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Thread: BitTorrent inventor announces eco-friendly bitcoin competitor Chia

  1. #1

    BitTorrent inventor announces eco-friendly bitcoin competitor Chia

    10/9/2017 by Josh Constine (@joshconstine)

    Chia Network co-founder Bram Cohen

    A bitcoin transaction wastes as much electricity as it takes to power an American home for a week, and legendary coder Bram Cohen wants to fix that. And considering he invented the ubiquitous peer-to-peer file transfer protocol BitTorrent, you should take him seriously.

    Cohen has just started a new company called Chia Network that will launch a cryptocurrency based on proofs of time and storage rather than bitcoin’s electricity-burning proofs of work. Essentially, Chia will harness cheap and abundant unused storage space on hard drives to verify its blockchain.

    “The idea is to make a better bitcoin, to fix the centralization problems” Cohen tells me. The two main issues he sees in bitcoin are in environmental impact and the instability that arises from the few bitcoin miners with the cheapest access to electricity exerting outsized influence.

    Chia aims to solve both.

    Bitcoin uses proofs of work to verify the blockchain. That’s because it’s prohibitively expensive to make a fake blockchain as it wouldn’t have as much work demonstrated as the real one. But over time that’s given a massive advantage in collecting the incentives for mining bitcoin to those who operate close to low-cost electricity and naturally chill air to cool the mining rigs.

    Chia instead relies on proofs of space in file storage, which people often already have and can use for no additional cost. It combines this with proofs of time that disarm a wide array of attacks to which proofs of space are susceptible.

    “I’m not the first person to come up with this idea,” says Cohen, but actually implementing requires the kind of advanced computer science he specializes in.

    After inventing torrenting in the early 2000s and briefly working on Steam for Valve, Cohen had been at BitTorrent building a new protocol for peer-to-peer live video transfer. But mismanagement on the business side caused the company to implode. Now it’s limping along, and Cohen says “it doesn’t need me day-to-day.” So while he’s still on the board, he left in early August to start Chia Network.

    Cohen has teamed up with early bitcoin exchange Tradehill’s COO Ryan Singer and they’ve raised a seed round for Chia to ramp up hiring. Cohen wouldn’t say how much it had raised, laughing that, “I’m not sure how much we want to announce right now, but it was a very hot round.” The goal is do some early sales of Chia in Q2 2018, with a full launch of its cryptocurrency by the end of 2018, though Cohen says that’s a stretch goal.

    Cohen is a brilliant technologist, but it will take more than that to convince people to switch over from bitcoin to Chia. He tells me the plan for Chia is “do some smarter things about its legal status and do a bunch of technical fixes that you can do when starting from scratch.”

    It’s too early to guess how this will all play out, but at least someone is trying to address the ecological impact of cryptocurrency instead of just complaining about it. Cohen seems excited though. “It’s technically ambitious and there’s a big meaty chunk of work to do. I’ve done enough raising money and recruiting. Now for the real work.”

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  3. #2
    Sounds like a great way to trick eco-loving liberals into giving their bitcoins to more experienced traders.

    I'm game lol

  4. #3
    Dude, tim, why is it that when it comes to bitcoin you post the most deranged nonsense that doesn't make ANY sense what-so-ever?? I know a lot of articles are making this bull$#@! claim, but did you even take 5 SECONDS out of your life to think about it in your head before posting it?

    Miners in mining pools are making JUST enough money mining bitcoin to pay for their electricity costs, and some on top for profit. Otherwise they wouldn't be filling warehouses with all of the equipment..

    If this was true:

    A bitcoin transaction wastes as much electricity as it takes to power an American home for a week
    Yet the "transaction cost" of a bitcoin, the cost that goes to miners from the fee and the creation of new coins, is extremely low.. But that cost has to cover the cost of electricity.. That means that bull$#@! statistic you cited is off probably by a factor of by ten thousand or maybe a million..

    The claim that Bitcoin was a huge waste of electricity were based on widely quoted statistics from—now removed from the site but still wildly cited by commentators such as PandoDaily. These figures are simply wrong, and some simple math shows this, if anyone had bothered to check.

    At the end of the day, transaction costs for bitcoin are extremely low, and so this tells us that the electricity usage for transacting a bitcoin is also extremely low. Let's use our brains
    Last edited by dannno; 11-09-2017 at 03:15 PM.
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc

    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."

  5. #4
    I watched the newer talk by Cohen. This quote (paraphrase) is quite the technical validation of Bitcoin: "I painstakingly reproduced all the quirks of Bitcoin. I mean, I didn't set out to reproduce them but it turns out that each of Bitcoin's quirks is there for a reason."

    Chia's approach to mining (farming) sounds solid from a technical PoV and Cohen is very technologically adept. It will be interesting to see how many different ways the Sybil attack can be solved. One is through proofs-of-work, another through proofs-of-time-and-space. I can think of at least one more - physical unclonable functions. It would be pretty cool to have a cryptocoin based on buying a physical token and connecting to the network to prove the existence of that token for exchange purposes.

  6. #5
    PoW is what makes Bitcoin secure.

    PoS will always be gameable with fiat. PoS coins can be bought with a printing press.

  7. #6
    "The goal is do some early sales of Chia in Q2 2018, with a full launch of its cryptocurrency by the end of 2018, though Cohen says that’s a stretch goal."

    That's all you need to know.

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