendered ineffective. 

Also read: Segregated Witness and the Possibility of Patent Infringement

Jeff Garzik Asks Community if Asicboost Optimization Should be Disabled

The addendum of his proposal read, “A patented mining chip hardware feature “ASICBOOST” has been the subject of debate and controversy in the community. This issue is raised for the WG to consider testing protocol/software changes that ban/disable/render ineffective this hardware optimization.”

Garzik also quoted Bitmain’s CEO Jihan Wu, who said he would be willing to work toward the ban of Asicboost if the community desired it.

Asicboost is being repetitively mentioned in the reddit. Btc1 can take a very clear stance to help to ban it if community emotion desire it.

Community Initially Thought Garzik Wanted to Keep Asicboost Optimization

Immediately after Garzik raised concerns about keeping or Jeff Garzik Asks Community if Asicboost Optimization Should be Disabledremoving Asicboost, the community responded with confusion. Even though some have said the current Segwit-2mb proposal acts as an “olive branch” or extension of peace, dissenters have still questioned the motivations of some developers, including Garzik’s.

They wondered if aspects of Asicboost will still exist in either overt or covert form after Segwit activates. For instance, a few commentators wondered if Garzik was purposely being pedantic or unclear to conceal some kind of underhanded scheme to keep Asicboost.

Github User lichtamberg said, “Does this mean the prevention of covert asicboost is not included (which segwit in its current form prevents by default) in the agreement? And therefore has to be removed (because you have to remove it by purpose if it should not be part of the agreement)? PLEASE PROVIDE A CLEAR ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION OR THIS WHOLE AGREEMENT-PROCESS IS DEAD RIGHT NOW.”

User Cobra-Bitcoin provided similar accusations, “@jgarzik I don’t understand why you have to use such weasel words and be so pedantic. Just answer @hmsln’s question with a simple yes/no answer. This isn’t difficult. If you keep being suspicious, people will assume that you’re going to alter Segwit in strange ways to preserve Asicboost for the financial benefit of a certain person…”

Even though users considered Garzik position unclear, he answered the question about Asicboost still existing in a way that satisfied most users. He said,

The WG agreed to “segwit AND 2M”, and that what we are focused on delivering. To the extent that current segwit disables asicboost, or not, that remains unchanged and unmodified. This issue asks the question, therefore, do additional changes need to be added, to further ban/disable/render inert asicboost?

No Clear Consensus…Yet

Garzik raised the aforesaid question about banning Asicboost for the community after he proposed a new version of Lerner’s original 2mb Segwit plan last week. Indeed, more and more of these plans have been circulating in the community, causing a dynamic discussion about many different alternative solutions.

Still, there is no clear consensus yet, but continued open communication and clarity about whether Asicboost will be included or banned may determine how well the community continues to cooperate well into the future. Garzik’s straightforward answer seemed to ease some of the escalating tension between warring bitcoin camps.

Do you think Asicboost should be banned or removed? Is it an optimization or a hack? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and bits.media


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