The first ASIC built for Sia mining unveiled

Obelisk, the first ASIC built for Sia mining has been announced
22 June 2017   1729
SiaCoin

Is a cryptocurrency for the actively developed decentralized private cloud data storage service Sia

A decentralized cloud storage SiaCoin has announced the first ASIC built for Sia mining - Obelisk. 

ASIC miner for the Sia network ASIC miner for the Sia network

Blockchain

Distributed database that is used to maintain a continuously growing list of records, called blocks

However, as Sia Team reports in its blog, the announcement received a lot more heat and controversy than they expected. Thus, people primarily seemed to be concerned with mining centralization, and what happens if a small number of groups end up controlling all the hashrate — groups that may well include the developers, as the developers are the ones making the chips.

In order to defend their choice for ASICs, the team explains several things.

GPU based mining is a false panacea that ultimately leaves a cryptocurrency far more vulnerable to attack.
 

David Vorick
SiaCoin Team

The company details that the relative decentralization gained from having the active hashrate controlled by a larger number of parties is far outweighed by the fact that the currency ends up being far more vulnerable to 51% attacks by centralized parties. In the GPU mined altcoin world, the price dropping means that miners just hop to a more profitable coin.

The team claims that there are multiple factors that went into this decision and all of them relate to keeping Sia as decentralized as possible.

The choice for ASICs is distasteful, because the disadvantages are more visible vs. other choices we could make, but I strongly believe that ASICs are far and away the best long term decision.
 

David Vorick
SiaCoin Team

As Sia Team qrgues in its blogpost, Proof of Work is a very impressive system, and it’s impressive in spite of all the miner centralization that plagues it. "If you want true decentralization and trustlessness, it is the only solution that has stood the test of time".

German Financial Regulator Clarifies Stance on ICOs

The Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) has clarified its position on ICOs
22 February 2018   29

German financial regulator admitted it was receiving many inquiries about the status of tokens and cryptocurrencies. According to an advisory letter, BaFin provides some basic definitions of ICOs and related terms. It is important because the results of a new survey showed that more than two-thirds of Germans know about bitcoin.

In this letter, BaFin educates the public and explains how tokens are typically generated, how blockchain works and that ICOs are used to raise funds for startup projects. The note states that for regulatory purposes, ICOs, tokens, coins, and cryptocurrencies are subject to the existing provisions in the field of securities supervision and other relevant national and EU laws.

The authority advises participants in ICOs to check and follow rules applicable to regulated financial instruments, such as securities. If businesses or individuals have any doubts about regulations, they should approach BaFin.

According to BaFin, companies should fulfill any obligations under the Banking Act and the Capital Investment Code, the Insurance Supervision Act and the Payment Services Supervision Act. The transactions may be prohibited if relevant regulatory requirements are not met.

The authority also states that legal classification of tokens requires precise examination. It will determine their status on a case-by-case basis after studying their features. The token should be transferable and tradable on cryptocurrency trading platforms in order to be classified as a security.