The founder of BitTorrent is on a quest to develop an eco-friendly cryptocurrency


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/02/02/the-founder-of-bittorrent-is-o.html


#2

“which does require much electricity at all.” Not?

Thanks for covering this. Glad to see there is an attempt to address the huge ecological footprint of bit torrent.


#3

Great, now instead of hoarding high-end graphics cards, miners will be hoarding hard drives.


#4

You mean bitcoin, right?

Muphry’s law strikes again.


#5

So rather than wrecking the environment by using electricity to run miners (which will be tomorrow’s e-waste), we wreck the environment by manufacturing otherwise unused storage space, which will become tomorrow’s e-waste. PROGRESS!


#6

I believe Ethereum is already working to implement similar system based on proof of stake.


#7

A different proof method for block encryption will also help with other transaction costs as well as reducing transaction latency, all of which limit the blockchain’s potential (which isn’t necessarily about currency). Cohen is a clever guy when it comes to addressing these kinds of problems.


#8

At last, a solution to the problem caused by a solution to a problem no one particularly had!


#9

I’d much rather have a currency based on proof of steak. You know, like in the ancestral environment.


#10

The creator’s name is Bram. I think it pretty much has to be “proof of stake” (you foul creature of the night!).


#11

There’s always SolarCoin…


#12

What we really need is one that can only be run on a hand-crank adding machine.


#13

Something like this?


#14

In 2001, the SUNY Buffalo dropout, who’d been writing computer programs since the age of 6, invented BitTorrent

Either I never knew this, or forgot or whatever. But the Buffalo connection makes Bram Cohen and this new crypto much more appealing to me.

Edit: Also, I have to question if this all actually involves your drivespace sitting empty. I can easily see this being used as a distributed storage/backup method.


#15

JFC. Ballooning power consumption is a huge, existential problem for cryptocurrencies (assuming they, y’know, survive the current nosedive, the next one when Tether officially implodes, the next one when the next major government officially criminalizes them, etc. etc.), but the only way this proposal makes the first bit of sense is if Bram Cohen recently dumped all his Nvidia stock and went long on Western Digital.

Please pretty please, stop trying to solve this with proof-of-stake, bigger-hard-drive-bingo, or the next sweep-it-under-the-rug stopgap when an actual solution exists - if the problem is all this useless computational work miners are doing, why not just have them, IDFK, do useful computational work instead? Coins like Golem, Render Token, and Curecoin are already using Etherium’s smart contracts to replace proof-of-work with actual work, simulating protein folding and rendering realistically-lit computer-generated movie scenes. It’s likely we’ve reached the blade of the hockey-stick-curve demand for parallelizable computation, but if everyone dumped Bitcoin and pumped genuinely useful cryptocurrencies that satisy that demand, we might at least get a cure for cancer out of the widening GPU crisis.

Heck, if any of these efforts actually arrive at something like a cheap, widely-distributed blockchain-based TensorFlow farm, I might have to order myself a glass of the Singularity Kool-Aid. The fact that none of this is even mentioned as an option whenever the power consumption problem comes up is infuriating.


#16

This currency will eventually have the same scalability problems that BitCoin has.

Some cryptocurrency experts, like Eric Voskuil, a former principal architect at Microsoft, wonder what’s to stop Chia farmers from buying thousands of cheap hard drives and running them 24 hours a day, burning electricity just like Bitcoin miners. That will only be an issue, Cohen says, if the currency Chia issues annually becomes worth more than a trillion dollars. “And, uh, it’s a little weird to criticize something by saying that it will start to encounter problems if it becomes a trillion-dollar-a-year industry,” Cohen says.

So, basically, Cohen is saying that as long as his currency doesn’t actually take off, it will be a more environmentally sound option. Sounds dumb to me.

Proof of stake protocols (eg- ripple and stellar) are much more energy efficient and fast. Though BitCoin True Believers don’t like them because of the possibility of centralization.


#17

Will proof of stake mean the rich get to decide? As I read it, it is supposed to be in the interest of the majority of the coin-holders that everything be done fairly in a proof of stake system, by what happens if 1% of the people hold 70% of the coins?

I’m asking honestly, as I can’t say I’ve wrapped my head around the algorithms.


#18

Check out my recent interview with Bram Cohen about this very topic… https://medium.com/bitcoin-car-talk/bitcoin-car-talk-episode-8-f7686290feed


#19

It’s a misconception that Proof of Stake is somehow better. http://www.truthcoin.info/blog/pow-cheapest/


#20

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