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
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.
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.
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".