Audit of ProgPoW Algorithm

Ethereum Cat Herders, Ethereum Foundation, and Bitfly have requested that Least Authority perform a security audit of ProgPow, a Programmatic Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm to replac Ethash — in order to verify the security of the algorithm and provide clear metrics about its performance.

This audit is part of the overall effort to examine ProgPow in order to achieve the following goals and expectations, as per the Ethereum Cat Herders:

  1. “The expected effects of ProgPoW on the security of Ethereum vis-a-vis: Security of the algorithm, attack surface, cost of 51% attack, and other security risks that may result from a change from Ethash to ProgPoW.
  2. ProgPoW meeting the goal of ASIC resistance: Known methods to speed up the calculation of the hash function, the length of time it would take to create a ProgPoW ASIC (if R&D begins immediately), and expected efficiency gains from the first generation of said ASICs.
  3. Identify any potential advantages or disadvantages that ProgPoW would present in comparison to Ethash in terms of changes to the network, “fair mining” and evaluate any potential uneven distribution.”


Our final audit report was completed on September 9th, 2019.