Can this "ASIC launchpad" create a new generation of PoW networks?

Leo Zhang

By Leo Zhang

Today, we had a conversation with David Vorick and Zach Hebert from Obelisk, an ASIC manufacturer founded by the core members of the Sia team. We discussed their latest announcement Launchpad, a service that provides dev teams with their own custom-designed ASIC machines, and asked them how this new distribution mechanism may help new projects become more defensive against malicious large-scale miners. Also on the docket: why new projects should fork from Bitcoin's codebase, and how mining hardware products will evolve for enterprise (and perhaps for retail).

Technical Updates

BetterHash aims to increase Bitcoin mining decentralization
(Bitcoin Worldwide News, by Twan Joseph)

"Corallo’s BetterHash would give control of creating the block back to the owner of the mining hardware rather than the pool. BetterHash separates the block construction process from the payout process. This will allow small miners to get stable payouts by connecting to a pool while still retaining control of what goes into a block. By separating the centralization of the payout with the decentralization of transaction selection, miners may also be more incentivized to run full nodes."

A Selfish Mining Double Spending attack simulator
(Coinmonks, by Yotam Gafni)

"Basically what you do is you keep mining block aside from the main chain. As the rule in blockchain is the longest valid chain is regarded as the ledger, if your chain happens to be longer than the regular consensus chain then the transactions there will be accepted rather than the ones on the global chain."

EOS crashes over voting system
(Trustnodes)

"That means few are informed voters, so increasing the barriers to voting as an accountability method. That’s quite different from a system like Casper Proof of Stake (PoS) where all is automatic with punishment being an accountability method."

Privacy in decentralized cryptocurrencies
(Communications of the ACM, by Daniel Genkin, Dimitrios Papadopoulos, Charalampos Papamanthou)

"We believe our exposition so far indicates there is no general consensus regarding a technique for anonymous cryptocurrencies. This should come as no surprise given the relative infancy of the field and the fact that different participants may have different privacy requirements. For example, for most users it may be sufficient to run a single round of CoinJoin with a dozen users whereas privacy-aware users may choose to opt for something more thorough."

News & Commentary

Financial services industry spends $1.7 billion on blockchain
(Bloomberg, by Janine Wolf)

"The industry spends about $1.7 billion annually on the distributed ledgers that are best known for underpinning digital currencies, according to researcher Greenwich Associates. Banks and other companies are moving beyond the proof-of-concept stage to commercial distributed ledger technology, or DLT, products, the report said."

How I became Leonardo da Vinci on the blockchain
(Terence Eden)

Cryptocurrency regulation update (June 2018)
(Hackernoon, by Phil Glazer)

"Although prices have come down in recent months, recent statements from regulators reflect a deeper acknowledgement of the technology underlying cryptocurrencies and their future potential (in particular, the comments from the IMF). This piece provides important regulatory updates since the May piece, broken down by developments in the United States and the rest of the world."

I fear Google's control of the web
(Scripting News, by Dave Winer)

"It's not surprising that a big corporation has little respect for stuff developed outside big corporations, but that was and could continue to be the glory of the web. It was amazing all those years ago, the freedom to do whatever you thought of doing."