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Why does Bitcoin keep using SHA256 in its POW?

This is a question I’ve had for some time. It has to do with the hashing algorithm of Bitcoin.

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The following content was written by butka on April 19, 2018, 11:23:41 AM in the thread Why does Bitcoin keep using SHA256 in its POW?. All content is owned by the author of the bitcointalk.org post. (original)


This is a question I’ve had for some time. It has to do with the hashing algorithm of Bitcoin, namely:

Why Don’t We Change the SHA256 in Bitcoin’s proof of work?

This question is probably naive, asked many times before, but still I would appreciate your thoughts, especially regarding the current situation.

I get it that no one could’ve foreseen the appearance of specialized ASIC mining equipment when Bitcoin was in its early days.
If I understand it correctly, over time this has led to centralization, with the majority of computer power for hashing in Bitcoin’s POW concentrated in the hands of a few entities.
Or, would this have happened regardless of the ASIC?

How about changing the algorithm? There are other memory intensive hashing functions, or even a combination thereof, which would result in ASIC resistance.

The obvious advantage of switching to ASIC resistant algorithms would be promoting decentralization as more people would be able to enter the mining process with “normal” hardware.
The obvious disadvantage is that implementing other POW algorithms that would be ASIC resistant would require a Hard Fork and we would lose backward compatibility.

Is this the only disadvantage? What else am I missing?

Also, in light of this, and given that Bitcoin is a decentralized system, who decides whether or not changes of this type could or should happen?

The following content was written by Carlton Banks on April 19, 2018, 12:37:02 PM in the thread Why does Bitcoin keep using SHA256 in its POW?. All content is owned by the author of the bitcointalk.org post. (original)


It’s complicated.

To simplify, this has actually already happened: I think it was Bitcoin Gold (?) that hard-forked from Bitcoin a couple of months ago, on the basis of a more decentralised mining ecosystem by changing PoW to an algo that’s difficult to produce an ASIC for. Needless to say, it didn’t gain much popularity.


Until the mining cartel start to affect everyday Bitcoin users in a way that forces them to act, I expect nothing will happen. Segwit2x almost forced this situation, but in the end it was averted.

In principle, I think it would be better if PoW was changed, but it needs ALOT of planning to make the change seamless, there must be a minimally disruptive way to transition to the alternative source of hashrate to ensure highest possible confidence in the change. Otherwise the BTC exchange rate could crash badly.

Exactly what that would look like… well, maybe a testnet could be running beforehand, with all the new-PoW miners testing that chain. Then a “hand-over” period of blocks could be specified to permit both SHA256 and new-PoW blocks, after which only new-PoW blocks are accepted when handover is complete. Maybe if the end of the hand-over period is specified by the percentage of blocks produced using new-PoW (say 90% or 95%), it could be a very smooth transition. There would almost certainly be people continuing to mine the SHA256 chain afterwards though, although it’s unlikely to gain much traction if they’re only doing 5% of the work of the main chain.

Choosing the algorithm to ensure the viability of out-hashing the SHA256 miners would be very important, but that would also be the key to success.

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Mining

Sabertooth z87 and 6 280x

I only get the os to recognize 4 gpus, not sure if I need to jump some pci-e pins or not, or maybe I’m missing something else.

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The following content was written by ivanlabrie on January 02, 2014, 07:05:44 PM in the thread Sabertooth z87 and 6 280x. All content is owned by the author of the bitcointalk.org post. (original)


Hi, anyone gotten this to work? I’m using Win 8 currently…trying to avoid bamt since I want a 64 bit os for cpu mining and easier to setup monitoring and remote control (can’t setup port forward with my isp)

I only get the os to recognize 4 gpus, not sure if I need to jump some pci-e pins or not, or maybe I’m missing something else.

The following content was written by frostamation on January 03, 2014, 12:24:48 AM in the thread Sabertooth z87 and 6 280x. All content is owned by the author of the bitcointalk.org post. (original)


are you using powered or unpowered pcie risers? i ask because some people have had luck getting their gpus to recognize with powered risers and not having to jump the pcie port with a wire.

The following content was written by frostamation on January 03, 2014, 12:31:06 AM in the thread Sabertooth z87 and 6 280x. All content is owned by the author of the bitcointalk.org post. (original)


heres some info about the pcie jump and risers http://www.gobitgo.com/articles/1001/How-To-Correctly-Use-and-Install-PCI-E-Riser-Cables/

The following content was written by ivanlabrie on January 03, 2014, 02:06:28 AM in the thread Sabertooth z87 and 6 280x. All content is owned by the author of the bitcointalk.org post. (original)


Thanks, I read a guide there…before trying this.

I’m using powered risers. Maybe I lack the correct chipset drivers to enable the two pci-e 2.0 slots that don’t feed off the cpu?
I did install a chipset driver but it didn’t help.

Gonna try bamt 1.2 tomorrow and see if ti runs.
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Mining

Advice choosing a PSU ? Only drawing 550w MAX ??

I have an MSI Mb and x2 280x cards and it’s only using a 550w max. I am not concerned about the efficiency as I have free electric in work.

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The following content was written by bilabonic on January 03, 2014, 05:27:16 PM in the thread Advice choosing a PSU ? Only drawing 550w MAX ?? . All content is owned by the author of the bitcointalk.org post. (original)


Hi All

I have an MSI Mb and x2 280x cards and it’s only using a 550w max . I am not concerned about the efficiency as i have free electric in work Grin

The biggest factor is price.

Is there a formula or % to add to the 550w being used ??

Or do you subtract a figure from the PSU rating ??

I am also based in the UK

Thanks

The following content was written by pletharoe on January 04, 2014, 05:11:38 AM in the thread Advice choosing a PSU ? Only drawing 550w MAX ?? . All content is owned by the author of the bitcointalk.org post. (original)


How did you come to the 550W figure? According to https://www.asus.com/Graphics_Cards/MATRIXR9280XP3GD5/#specifications each card needs 300W.

Then you also need to factor in the power used by the rest of the machine.

Then add a factor of say 20% to accommodate spikes in power draw.

I’d look at something with 700 – 800 watts and 80plus certification. Stick to the big brands. Wattage isn’t actually the best measure… taken from http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine


The recommended total Power Supply Wattage gives you a general idea on what to look for BUT it is NOT a crucial factor in power supply selection! Total Amperage Available on the +12V Rail(s) is the most important, followed by the +5V amperage and then the +3.3V amperage

The following content was written by bilabonic on January 04, 2014, 08:14:54 AM in the thread Advice choosing a PSU ? Only drawing 550w MAX ?? . All content is owned by the author of the bitcointalk.org post. (original)


How did you come to the 550W figure? According to https://www.asus.com/Graphics_Cards/MATRIXR9280XP3GD5/#specifications each card needs 300W.

Then you also need to factor in the power used by the rest of the machine.

Then add a factor of say 20% to accommodate spikes in power draw.

I’d look at something with 700 – 800 watts and 80plus certification. Stick to the big brands. Wattage isn’t actually the best measure… taken from http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine


The recommended total Power Supply Wattage gives you a general idea on what to look for BUT it is NOT a crucial factor in power supply selection! Total Amperage Available on the +12V Rail(s) is the most important, followed by the +5V amperage and then the +3.3V amperage

Thanks for reply.

I’m using a kill-a-wattmeter, the MAX it has used is 550w inc MB. I just want to run 2 cards off the MB/PSU.

So add 20% to 550w = 660w, so a 700/750w 80plus will be ok.


Think i will get this –

http://www.dabs.com/products/coolermaster-700w-g-series-g700w-80–bronze-power-supply-8Z2S.html?refs=394900000&src=3
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Mining

Static IP and network defense

I am confident in securing my network, but I’d like to hear what network appliances people are using to protect their mining operations.

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The following content was written by 2tights on January 07, 2014, 06:43:11 PM in the thread Static IP and network defense. All content is owned by the author of the bitcointalk.org post. (original)


I know the main concern for attack is a DDOS attack. I have a static IPV4 address for my home network. I’m concerned that if my IP ends up on a malicious user’s, or bitcoin hater’s, shit-list that I may become a target. I am confident in securing my network, but I’d like to hear what network appliances people are using to protect their mining operations.

The following content was written by Kenshin on January 07, 2014, 06:49:04 PM in the thread Static IP and network defense. All content is owned by the author of the bitcointalk.org post. (original)


If you have a good firewall then it should drop the DDOS.

The following content was written by cp1 on January 07, 2014, 06:49:14 PM in the thread Static IP and network defense. All content is owned by the author of the bitcointalk.org post. (original)


My new router has a checkbox that says “Enable DDOS protection”. No idea if it works well. I’m sure Cisco could sell you something, but I don’t think you’d like the prices. There’s got to be something you can install in a linux box.

The following content was written by Hax8 on January 09, 2014, 08:59:14 PM in the thread Static IP and network defense. All content is owned by the author of the bitcointalk.org post. (original)


It is really difficult to counter a DDoS. Protection built in to the router/firewall just drops the rogue packets without replying but there is no way the router can stop all that traffic from still traversing the pipe and hitting your router/firewall.

You can either:
– Have more bandwidth than the attackers which will still allow your legitimate traffic. With amplification attacks, this is very costly!
– Have your ISP block the traffic further upstream leaving your pipe free.
– Use one of the companies that provide this service which normally means you use them as a proxy hiding your true IP.
– Setup your own proxies in hosted datacentre’s and hide behind those.

That is all I can think of at the moment.

If the mining setup is in your home/office, I would just pull in another internet pipe. Preferably with a different ISP and switch to that when required. Or just use a dedicated line for the miners minimising exposure of your IP to third parties.

The following content was written by cp1 on January 09, 2014, 09:03:17 PM in the thread Static IP and network defense. All content is owned by the author of the bitcointalk.org post. (original)


You could always tell your ISP you’re being attacked and maybe get a new IP assigned? Or go through a VPN for $10 a month for all your traffic.
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