EIP-2538: Informational Position Statement Against The Activation of ProgPoW

This is the discussion thread for EIP-2538. This link is temporarily set to the draft version until the PR is merged.

The goal of this informational EIP is to provide a useful and actionable signal regarding current stakeholder sentiment on EIP-1057: ProgPoW, a Programmatic Proof-of-Work.

The current draft has 45 initial stakeholder signatories showing their support of this position statement; please signal here if you would like to add your name to the list.


Wholeheartedly support this EIP!

Deniz Omer here from Kyber Network :wave:

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I might be worth adding that ProgPow does not give us immunity against ASICs–new ASICs can be very quickly developed nowadays and PoS phase 2 is still 2+ years away

Really nice that there is a protocol for signatories to be added!

One thing you may establish is what triggers the progression through EIP statuses once it is set to DRAFT by the Editors.

[ WIP ] -> [ DRAFT ] -> [ LAST CALL ] -> [ FINAL ]

Example procedure: Designate the first 66 signatories as the stakeholders, 2/3 of the stakeholders signifies a quorum. Once in DRAFT the EIP can be updated a few times from feedback. Then have the signatories signal on Twitter when to move to LAST CALL. That allows one more opportunity to finalize the statement. Then use the same signal when to move to FINAL.


This definitely needed to be formalized.
I fully support it.

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Completely support this EIP.

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You can add my name to the list:
Joshua Richardson, Bamboo Relay

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Have you consulted with a lawyer about making people’s official signatures a part of the Creative Commons? This could have legal ramifications for these individuals.


Doesn’t this EIP need lists for and against to give meaning?
How many names is not many, how many is overwhelming support? Do some names carry more weight than others? Can I get on the list?

For the record, I think this EIP sets a bad precedent for use of the EIP process, and should be withdrawn and turned into a publicly available letter through a blog post or something. It can just as easily be referenced through that medium on the next Core Dev call, if you choose to use it in that way. It serves no other purpose than this by remaining as an EIP, meaning it is a poor use of the process. Whomever advised you to do this probably did not understand the precedent this was setting.


Thats exactly how I feel about this EIP!

It sets a terrible precedent about how to pass an EIP.

If this EIP goes through, it totally disregards and discredits a significant portion of the Ethereum community as irrelevant tweeters and redditors.

I think this is a perfectly fine usage of the EIP process, because at the end of the day, Ethereum governance is chaotic.

This EIP is so incredibly opposed by the Ethereum community, that people are rallying to communicate their discontent for it inside the EIP process. The overflow of resistance for this EIP is so large, that the dissenters are voicing their opinion inside Ethereum Magicians.

How many new people are arriving to Ethereum Magicians to voice their opinion?

If that isn’t clear signal, then I don’t know what is.


As long as you are prepared to take the reigns when the already stretched thin EIP editors quit out of exasperation, I have no choice but to agree with you.

Your problem is not with the EIP process, trust me (or don’t!)

Please keep in mind this is a volunteer-led process meant primarily for technical changes, not for keeping pace with governance and politics.


This abuse of the process also needs to explain how people are getting on the list. These people haven’t made signed git pr’s. Did they even give permission to be on the list?

You may also want to vet the list, I see an individual that has inspired comments such as:
“Get help, dude. She has told you to leave her alone”
“I swear to God dude. You’re the reason I carry a knife”
“Please seek medical assistance. This is not healthy for yourself and scary for her.”

Previously collected signals done correctly by Ethereum Cat Herders, take a look at their work to get an idea of what you should have done and what support looks like.


As an editor, and speaking only for myself, I don’t mind this being an EIP. I do think the EIP process is such that everyone signing the statement needs to be a coauthor, or at the least, it should be clear how people came to sign the EIP. If that is not possible then I agree it should be published elsewhere.

As for what it would take to warrant being Final, as an Informational EIP it only needs to be informative.
Probably more informative than what I see here. I’d like to see more evidence for the empirical claims. And, as a statement from stakeholders, I’d like to know better what they have at stake and how progPoW affects that.


Well - here is a compromise proposal …

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A fantastic alternative to this proposal:

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This statement includes a number of bald assertions, some IMHO false or irrelevant.

It says that, "A stated goal of ProgPoW is to avoid contentious forks while transitioning to proof-of-stake…” But there is no such statement in the progPow proposal, and I don’t recall this argument being raised in the Core Dev’s initial deliberations.

It says that, "Later this year, Ethereum will begin to transition away from proof-of-work consensus towards proof-of-stake… “ which “… introduces technical risk at a time when efforts and attention should be focused elsewhere.” I submit that we do not know when proof-of-stake will happen, if ever. Not every beginning leads to a successful ending.

It says that. "Some stakeholders have suggested that ProgPoW offers no clear benefit to Ethereum’s transition to PoS and may centralize hashpower. There is no evidence that it will serve its intended purpose of better aligning miner incentives to disincentivize adversarial miner tactics. Which stakeholders? Is a suggestion an argument? Have they looked for evidence? And is that the intended purpose? What are the tactics?

In between it talks a lot about the contention and division in the community, which are indubitally there, and a good reason to back off of progPoW. Are their other ways past the contention? If ASICs are indeed a security threat this can can’t be kicked down the road forever.