Community Update 10 — Our Plans for Proof-of-Work
The release of Bitmain’s Equihash ASIC miner has been a matter of intense concern for the Equihash-based mining community- with some seeing the arrival of these ASICs as a natural evolution for a PoW-based network, while others see it as heralding the end of mining decentralization. This diversity of perspectives has certainly been present within our team as well, which has led us to tread carefully and hold off on establishing a path forward until we’ve done sufficient due diligence and have rigorously debated every option before us- from staying with the status quo (i.e. Equihash 200,9), to considering other Equihash parameters like 144,5 and 192,7 — to exploring more radical changes like SHA3 and the upcoming ProgPoW.
In truth, we are still not yet finished with that due diligence process- but we believed even an intermediate update would benefit the community, and we have achieved enough consensus within the Core Team to decide that we will *not* be staying with Equihash 200,9- as the status quo would quickly lead to a scenario where the network hashrate would be dominated by ASICs from one vendor. The majority of us did not see that as conducive to decentralization of the network.
However, the timing of this inflection point is uniquely unfortunate for us as we are also very much engaged in a major rebase of our protocol code (I.e. bringing our source code up to date with Bitcoin)- and we are very much determined to launch this rebase in Q3 as planned. In order to accommodate a PoW algorithm change in the most efficient and least disruptive way possible, Bitcoin Private will be changing our PoW through a hard fork that coincides simultaneously with the launch of the rebase.
Why the Rebase is Worth It
It would be difficult to exaggerate the significance of the rebase effort and what it means for the future of Bitcoin Private. Rebasing Bitcoin Private off of the Bitcoin codebase will allow us to maintain complete and ongoing feature parity with Bitcoin and any of its future innovations. Through the rebase, we will not only get full Segwit support, but integration into the Lightning ecosystem and all of the opportunities for commerce that entails- from interoperability with other Lightning-enabled coins and applications, to the convenience of atomic swaps. The launch of the rebase is the vehicle by which we will cement our unique lead amongst the Bitcoin forks, and will mark the fulfillment of a destiny embodied by our coin’s name- to be a Bitcoin in both brand and substance, without compromising our gold standard privacy and our place in the privacy movement at large. We’ve been extremely excited about the potential this endeavor holds, and the next Community Update will focus on detailing the progress we’re making towards the Rebase effort.
Having the Core Team operate out of consensus is easier said than done; doing so can require a lot of debate and questioning, and can be energy-consuming for all involved. But while consensus-building can be challenging and often slows things down, a core belief of this project is that there is wisdom to be found in the consensus of a council- and that we as a project are better off for it. Nevertheless, we thank the community for their ongoing patience; we are genuinely looking forward to sharing further details surrounding the PoW algorithm situation and the continued progress of the rebase.
We are excited to continue this community driven, open source journey to bring private transactions, both P2P and commercial, to a mainstream audience. Please leave any feedback you may have in the comments below or feel free to tweet at us!
Bitcoin Private Contribution Team