Proposed Hard-Fork to Nullify ASICBoost Patent -
ASIC miners

Proposed Hard-Fork to Nullify ASICBoost Patent


Bitcoin Core contributor, Peter Todd, announced that a hard-fork had been proposed to negate attempts to patent the ASICBoost method.

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According to a message sent out by Peter, this proposed idea sprang from an agreement made at a Bitcoin-oriented round-table in February. The round-table was attended by a slew of representatives from the Bitcoin development and industry, and focused on a variety of different subjects.

The intent of this fork is to make ASIC boost optimisation useless, and ideally the change would be SPV compatible. However, according to Peter, if a change to SPV clients were needed, then that would also be acceptable. In addition, the change would also be compatible with existing mining hardware.

The Hard-Fork Resistance Against Patents

ASICBoost is a patent-pending method that will lower the total cost per bitcoin mined to approximately 20%. The patent has been a point of controversy because many in the Bitcoin community do not generally agree with patents. It is held that patents simply act to restrict competition on advancing a certain good by giving a legal monopoly on the provision of that good.

Patents thus slow down innovative processes, and would be especially detrimental to hardware and software industries. Software and hardware are always in state of change Hard-Fork Proposed on Patented Bitcoin ASIC Boosting Techand the current life cycle of patents are simply unable to accommodate this change.

Additionally, some other points of agreement at the roundtable were the progression of SegWit as soft-fork and possible ways of improving it, running only Bitcoin Core-compatible consensus systems eventually containing both SegWit and the hard-fork, and committing to scaling technologies which use block space more efficiently.

The Hong Kong agreement was also signed by many leading figures in the Bitcoin community, including: Peter Todd, Valery Vavilov, Cory Fields, Johnson Lau, Luke Dashjr, and Matt Corallo among others.

What do you think of the proposed hard-fork, do you feel it will stifle innovation in Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments Below!


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Trevor Hill

Trevor Hill

Trevor is a writer at Bitcoinist. He is currently attending his first year at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, with a selected major in Economics. Subscribes to the Austrian school of economics.

  • Unknowxn Facexbook

    and they can make this change instantly so why delay everything else to 2017/18?

  • Because Blockstream help the chinese to compete against ASICboost and the chineses support Blockstream soft and hard forks.

    it is happening what I foresaw:
    with a for profit organization in charge of the development of Bitcoin sudden “optimization” will spring to kill their competition and the competition to their competitors.

  • Nobody is suggesting making this change instantly. The proposal is to include this change with the other hard-forking changes scheduled for 2017, such as the 2MB blocksize limit change.

  • Fleury St Fleur

    Definitely how can we sacrify the bitcoin spirit to a bunch of bucaneers? They will always put their own interests at the first lane