Ethereum developers have agreed as of Jan 4th on switching to a ProgPoW (Programmatic Proof of Work) algorithm for mining. You can see the stream of this meeting below. The idea behind this update that this will greatly reduce the power of FPGA and ASIC miners and give GPUs the true upper hand and significant boost in mining rewards. A detailed summary can be found from this official Ethereum Github link.

However, it is currently unclear if ProgPoW will be ready by the time the Constantinople update is released, expected on January 16th. If you aren't already familiar, the Constantinople upgrade is one of the largest so far. There will be several new EIPs (Ethereum Improvement Proposals):

  • EIP 145 - Native Bitwise ¬†shifting instructions in EVM ¬†for greater transaction processing efficiency
  • EIP 1218 - Permit blocks to be aware of much older block hashes (To be delayed until 'Istanbul' update)
  • EIP 1014 - Scaling implementation based on state channels and off-chain transactions
  • EIP 1052 - Large-scale code execution optimization on the network
  • EIP 1283 - Proposes reduction of excessive gas cost where it doesn't match most implementations

You can find more detailed information from the official Ethereum Github page for the Constantinople Agenda.

"(If we have time) Changing PoW algorithm to be ASIC resistant. There is renewed interest from miners to implement ProgPoW." -Souptacular

Will this fundamental news cause a new bull-run? Eh, don't get your hopes up just yet as there is still more testing to be done. And always be weary of the potential pump-and-dump style FOMO/FUD plays this news may bring. Please practice technical analysis to trade it and use proper stop losses to manage your risk, as it is never fun to be caught holding bags you bought at the tops and watching the market dump on you.

Ethereum Core Devs Meeting #52: