Sia [SC] Blockchain Hardforks to Remove ASIC Miners; Network Splits in the Process

Sia blockchain fulfilled its promise to eject Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) miners from its network after is successfully completed its planned hardfork. In effect, the network introduced new consensus rules that prevent the ASIC miners produced by Bitmain and Innosilicon from mining the siacoin [SC] token.

David Vorick, co-founder and CEO of Nebulous, the company in charge of Sia blockchain, announced on Thursday, Nov. 1, that the upgrade was successful and that “all is working normally now.”

As Smartereum reported, Sia developers were embroiled in a long debate about these specialized mining rigs leading to the decision to brick them by altering the Siacoin hash algorithm. The upgrade which was planned for block number 179,000 was expected to be activated on October 31. However, the block was found in the early hours of the next day due to a code error that got them stuck at block 178,999 for hours.

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To exclude the ASIC miners, Sia developers activated a secret switch originally added to prevent illegal mining.

Vorick explains:

“The reason we had the secret circuit was to activate it in the event of a malicious mining attack. While there was not ever a direct attack on the consensus system, much of the community felt that the secret development of ASICs was an attack, and also felt that one farm owning 45 percent of the hash rate was risky, and justified forcing a change.”

Chain split – Sia Classic Created

The hardfork was always going to be a controversial one as miners who had invested in ASIC miners like the Innosilicon opposed the move to a new protocol. They remained on the old protocol and declared themselves Sia Classic reminiscent of Ethereum Classic which split from the main Ethereum chain after the DAO incident.

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Innosilicon-manufactured rigs were the fastest Sia miners before the hardfork followed by Bitmain’s ASICs. The specialized mining hardware produced by Obelisk, a subsidiary of Nebulous, could not compete against these two. Nebulous has been accused of conducting the upgrade to eliminate opposition for its hardware will be the most effective in the new algorithm.

Vorick insists that the dissidents were only a small minority representing less than 10 percent of the entire network. Whereas the main Sai network has up to 90 percent community support, he claimed that Sia Classic “has very low community support.”

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According to him, Sia Classic proponents are open to collaboration with the main chain though this will only happen if they are able to garner support outside the Sia Classic employees, he said.

Sia classic joins a number of Sia forks including a rival fork Hyperspace which wants to replace Sia as the key player in the decentralized cloud storage space.


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