ASICs generate enormous hashrates, and therefore make a network much more difficult to attack. Evan Duffield, founder of Dash, said of ASICs:
“there is no better possible technology for our network to be secured by” and that “the only concern with ASICs is due to the centralization risk that has occurred in Bitcoin and Litecoin.”
Moreover, there is also a fix for these centralization risks in the works. While the details have not yet been formally announced, Duffield said, “The centralization risk comes from a problem with the alignment of incentives.” He cited issues such as “private mining with bleeding-edge hardware before it’s publicly accessible, mining at extremely low electrical cost, and utilizing free labor,” and that when these three were combined, it resulted in only a few places in the world where mining is profitable. The Dash development team is not considering changing the hashing algorithm from X11 to something more ASIC-resistant. The plan, instead, it “to re-align these incentives under a new model which incorporates X11 and ASICs.”
Xinjiang Shao, web developer at Pinidea who is manufacturing the X11 ASICs, said that his company is very excited about the future of Dash and that he hopes Dash will continue to develop “as a great payment option for all people.” He further reiterated that the team at Pinidea is dedicated to making Dash “less centralized even with the development of ASICs.”
The advent of ASIC mining for Dash, assuming the centralization risks can be mitigated, is generally seen as a positive thing for the project. Not only do ASICs promote network security, but they are also very expensive to develop. The fact that two companies have dedicated the resources necessary to building these ASICs seems promising.