In the community of cryptocurrency Sia, aimed at the creation of a network of decentralized data storage, a debate on the deployment of softforce. This patch will prevent to work online any ASIC miners, in addition to the equipment issued by a subsidiary Nebulous that manages the codebase Sia.
Nebulous plans to manufacture ASIC miners
Sia, the result of combining the ideas of David Viorica (David Vorick) and Luke Ciampino (Champine) was created in 2015 as an attempt of decentralization, file storage, offering owners of network nodes the opportunity to rent out unused space on the hard disk for tokens SIA. Technology provides file encryption from the owners of the disks so they could not see the data, and working smart contracts allows payments between tenants and owners. The system protects themselves against fraud by deploying a consensus Proof-of-Work algorithm Blake, which attracted a lot of GPU miners.
19 June last year, Sia surprised the community by releasing
company logo with text «the Obelisk. Soon». A few days later, Nebulous announced its plans to begin production of ASIC-miners, in particular, the Sia ASIC created subsidiary of the Obelisk. They started the presale of the equipment and identified the date of dispatch of the first batch in the summer of 2018.
Bitmain stopped by unannounced
Meanwhile, Chinese manufacturer of ASIC miners Bitmain slowly and not revealing their plans, worked to create a miner for Sia. Unexpectedly for the majority of the community, Sia and Nebulous, in January Bitmain announced
about selling new equipment on Twitter and started mining on your pool SIA Antpool before miners Obelisk was able to enter the market. During the second half of January, the hash rate and network difficulty SIA increased about 20 times.
Vorik answered quickly
in this step, warning users about the «trump card», which is in the developers: softforce, which would make it impossible for any ASIC-miner, in addition to equipment for Obelisk. He said
«We’ve added additional function to the code SC1, which would allow us to do the impossible job of hardware Bitmain. The community will have to consider whether to exercise softpark (it’s not something we can just magically activate, we need to slightly change the hash algorithm), and then we could get rid of Bitmain equipment».
However, Vorik mentioned that he does not consider softpark decision in the interests of Sia, but the team would act if Bitmain will be to attack the network. He assured the community that the Sia is not «in trouble» and then started a discussion to allow users to react to the situation.
Power hash and new players
Shortly after the announcement Viorica Bitmain has opened
mining in Antpool Sia, hash rate which now stands at 360 TH/s, or about 3% of the network Sia. Mining Sia currently is actually controlled owned by the developers of pool Siamining with approximately 67% of the network. Obviously, most of the released Bitmain devices working on the pool and F2Pool Siamining having a share of about 21%.
Perhaps the emergence of ASIC miner for Sia and other cryptocurrencies on the hashing algorithms of the Blake family from another Chinese manufacturer — Baikal. His pre-sales are already open, but deliveries have not yet started.
Recently, the competition for hash rate SIA to join another manufacturer. Vietnam Halong Mining company also announced
own Sia ASIC with an output of 3.33 TH. However, the community reacted to the news with skepticism, considering that on the website
the manufacturer does not even photos of the final product. In addition, Halong has yet to release the serial SHA256 miners, pre-orders for which she sold in October last year. And yet, there are those who are upset due to the emergence of a new competitor.
Non-existent threat and open monopoly
Six days after the beginning of the development of events, on January 23, the so-called «open letter,» supposedly written «by members of the Sia community», laying out the specifics of the situation with only the protectionist point of view. The authors of the letter called for support from softforce that would deprive equipment Bitmain and other manufacturers of ASIC miners the opportunity to work in a network. Most interestingly, this does not apply to miners Obelisk.
The letter says: «the desire to increase profits expensive Bitmain blockchain communities. However, they are not going to put up with it. Now users Sia is concerned that Bitmain has an agenda, which can be either in the mining of empty blocks to destroy the network of Sia, or in implementing a 51% attack.»
The petition included in the letter, at the time of publication received
263 signatures and calls to activate the fork, «to protect the network from any potential attacks Bitmain». The authors of the petition ask potential signatories to first read the open letter before making any decision. The low number of signatures suggests that real community is not well appreciated this idea.
Overall, the letter is replete with misstatements of facts and of different purity arguments, actually calling for the monopolization of mining in the hands of developers, leaving them the only manufacturers in the market. Thus, equipment, existing only on paper. According to the manufacturer, the chips Obelisk will be created on the outdated 28nm process technology, but their declared energy efficiency is 3-4 times higher than competitors. The development of this wonderful equipment is constantly delayed, which is understandable.
In other words, the authors of this «strange» letters want to exclude competition in the mining market SIA, giving the distribution of the capacity team, that is giving them another lever for full control over the network. In a letter to the course are absolutely textbook techniques of propaganda and intimidation of users mythical threat of «attack» from the Bitmain owns, however, only 3% can see the network, while the pool of developers control 70% (and at the expense of hardware from Bitmain).
Sia says: the fork is an extreme measure
Just two days later, Zach Herbert (Herbert Zack), Vice-President, Sia, wrote a response to the letter. It States that the company does not support softform, which will prevent the work equipment Bitmain, simply because it will be «centralized monopoly power,» which contradicted the ideology of the project.
However, the team recognizes Bitmain «villain» and reaffirms its action on the «undermining» of the projects with which it is associated. However, the specific examples are not given because of their absence. Besides the fact that Bitmain took from under the noses of Nebulous monopoly on the production of ASIC miners. But protectionism to boost sales of non-competitive products — is a common measure in world politics.
«We are trying to create a storage layer for the Internet. And so we can’t afford to damage our reputation and split the community at this stage of development,» said Herbert.
However, he said that the team will carry out the Sia softpark in the case that Bitmain will take any action to «hurt» the project.
To be or not to be a fork?
At the moment, the team plans to conduct Sia fork is unknown. However, they are well aware that any steps to the side to not allow the ASIC miners Bitmain and other manufacturers to work online, will strongly strike on reputation of the whole project.
The team makes it clear that it will decide on such only in the case that Bitmain and other companies «try to harm the network», but not to reduce competition for domestic miners. This very strange wording which introduces a presumption of guilt for any competitor, has raised questions. However, the cryptocurrency community, like any other, is fairly easy to manipulate «public opinion», which proves the emergence of such petitions. Obviously, a new act of this drama is to be expected after the start of production miners Obelisk.