In a fit of long contemplated response, Sia has finally taken action with a recent hard fork meant to estrange Bitmain and Innosilicon ASICs.
David Vorick, the co-founder of Sia, made the news public on the project’s Medium account on Monday, stating that the move was made to chide the present ASIC monopoly and to salvage the consequences that it had on the Sia community. He wrote:
“Sia is forking today to reprimand the current ASIC monopoly for the damage it did to the Sia community, to make whole the supporters of Sia’s community ASIC project, and to send a clear message to all future Sia ASIC manufacturers: we will not tolerate an abusive ASIC monopoly.”
Bitmain is arguably the largest supplier of crypto miners with their Bitcoin Ant-miners already dominating the market share (Bitmain has a large market share of 67% in mining hardware). Vorick claims the actions made by Bitmain and Innosilicon, as the two companies continue to mass-produce ASIC mining hardware, significantly affected the investments made by the members Siacoin community.
Obelisk Miners to End Monopoly
By finally implementing a hard fork, miners without the obelisk hardware would not be able to mine the Siacoin. The hard fork by design changes the blockchain protocol significantly such that previously valid blocks or transactions would be made invalid or vice-versa. This means all nodes or computers connected to the network has to update to the latest version to ensure they do not become obsolete.
Similarly, the hard fork ensures only Obelisk miners, which are manufactured by Sia’s parent company, Nebulous, would be permitted to mine Siacoin on the blockchain.
Sia is quick to note though that it is not waging war against ASIC mining, unlike various hard forks that have been implemented across the industry to discourage ASIC mining. Instead, the company is particularly focused on guarding its investments in the production of the Obelisk miner, rather than expending resources in resisting an ASIC monopoly. As a matter of fact, Vorick believes the best option is embracing ASICs altogether.
However, if ASIC miners must stay, Sia would not be having any of the “parasitic or abusive” monopoly that Bitmain had caused. The hard fork is only the beginning of restoring market dominance.