“Ethereum developer Piper Merriam opened Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) #958 on Github on March 30, presenting the idea of a possible hard fork in the Ethereum (ETH) protocol to invalidate ETH ASICs.
Vlad Zamfir, another developer with the Ethereum Foundation, posed the same question on Twitter March 28. 57 percent of respondents voted yes.
Both developers’ polls emerge amid rumors that the China-based ASIC manufacturer Bitmain is on the brink of shipping its first Ethash compatible ASIC miners. Ethash is the Proof-of-Work(PoW) hashing algorithm used by Ethereum and a variety of other altcoins.
Buterin’s Ethereum White Paper suggests the protocol already has a twofold resistance to mining centralization.
First, the algorithm requires miners to return the hash for data that has been “randomly selected” from transactions in the preceding block. Since “Ethereum contracts can include any kind of computation,” “an Ethereum ASIC would essentially be an ASIC for general computation – ie. a better CPU.”