‘Bitcoin should change to PoS (Proof of Stake) mechanism instead of PoW (Proof of Work) mechanism to save the environment’ this campaign has been running by environmentalists recently. The debate is still on, but ‘Bitcoiners’ take this change as an attack on Bitcoin decentralization.
Related: Where is the Bitcoin Bottom?
Proof of Work or Proof of Stake?
Bitcoin works on the PoW (Proof of Work) mechanism, which requires colossal hash power generated by computers consuming huge electricity. Because of the insane amount of electricity used, each Bitcoin transaction leaves a carbon footprint, hurting the environment. The alternative is to shift the protocols to Proof of Stake, where miners need to own a lot of coins to become validators instead of having a lot of hash power. This is a green deal for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies; however, there are serious concerns involved in it.
Blockchain miners play their role in avoiding double-spending of cryptocurrencies. To record an invalid transaction on the blockchain, at least 51% of the miners need to agree on it. Securing that much hash power is not possible for even the bigger mining companies. Furthermore, cryptocurrency exchanges hold a lot of coins, and they have been hacked before. What if a bad actor gets his hands on many cryptos through an exchange theft and those coins in Proof of Stake to record invalid transactions? This is why people vote against the proof of stake mechanism.
Recently a pool was created on Twitter by an influencer Dan Robinson asking people would they let Bitcoin die or change it to PoS? And almost 26% of people preferred Bitcoin to die instead of changing its protocol.
Suppose it turns out that it's impossible to have a secure proof-of-work blockchain without a block reward. Which change to Bitcoin would you be more willing to accept?— Dan Robinson (@danrobinson) June 23, 2022
However, as seen in Pool results, most people (30.9%) voted in favor of changing the protocol. The pool is crucial as it received a response from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin who suggested a hybrid method to validate the blockchain transactions. He added,
“Why not hybrid proof of stake, of the 2013-15 era designs where you have interwoven PoW and PoS blocks, so an attacker needs something like `work_share + stake_share >= 1` to do a 51% attack? Still politically sellable as PoW, but may get you enough of the security gains.”
In a response to another reply, when someone asked Vitalik about which method will be the top dog, he suggested keeping PoS and PoW co-top dogs so that the risk factor remains minimum.
Blockchain is just 13 years old, and there’s a lot to do to make it immutable in the truest sense. Developers are also experimenting with other solutions like PoH (Proof of History). What would you have opted for if you were a part of the pool?
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