Ethereum ProgPOW author uninvited from ETC Summit due to Craig Wright association Ethereum ProgPOW author uninvited from ETC Summit due to Craig Wright association
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Ethereum ProgPOW author uninvited from ETC Summit due to Craig Wright association

Ethereum ProgPOW author uninvited from ETC Summit due to Craig Wright association

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate. Image includes combined content which may include AI-generated content.

Kristy-Leigh Minehan, the creator of Ethereum’s progressive proof-of-work algorithm, was uninvited from ETC Summit. Bob Summerwill, the summit organizer for ETC Cooperative, said he withdrew Minehan’s invitation due to her connections with Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre.

Connections to Craig Wright?

The Ethereum Classic Summit scheduled for Oct. 3 is now one speaker short. Kristy-Leigh Minehan, the current CTO of Core Scientific, has officially been uninvited from the summit by the event’s organizer due to her alleged involvement with some of the most controversial figures in crypto.

Bob Summerwill, the executive director at the Ethereum Classic Cooperative and community leader for the Ethereum Project, announced the news on Twitter, saying he was the one to uninvite Minehan. According to Summerwill, he decided to retract her invitation after learning about her โ€œconnectionsโ€ to Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre.

In a blog post, Summerwill explained that Core Scientific, where Minehan serves as chief technology officer, has its CEO Kevin Turner acting as an advisor to Squire Mining, a publicly traded Canadian company.

Calvin Ayre owns 45 percent of the company and lists both Craig Wright and Jimmy Nguyen as advisors. Summerwill believes the connections were too strong to ignore.

He also said that Kristy had also spoken on at least two events created by pro-BSV news outlet CoinGeek “implicitly promoting and validating them.”

“Craig Wright is a fraud, serial liar and perjurer, and Calvin Ayre is not much better. I cannot have the ETC Cooperative and the ETC Summit associated with such disreputable individuals and companies, so I chose to withdraw my invitation,” Summerwill explained in the post.

CryptoSlate reached out to Minehan about the matter. She had this to say:

โ€œCore Scientific is a professional service provider. As long as our customers comply with U.S. law, pass mandatory KYC checks, uphold their contracts and pay their bills, they are allowed to use our servicesโ€”the same as any other customer. As a company, we are agnostic to blockchain networks and political factions and believe everyone deserves the right to participate in our services.โ€

A push to remove ProgPOW from next Ethereum update

Minehan’s connections to Craig Wright and support for Bitcoin SV have pushed Summerwill to look deeper into her proposed algorithm updated to Ethereum. The progressive proof-of-work algorithm makes it more difficult to develop specialized ASICs for Ethereum and makes general purpose hardware (GPUs) more cost-effective at mining ETH.

However, after a discussion with Minehan on Discord, Summerwill decided to advocate against ProgPOW. The algorithm was partially created by a group of 40 individuals, in line with its open-source origins, with only a few of the members being publicly known.

Meanwhile, Minehan is adamant about maintaining the privacy of these open-source contributors:

โ€œI will fight to the bitter end to protect people’s privacy. Ever had a situation where your life was in jeopardy because of your contributions? I have.โ€

Nevertheless, Summerwill argues that Minehan’s “lack of discernment about who she associates with,” that the IP risk of employing such code to Ethereum would be “unquantifiable.”

He then urged the Ethereum community to “strongly reconsider” whether it should proceed with implementing ProgPOW and called for stronger guarantees around the IP.

โ€œProgPOW has undergone audits for security and potential backdoor concerns, as well as hardware optimisations. It is a gentle tweak to Ethash to fulfil its proposed properties in the original yellow paper,โ€ asserted Kristy-Leigh Minehan.

His personal opinion aside, Summerwill said that the algorithm has long been a divisive topic in the Ethereum community. In light of recent events, there is a risk of an Ethereum hard fork if ProgPOW is implemented.

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