Scientists from the Lausanne Polytechnic School claim that they have developed an algorithm that will ensure the security of cryptocurrency transactions at the bitcoin level with practically zero energy consumption.
According to Professor Rashid Gerraui, unlike the first cryptocurrency, the new algorithm does not require reaching a network consensus to confirm the transaction. During this, participants make complex calculations, the equipment for which consumes a significant amount of electricity.
While the Bitcoin ecosystem is designed in such a way that participants do not have to trust each other, Gerraui and colleagues chose the opposite approach. The algorithm, called Byzantine Reliable Broadcast, is based on player trust and communication. The system initially assumes that all participants play fair until proven otherwise.
A randomly selected player confirms the transaction, and this is an exchange of information, Gerraui explained. If any member’s malicious behavior is detected, the rest ignore him.
The professor recalled that electricity consumption by the bitcoin network is approaching that of Austria, which leads to the emission of carbon dioxide at the level of Denmark. Gerraui called the energy costs for confirming a transaction in the Byzantine Reliable Broadcast "equivalent to the exchange of electronic letters."
“Only a few grams of CO2, compared to 300 kg for a single bitcoin transaction,” he emphasized.
However, the new system has a narrower application than the Bitcoin blockchain and is only suitable for managing cryptocurrencies or other assets. For more complex transactions, such as smart contracts, the algorithm is not applicable, Gerraui admitted.
Scientists plan to open source code for Byzantine Reliable Broadcast by the end of 2020.
Recall, earlier, Coinshares found out that the energy consumption of the Bitcoin network is very high. Moreover, the carbon footprint from cryptocurrency mining is much smaller than is commonly believed, since miners prefer to use cheap renewable energy sources, in particular, hydroelectric power plants.