A super hot topic in the Ethereum/Monero/not-Bitcoin-cryptocurrency discussion space these days is the rise of ASICs for several coins: first Monero, then allegedly Ethereum, a coin that was designed to be and was sold as ASIC resistant. What are innocent coinholders to do in the event of such evil companies like Bitmain taking over decentralized mining ecosystems with their chips of doom?
In this post, I’m going to provide some counterpoints to the fervor that is gathering around repeated forks for ASIC resistance. I’m going to argue that in the long term, these games won’t improve specialization or economies of scale, won’t be a productive use of developer time, and may pose the risk of increasing centralization. Finally, and perhaps most disturbingly, they make attacks on cryptocurrencies cheaper, primarily for sophisticated and well-resourced attackers like nation states.