Well the final result of the informal Twitter Poll is in:
It’s clear that this is a controversial subject but I think many people are over-reacting to this. Saying things like “I’m selling my Rigs!” “goodbye Zcash!” or “Zookos breaking his promise” aren’t helping further the ASIC discussion and may in fact have the opposite effect.
Think of it as if you were running a team of Developers working on a project. Zcash is very complicated and has cutting edge math that absolutely cannot afford to be broken or screwed up. If the protocol breaks and users lose the Privacy of thier transactions then it is Game Over and Zcash may never be able to recover. So in that respect, I agree with Zookos reasoning the protocol is paramount to the success of Zcash.
Zcash Company is still a small team of engineers (even though they were just able to hire a few more) so diverting resources (now) to battle a theroritical ASIC that may not actually exist is a waste of time compared to the other immediate priorities like Overwinter and Sapling.
As I mentioned in my first post in this thread I am concerned that an ASIC manufacturer who controls a large portion of the network would open the door for an unwanted party to have influence on Zcash. If this can be avoided without sacrifices to the main protocol development then I would advocate for a change in the Equihash parameters to send a message that Zcash is not completely opposed changing the PoW. This alone may be enough to discourage ASIC development.
From my limited understanding of the subject, and based on @str4d s comments on GitHub:
We are now planning several hard forks (HF0 followed by the Sapling upgrade), and will therefore be changing consensus rules, as well as potentially data formats (e.g. #2071). Thus changing or extending the PoW can be done either in concert with another change, or during its own hard fork (via whatever mechanism we introduce with HF0)
So there may still an opportunity to make an adjustment to Equihash to coincide with upcoming hard-forks. If this is possible and doesn’t distract from the main priority then why not use it? If changes to the PoW only happens with already scheduled forks it wouldn’t be reactive, it would be proactive.
Interestingly, we already have a Fork of Zcash (zerocurrency) that changed the Equihash parameters to 192, 7 instead of 200, 9 to make it harder to mine that we can benchmark: https://github.com/zerocurrency/zero/issues/2
So, would that kind of tweak be effective at discouraging the development of ASICs? (Maybe?) Would it still be contoversial because there are GPUs/miners/rigs that would be rendered no longer useful? (ie cards with less than X amount of RAM). What Equihash numbers are “right” for which cards?
These are the kinds of questions that should be evaluated in a clear and level headed way. If the community were able to find some concrete results then they could be presented and discussed with the developers.