What happens if Bitmain builds new ASIC for SiaCoin (SC) mining? Will SC keep hard-forking to oblivion?

Sia has their own subsidiary for ASIC mining equipment production called Obelisk. The move to ban the ASICs from other manufacturers is a clear protectionism from Sia developers as their product got beaten in the free market.

Obelisk started as a project by the team behind Sia and since then, they’ve assembled a team of ASIC and electronics engineers with decades of experience, in addition to building out a dedicated Obelisk team. You can currently mine Decred and Sia with it.

Sia even went all in on the Obelisk protection by splitting the chain on October 31st, a move that saw 4 new projects forking away from the SiaCoin.

But what happens if other mining equipment producers decide to come back with another miner that will work on Sia Network? Is Sia team going to do another hard fork, are we going to see a never ending cat and mouse game between Sia and mining hardware manufacturers?

The community is pondering the same question and a good portion of users is still disgruntled by the team’s recent decisions.

“This is exactly what I was saying when the Devs hijacks the initial proposal by the community and completely changes it. The initial proposal suggested a temporary mining exclusivity period which also honored the 6 week period between batches. What we got was a nuke that was completely against all the reasons the Devs were claiming it to be necessary. These guys are running this coin into the ground. I’ve been saying for a while now that all innosilicon and bitmain have to do is make a small logic gate change to their prexsiting chip print outside to make them mine on the fork. New sia asics are not far off.”

There are other opinions on the issue as well:

“AFAIK the Obelisk killswitch was a one-time deal so doubt that another hard fork would be on the table.

Not sure if the devs would have another ace up their sleeve to protect against the threat of potential bad actors gaining hashing superiority.

I think if Obelisk is able to become competitive against the big ASIC manufacturers that things will be ok.

Also,the fact that Nebulous demonstrated that they are willing to take these measures against uncooperative manufacturers would hopefully be enough of a deterrent.

Monero forked to CryptoNight v7 a while back and I haven’t heard of an ASIC created for that yet? Have you?”

Both standpoints are valid and the ultimate opinion on the matter will depend on the future developments. If Bitmain launches new ASIC for SC, we will then know what the team has in plan and how far-reaching is their “love” for Obelisk.

In conclusion, if the greed motivated and Obelisk-preserving hard fork was a one time move by Sia team, holders will probably let it slide. It is an ASIC rain out there and Sia lent an umbrella to Obelisk, gave it a chance to compete against the behemoths like Bitmain. Now is time for the Obelisk guys to prove their worth on the open market or give up and go do something else. Otherwise, a very promising and already established (for crypto standards) project like Sia could quickly wind up in the altcoin cemetery that is rapidly populating these days.

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Torsten Hartmann
Torsten Hartmann

Torsten Hartmann has been an editor in the CaptainAltcoin team since August 2017. He holds a degree in politics and economics. He gained professional experience as a PR for a local political party before moving to journalism. Since 2017, he has pivoted his career towards blockchain technology, with principal interest in applications of blockchain technology in politics, business and society.

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