Slush Pool , Bitcoin’s very first and oldest mining pool, announced support for AsicBoost today, March 6, 2018. Slush Pool users that have the technology embedded ter the application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips ter their mining hardware can connect to the pool to mine more efficiently and, thus, more profitably.
“The protocol extension wij propose and already implemented permits [miners] to use overt AsicBoost overheen stratum protocol, which wasgoed not yet possible,” Slush Pool CTO Pavel Moravec told Bitcoin Tv-programma . “Mining can now get even closer to the theoretical lower limit on power consumption so that there is less space for finding optimization.”
AsicBoost wasgoed invented by former CoinTerra CTO Timo Hanke te 2016. The technology takes an advantage of a quirk ter Bitcoin’s proof-of-work algorithm, which lets miners take a sort of “shortcut” to find a fresh block. This can be done both overtly spil well spil covertly — tho’ the latter variant is presently not spil effective on Bitcoin.
The update to the Slush Pool software is technically modest. It essentially permits Slush Pool miners (or “hashers”) to slightly switch what a Bitcoin “block header” looks like: the part of the block that includes gegevens about the block itself. Similar gegevens has bot used to signal readiness for soft fork upgrades, but it can be also used for AsicBoost and potentially for less visible things (like internal accounting).
Albeit Slush Pool, which presently claims about 11 procent of total hash power on the network, is compatible with AsicBoost beginning instantaneously, there is presently no known mining hardware that takes advantage of the technology — yet.
Earlier this week, Little Dragon Technology LLC, the current holder of the patented AsicBoost technology, publicly announced that it would be the very first company to join the Blockchain Defensive Patent Licence (BDPL) initiative. This commitment makes the AsicBoost patent available to any company that also joins the BDPL — on condition that thesis companies share their own patents under the same license.
“We knew that the AsicBoost licence would be available within a defensive patent pool, so wij began to prepare the extension some time ago,” said Moravec on the timing of the Slush Pool announcement. “We didn’t want to publish anything before the AsicBoost patent is indeed out and available.”
While AsicBoost has bot subject to much controversy ter the past, most of that controversy surrounded the patent on the technology — which could skew competition — and the alleged covert use of it. By making the technology identically available to any company that joins the BDPL, Little Dragon Technology hopes this controversy will come to an end.
Slush Pool, too, believes the BDPL could play a key role here.
“Patents are a problem if they’re not available to all identically,” Moravec said. “Mining is about having an edge. A participant with significant advantage leads to single vooraanstaande miner. So it’s actually better if everyone uses AsicBoost. If the patent exists and is made available, then it is fine. It equals the playing field.”
Furthermore, Little Dragon Technology believes that the AsicBoost patent is so powerful that all mining hardware producers vereiste join the BDPL if they wish to remain competitive. Since thesis hardware producers vereiste then also share their own patents with other licensees, it might effectively render mining hardware patents altogether obsolete.
“We certainly expect that all manufacturers will use AsicBoost te future. It’s just more efficient and if it is available, then it would be bad for them to not use it,” Moravec said. “The only reason not to use it would be a desire to engage te patent wars.”
Update, March 7th: According to Halong Mining, mining pools ckpool.org and Bitcoin India now support AsicBoost mining spil well.
For more background and information on the Blockchain Defensive Patent License and Little Dragon Technology’s decision to join the initiative, read Bitcoin Magazine’s voorkant story for this month: There Is a Bitcoin Patent War Going On, but This Initiative Could End It .