Bram Cohen is the man credited with the creation of torrenting for his application BitTorrent which he created and launched in the nineties. Since then Cohen has been actively involved in software development and architecture and now cryptocurrencies. But Cohen is a crypto fanatic with a eye for the environment.
For those of who don’t know Bitcoin’s blockchain functions on a proof-of-work consensus mechanism. Proof-of-work mechanisms require large amounts of electricity to run the nodes that complete the mining/validation process. The large amount of energy consumption has begun causing environmental problems and problems for citizens of major mining cities.
Cohen aims to help minimize or eliminate the environmental problems beings caused by Bitcoins proof-of-work mechanism by introducing his newest creation, the ‘Chia’ token. The Chia token will operate with a proof-of-space authentication mechanism which utilizes hard drive disk space while mining.
Cohen commented the following to Breaker Magazine.
“The idea is that you’re leveraging this resource of storage capacity, and people already have ludicrous amounts of excess storage on their laptops, and other places, which is just not being utilized. There is so much of that already that it should eventually reach the point where if you were buying new hard drives for the purpose of farming, it would lose you money.”
Is Proof-of-Space as Secure and efficient as Proof-of-work?
Cohen is proud to say that proof-of-space is not only more energy efficient that Bitcoin’s mining process, but that is also more secure. Cohen admits that hacking the Chia network is possible, but that it would require such a large amount of energy and funding that it’s unlikely it will ever happen.
“To attack Chia you’d have to get access to more resources than the network as a whole, which will be a huge amount of resources once everyone has signed up. The cost of acquiring them upfront would be huge, higher than the cost of the ASICs you’d need to attack bitcoin, so to overwhelm the system would be much more difficult.”
Cohen has even gone a step further to formulate a mechanism that would prevent these sort of attacks from happening; proof-of-time. Proof-of-time does not entirely eliminate the possibility of a hack, but makes it so that the amount of time required to conduct the hack is enormous.
The hacker would need to a new blockchain from the ground up and get it accepted by the majority of network nodes. To do this the hacker would have to rewrite years of work before they could swap the blockchains. If someone was able to do this they would harness the ability to cancel/alter transactions and gain possession of a number of coins.
To learn more about Chia go here: https://chia.net/