The green cryptocurrency that’s gunning for Bitcoin

From the creator of BitTorrent comes Chia – and it’s got Bitcoin in its crosshairs…

One of the common complaints aimed at Bitcoin, and the broader ecosystem of cryptocurrency mining, is just how environmentally unfriendly it is. That due to the fact Bitcoin users a proof-of-work mining mechanism, it takes a lot of electricity to mine new coins. To the point where earlier this year, it was declared the crypto mining could on its own be responsible for a two degree Celsius rise in the Earth’s temperature over the next 15 years. You can read out story on that here.

One person trying to do something about that is Bram Cohen, who is best known to date for being the person who invented BitTorrent. Cohen is entering the cryptocurrency market next, and he’s got in mind a coin by the name of Chia, that he’s set up in China.

The difference? Rather than being mined using proof-of-work, Chia utilises a proof-of-space mechanism. That it takes advantage of the empty hard disk space on your computer for its work.

In an interview with Breaker magazine, Cohen explained that “the idea is that you’re leveraging this resource of storage capacity, and people already have ludicrous amounts of excess storage on their laptops, and other places, which is just not being utilized”.

He adds that “there is so much of that already that it should eventually reach the point where if you were buying new hard drives for the purpose of farming, it would lose you money”.

Chia, he argues, is also hugely secure, and certainly more secure than Bitcoin.

The launch of the new cryptocurrency was intended to take place this year, but things have been delayed into 2019, due to software issues that have pushed the schedule back.  We’ll have more on it as we hear it.

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