Ethereum developers are trying to find a solution to the problem presented by Bitmain, which is planning to release new ASIC mining devices, capable of mining Ethereum. Many experts point out that it can compromise the decentralization of the system. According to estimations, the users of these newly developed devices by Bitmain will have too much mining power compared to the ordinary users, which would allow them to dominate the network.
“The range of participants could be about to shrink, as Bitmain and others move in with a new type of computing hardware that could give them disproportionate power when it comes to confirming transactions.”
Just last month, Vitalik Buterin suggested using Casper, a piece of software that makes mining redundant. The new upgrade will also supposedly make more people involved in the system.
Currently, Ethereum is being mined on GPUs only because of the proof-of-work algorithm, which prohibits the use ASIC miners. The name of the algorithm is EtHash. The announced Antminer E3 by Bitmain, however, will be EtHash compatible and thus will be able to mine Ether. The product is expected to hit the market in mid-July. The retail price is $800 USD.