"Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, has a problem: It uses ghastly quantities
of electricity and thus generates as much carbon emissions as a medium-sized
country. This is by design. A new cryptocurrency, Chia, avoids this problem—in
favor of creating huge amounts of a different kind of waste.
Bitcoin was meant to be decentralized so as to stay out of any central control.
The “proof-of-work mining” process allocates fresh coins by a lottery. You
enter this lottery by guessing numbers and running calculations on them as fast
as possible—that is, you waste electricity to show your commitment. There is
one winner every 10 minutes; as more people join the lottery, the guessing gets
harder to stay at one winner every 10 minutes.
As long as people can make money wasting electricity, they’ll add more
computing resources to win more bitcoins in an ever-escalating arms race.
Bitcoin thus uses as much electricity as the Netherlands."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics