While MTP has served its purpose, it has a lot of flaws.
It is first of all an immense bandwidth hog as the 200 kB proof needs to be sent with every share.
It also consumes a lot of space on the blockchain as the 200 kB needs to be included in every block even when it’s empty. This leads to massive bloat.
While much more ASIC resistant than previous designs, FPGAs with large memory banks are already a thing and the idea of memory hardness being anti-ASIC may no longer hold true.
Newer algorithms such as ProgPOW and RandomX have come about and have much better design to them.
There is opportunity to rejig MTP but we believe it’s merely a stop gap solution and we rather be focusing on algorithms where the work/audit is already done rather than devoting resources to reassessing MTP again or coming up with a new algorithm.
While this is not an immediate priority (something we can look at after Lelantus), we wanted to gauge community sentiment to an algorithm change.
- GPU focused = would mean algorithms like ProgPOW
- CPU focused = would mean algorithms like RandomX
- ASIC friendly = many to pick from.
- Something else altogether = optical Proof of Work.
Update available decisions based on current community sentiment:
Option1: Stay with current version of MTP
Pros - quickest solution - nothing to do
Cons - blockchain bloat and bandwidth issues are causing problems and may impede scaling Zcoin to where it needs to go in the future. FPGAs are possible.
Option 2: Modify MTP to reduce MTP proof size (from 200 kB to 80 kB thereabouts)
Pros - Small change while buying Zcoin time and holding off FPGAs and ASICs a while longer. On Discord DJM34 suggested removing old proofs after a while to reduce blockchain size (this may be more complex).
Cons - may take longer than most other options and possibly more risk as reduction in proof sizes may affect certain security of MTP and requires an audit again. Reduction in proof size may not be very significant.
Option 3: Switch to ProgPOW
Pros - other coins use it (already tested in production) - both software and hardware audits already done. ProgPOW is designed to be FPGA proof due to its changing nature.
Cons - other coins may use it (may make it a larger more profitable target for FPGAs and ASICs) - FPGAs and ASICs already looking at ProgPow (source?)
Option 4: Switch to RandomX
Pros - CPU friendly. Has software/algo audits done by reputable companies.
Cons - individual miners will have a hard time competing with very large CPU farms already in place. Direct competition with Monero hashrate.
Some also feel that RandomX is ASICable.
Option 5: Something else
Pros - New technology. May get more PR.
Cons - most likely unproven and requires the most development resources.