This post addresses the issues of possible future centralization of mining power trough hoarding of hash rate (sols) into the hands of a few large investors. It is possible that such occurrence could put into question the long term the stability of the network, as well as the trust of the retail consumers and investors. Another issue about the current state of mining is that the current POW/POS methods motivate miners to compete among each other, through gearing up and hoarding mining hardware / crypto in order to profit and assert their dominance in the market which also creates amounts of hashing power that can be deemed excessive. The same can be said about the amount of electricity that is being used to maintain crypto networks under their POW state of mining distribution. Such actions are neither illegal or immoral, though they go in opposition to the principle of crypto to promote the idea of decentralization. Lastly, there are currently only a few manufacturers of mining equipment that posses the potential to influence crypto in ways that are not always clear to the public eye, which creates tension and fud among the crypto community. It is my opinion people appreciate the overall openness of crypto’s source code, but when it comes the hardware needed to maintain the network, not openness, but cloth and dagger comes to mind…
As an intellectual attempt to mitigate the issues given above and inspired from the heated discussion “Let’s talk about ASIC mining” and by the different perspectives laid there I give to the consideration of the Zcash’s community the concept of a POL mining distribution (Proof of Life).
Proof of Life is a concept based on the basic premise that behind every equal in capacity piece of mining hardware should stand one individual - a limitation of a single mining hardware per individual participant who is active and aware of his participation in the mining process.
How can such mining distribution ensure the link between a the individual and the his mining hardware?
- Trough a registration form. Whether this would be a soft version - like verification of, an example, Facebook account trough a specialized app or a full registration via government issued ID, like Coinbase has for its users, or both - that should be taken for consideration. Another consideration would be how the platform for such registration should look like, who will maintain it and should it be conected to other existing platforms (similar to Coinbase, Facebook, Google Play, etc).
Registration data should be protected. Still, people will have to willingly consent to participate by accepting to share part of their personal data, in order for all the users in the network to maintain their privacy while transacting on the blockchain.
How to ensure that the linked individual is being active and willing participant in the mining process?
- Trough a periodical gathering of encrypted information. To avoid exploitation of the POL, periodical information of the individual’s activity should be automatically gathered and encrypted. Additional layers should be included to prevent any unwanted automation of the process.
Could there be attempts of exploitation of how the POL concept works?
- Possibly. However, such advantages would affect less the mining process and will work only for a limited time due to the complexity of the data gathered periodically on the individual’s activity. Making them ineffective on a larger scale and in longer terms.
Please, share your comments below. I’m curious to see how people think such concept would or wouldn’t work.