Siacoin (SC) is trading up 12% at the time of writing and the catalyst for this rally has to do with some fundamental modifications. SC announced a Halloween hard fork through project founder David Vorick that it would be changing its mining algorithm and bricking out the ASIC produced by Bitmain and Innosilicon, but continues to allow for Obelisk ASICs to mine on the Sia network. Essentially, the company is trading one monopoly for another, albeit a home-grown monopoly that they have a stake in seeing succeed. Most in the network have referred to this as a “protectionist fork.”

“Sia is forking today to reprimand the current ASIC monopoly for the damage it did to the Sia community, to make whole the supporters of Sia’s community ASIC project, and to send a clear message to all future Sia ASIC manufacturers: we will not tolerate an abusive ASIC monopoly.”

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The damage referenced by Vorick includes the moves made by Bitmain and Innosilicon regarding the manufacture of ASIC mining hardware. These actions reportedly disrupted the investments made by members of the Siacoin community. He continued:

“In the short term, this is a step backwards for Sia’s security. The hashrate will decrease substantially, which means our security margin against an attacker will be lower. In the long term, this sets the stage for a healthy mining community and a higher overall difficulty. We fully expect that the 28nm Obelisk ASICs will be replaced by a 16nm chip from another manufacturer, who will become the new manufacturing monopoly for Sia.”

However, the Sia team was quick to point out that no one is being forced to accept the hard fork. For their part, Nebulous can only release new code with a proof-of-work reset and encourage users to upgrade. All they will do is discharge new code and everybody will be allowed to upgrade, or stay with the old system, or even split. On the off chance that it was a concentrated blockchain, individuals would be compelled to make the upgrade.