Known for inventing torrenting (BitTorrent) in the early thirties, Bram Cohen could also become famous for something completely different – solve the problem of bitcoin electricity waste.
Cohen's latest creation, a cryptocurrency known as Chia that calls itself "green money for a digital world", is the antithesis of bitcoin. Unlike bitcoin, which uses the consenting mechanism of the proof-of-work based on electricity, chia cryptocurrency uses the test of the space in which the mining process uses hard disk space.
Speaking with Breaker, Cohen magazine said that hard disk space is readily available and most of the time not used:
The idea is that you are taking advantage of this storage capacity resource and people already have a ridiculous amount of excess storage space on their laptops and in other places that are not being used. There is already so much that it should reach the point where if you buy new hard drives for agricultural purposes, you would lose money.
In addition to reducing electricity consumption, Cohen also claims that Chia's cryptocurrency is relatively safer than bitcoin.
According to Cohen, who created the BitTorrent protocol in 2001 while still a student at the University of Buffalo, although it would be monstrously expensive to buy the resources needed to attack the bitcoin network, it is possible to do so. For the Chia network, for Cohen, it is not so easy though:
To attack Chia you should have access to more resources than the network as a whole, which will be a large amount of resources once everyone has signed up. The cost to buy them in advance would be huge, higher than the cost of ASICs you would need to attack bitcoins, so overloading the system would be much more difficult.
Although the consent mechanism of space testing may seem safer on paper, it also has its limitations and this includes the possibility of a re-mining from the genesis attack that occurs.
With this type of attack, a bad actor who has significant network resources creates a new blockchain from scratch with the goal of changing it to the original blockchain when it becomes longer. When executed perfectly, the bad actor puts himself in a position where he can get the new blockchain accepted by most nodes, while he takes possession of any number of coins and / or cancels previous transactions.
To prevent this type of attack, Cohen introduced the time-consuming consent mechanism. Although this does not prevent a bad actor from rewriting years of work, it would take a long time to remove it.
Even if it was to be launched towards the end of this year, the world will have to wait a little longer for a "greener" cryptocurrency while the launch has been pushed forward.
Flickr / Thomas Hawk featured image.
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