Feathercoin daemon and wallet production version 0.17.0.2

Why FTC is ASIC resistent for beginners. Requesting feedback.


  • Regular Member | Tip Entimp

    The following is a FB post I want to make, just want some feed back and comments. Remember it is for someone 100% new to this, and I am intentionally avoiding complicated words.

    Any thoughts?

    So why is FeatherCoin ASIC resistant? “ASIC what?” you may say, but fear not. In three minutes you will understand What ASIC mining is and why avoiding it makes FeatherCoin fairer and more egalitarian.

    Crypto-coins, such as FeatherCoin, require a network of computers to keep the operation running. In short recording all the transactions made from customer to consumer and so forth. This process requires computer chips in one form or another to complete. This is where CPU’s, GPU’s and ASIC chips come in.

    The CPU (Central Processing Unit), if you will, is the head office of any computer. It runs the operating system, manages the many tasks that you may be performing, completes tasks you are unaware of and manages all of your peripheral devices from mice to hard-drives. It is a true multi-tasker and is dynamic in nature such that it can prioritise certain functions over others if needed. It is great at thinking on it’s feet.

    The GPU (Graphical Processing Unit) is tooled up to deal with specific instructions such as moving pixels around the screen. GPU’s are not lateral thinkers, have limited ability to make decisions for themselves and are not the best multi-taskers. So why are GPU’s superior to CPU’s for mining? I’m glad you asked that question and I shall address that soon.

    ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) chips. These fellas are ‘One Trick Ponies’, powerful and relatively speaking fairly dumb. ASIC chips are designed at the physical level, the circuits, to perform in a very specific way and are unable to change from their intended design. They are very powerful at the task it is designed for. Pitted against a CPU or GPU with the same task at hand, an ASIC chip will perform (speed) better by a magnitude of 1000’s.

    So now we have introduced our three players how do they fit in to the software process we call ‘mining’?

    As you may know, crypto-coins have a difficulty level inserted in to the process of recording the transactions (mining) made by their users. The difficulty level increases over time and does so for many reasons such as economy stability.

    On day one, the initial launch, of a crypto-coin one could use a CPU to process the mining calculations and help in the recording of the transactions. As time goes by the difficulty increases, artificially, and push comes to shove when a CPU is no longer powerful enough to efficiently process the mining algorithms. Not because the CPU is weak but because it is a multi-tasker. Recall that it still has to run all the other functions of your PC too, as the same time!

    GPU’s not being the brightest sparks take over here. The trick a GPU has here is that it loves boring, methodical and repetitive work. Tell it to do something, get on with it and when done - start all over again. Wash, rinse and repeat! A GPU is designed to get on with the hard graft until you tell it to do something else. It doesn’t have to worry about what a USB stick is doing, where the mouse is pointing or micro manage the memory on your ram. Simple jobs, relatively speaking, and doing them well. Mining is effectively a simple job that has a very repetitive nature to it. Ask it to mine FeatherCoins and it will step up to the mark and ignore everything else.

    ASIC chips are a bit like GPU’s in that they are great at boring repetitive jobs. However, these chips are coded, at the DNA level to use a bad analogy, to perform specific roles. Make it to solve Pi to some fantastical level and it will. Equally make it to run algorithms to mine BitCoins and let it get on with it. The trouble is this, despite being far faster than GPU’s they have to be created for a role that can not be changed and thus are expensive. Being very expensive they are out of the reach of nearly, but not quite all, miners. So effectively what we have here is a situation where a limited number of people can monopolise the fresh stream of new coins created from mining. Conversely this leaves the miners without ASIC mining rigs increasingly out in the cold.

    It should be mentioned here for folk new to this… All miners are trying to solve the same process to record the transactions and claim the coin reward. When it is solved all miners move on to the next round of transactions. As the number of available ASIC mining rigs increases - a larger disproportionate number of GPU miners will find taking part in the mining process inefficient. As with FIAT currencies, this in turn puts the future of ASIC mined currencies in less and less hands. A minority of miners will end up controlling the lion’s share of the total economy. Sound familiar?

    So how does FeatherCoin prevent miners from using ASIC chips? The answer is quite simple. There are two flavours of the software that enables mining to happen. Without complicating this article further the flavour that FeatherCoin uses is essentially very hard for ASIC chips to compute, even when designed for this purpose. It really isn’t anymore complicated than that. Well it is, however in essence it isn’t that far off the mark.

    At this point you should have jumped to the conclusion that FeatherCoin ensures the mining process is within the reach of more miners, in that they don’t have to invest in expensive hardware. How expensive? One could spend $20,000 on a single ASIC mining setup and effectively push thousand of other users out of the way with their brute processing force.

    FeatherCoin is a grassroots effort built around an egalitarian ideal of keeping the process of mining within the reaches of the masses.

    Hope you got this far. Thanks if you did.

    Want to tip me or buy me a beer for the article then feel free at my FTC address below.


  • Regular Member | Tip Markus11

    +1 even i understood it now, thx alot