Blockchain mining networks are often victims of their success. The two contemporary realities that demarcate the mining landscape and cause blockchains to fall short of what they promise are 1) the ongoing technological arms race driven by inherent competitive greed; and 2) the rising energy costs associated with proof-of-work (PoW) mining. Blockchains built on the PoW consensus have become highly unequal and increasingly centralized in terms of their hash rate. This concentration of mining power in fewer and fewer hands is an attack on the fundamental requirement for distribution and decentralization that blockchains possess.
In addition, the motivation to ramp up mining power has a knock-on effect in terms of runaway energy costs, which have the potential to cause irrevocable environmental harm, as has been the crux of the Chinese (BTC) mining saga. To ensure a sustainable future for blockchain and cryptocurrencies, the hash rate must be distributed more equitably, ensuring that the chief components of distribution and decentralization are kept intact. This requires a reimagining of the mining process as we know it and necessitates a restructuring of PoW systems.
Alexander Hobbs is the director of science at Zenotta. Alexander is a Ph.D. graduate in theoretical astrophysics and has authored numerous scientific publications in the areas of supermassive black holes, galaxy formation and dark matter and has spoken at a number of international conferences and workshops. Prior to joining Zenotta, he held postdoctoral positions at the Institute for Astronomy at ETH Zurich in Switzerland and the Institute for Computational Science at the University of Zurich.
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