Rethinking Proof of Work: The Quest to Improve Bitcoin Heats Up

bitcoin-mining

In a world barreling onward in the name of efficiency, bitcoin stands out for the purposeful way it’s anything but.

This ‘deficiency’ was the focus of many talks at day two of Stanford’s security conference, Blockchain Protocol Analysis and Security Engineering 2017. For all its benefits, the system that secures bitcoin, proof of work (PoW), is estimated to require as much electricity as all of Denmark by 2020, and many researchers see this as a prize problem to solve.

But, the bad news is that, so far, it’s proven difficult to find an alternative that provides as much security as bitcoin’s massive collection of global computers, all brute-forcing the network in an effort to win its rewards.

At least, no alternative of has been successfully deployed on a large scale.

Nonetheless, the race to invent a blockchain security system that’s less resource intensive, and that could still thwart double spending in open blockchain networks, continues, and attendees see the experimentation as a good sign.

Founder and CEO of Protocol Labs Juan Benet perhaps best summed up the sentiment that something else will eventually be discovered if enough bright minds attack the idea from all angles.

Benet told CoinDesk:

“Proof of work is a really good system, but there’s probably going

Read more ... source: CoinDesk

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