Application Specific Integrated Chip (ASIC) manufacturer Obelisk has announced their ambitious plan to turn the ASIC-dominated crypto mining industry on its head with the release of the “Obelisk Launchpad,” a new community-focused service.
Cryptosphere Is Sick of ASICs
The release of Launchpad comes at a time when most significant cryptocurrencies are facing a threat from the burgeoning power of ASIC miners. For example, Bitcoin is almost entirely mined by ASICs because its market-leading value makes a prime target for attackers with the resources to create mining farms, effectively locking out GPU miners from the market.
We are excited to announce a new Obelisk service called Launchpad, where we will work with coin developers to design a custom, ASIC-friendly proof-of-work algorithm, while simultaneously developing a first batch of ASICs. Learn more on our blog! https://t.co/R71zjt30m9
— Obelisk (@ObeliskTechHQ) June 6, 2018
As reported by BTCManager, cryptocurrencies such as Zcoin, Zcash, Monero, and Aeon have taken the fight to ASIC mining because of an existential threat posed to them. Centralization of hashrate leads to the possibility of secret mining, 51 percent attacks, coin price manipulation by hoarding/flooding, and many other threats. Launchpad proposes many revolutionary changes to the ASIC mining model, to make mining fairer and reduce security risks. Obelisk announced the Launchpad project in a press release on June 7, 2018, and revealed that they have already booked Lyra Protocols as a customer.
Launchpad consists of custom-designed proof of work (PoW) algorithms created in partnership with cryptocurrency developers and Obelisk-manufactured ASICs. The algorithm will be available for community viewing after the ASICs are developed. This step also prevents other ASIC manufacturers from creating specific miners, in turn creating a virtuous cycle of good business for Obelisk and proper decentralization for coin developers.
The ASICs will be distributed equitably throughout the community to ensure the network hash rate does not become centralized.
By the looks of this strategy, it is apparent the cryptocurrency industry concedes an impossibility to get rid of ASICs, but recognizes that a hybrid system can reach a creative solution to centralized hashing power.
In the words of Taariq Lewis of Lyra Protocols quoted in the Obelisk announcement:
“Everybody is sick of Bitmain being first to market. With Launchpad, the community gets to be first to market.”
Obelisk Is not Interested in Monopol
Every Launchpad release comes with open-source chip design schematics and manufacturing guidance to enable competing ASIC makers to enter the sector. In true decentralization ethos, this dispels concerns of an Obelisk monopoly and increases the blockchain sector’s technological advancements by fostering innovation via competition.
Additionally, a full disclosure regarding ASIC production numbers, hashrate of the biggest buyers (to prevent centralization), production cost information and supplier information will be available.
Obelisk places the entry cost of a Launchpad engagement at $10 million, including a custom open-source ASIC design, the first batch of 22nm mining hardware for community distribution, and a different proof of work algorithm. The service will be made available to both digital assets awaiting launch and those migrating from a PoW mechanism.