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ProgPoW, the Algorithm Dividing the Ethereum Community: a GPU Manufacturer Ploy?

Over three years after the DAO hack that rocked the Ethereum community and the contentious hard fork that followed, Ethereum developers remain wary of security flaws that could jeopardize the future of the two blockchains.

In fact, alarm bells are going off for many developers looking into the rising programmatic proof-of-work (ProgPoW) algorithm proposed for the Ethereum blockchain as a means of cementing ASIC-resistance in the face of Linzhi’s recent developments.

Alex Tsankov, a member of the Ethereum development community and a proponent of the standardized SHA3 algorithm, was involved in a Twitter discussion of the algorithm with Bob Summerwill, Executive Director of the ETC Cooperative, and Kristy-Leigh Minehan, a fellow Ethereum developer assisting in the creation of ProgPoW, led by the IfDefElse team.

I know that ProgPOW is a trojan horse which has been driven into the heart of Ethereum-land because its guardians are too kind-hearted to believe that somebody would do something so foul as to use the "ASIC resistance" meme to divert hundreds of millions of dollars to her benefit — Bob Summerwill (@BobSummerwill) October 7, 2019

Craig Wright is known within the crypto community for claiming the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto and creating his own Bitcoin fork, BSV. Wright was recently in news due to a crypto-related lawsuit he had filed, in which he allegedly committed perjury.

Manufacturer Involvement

Within the thread were allegations of Linzhi manipulation of the ETC Cooperative, stemming from their sponsorship of the recently-concluded ETC Summit in Vancouver, Canada. Although there is presently no evidence to support a connection between Linzhi and anti-ProgPoW rhetoric, partnerships between IfDefElse and both AMD and Nvidia engineers were declared, as mentioned in the FAQ posted by the team.

Algorithmic Concerns

Questions of security ring especially true for the Ethereum Classic community, where the concept of i...

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