Burstcoin Is A Robust And Unique Cryptocurrency: Proof of Capacity (PoC) Ensures Decentralization, Energy Efficiency, And Low Barrier To Entry
Decentralization is perhaps the fundamental reason why Bitcoin has been successful. Since Bitcoin is decentralized, its network cannot be controlled by any government, corporation, or other centralized entity, and this is why Bitcoin still exists to this day rather than being shutdown a long time ago. Bitcoin achieves decentralization through its Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm, where miners around the world cryptographically hash transactions into blocks and receive block rewards for their efforts, and nodes constantly check to ensure that all confirmed transactions are following consensus rules.
The major caveat with PoW is it is energy intensive. This has especially become a problem due to the rapid rise in Bitcoin’s price long term, which has resulted in an arms race of sorts to amass the most hashing power in order to obtain the most mining profits. Indeed, the Bitcoin hash rate has risen orders of magnitude, from MH/s, to GH/s, to TH/s, to PH/s, and now up to its all-time high so far of 84 EH/s. This represents exponentially more computing resources and energy consumption.
This is a problem for two reasons. First off, there is a very high barrier to entry for new users to mine Bitcoin. It requires thousands of dollars of mining equipment to make any worthwhile profit from mining Bitcoin.
Secondly, Bitcoin mining consumes a massive amount of energy worldwide. It is estimated by Digiconomist that Bitcoin mining uses 73.12 TWh of energy annually, equivalent to the electricity consumption of the entire country of Austria, or 0.33% of total global electricity consumption. This releases nearly 35 Megatons of Carbon Dioxide annually, contributing to global warming, aside from other environmental damage caused by burning fossil fuels and manufacturing mining equipment. Digiconomist may be an overestimate of Bitcoin’s environmental impact, but it is somewhere in the ballpark.
Numerous alternative cryptocurrencies have tried to be environmentally friendly via using the Proof of Stake (PoS) algorithm, but this sacrifices decentralization, since all the voting rights end up concentrated into the hands of developers and major bag holders.
This is where Proof of Capacity (PoC), formerly called Proof of Space, comes in. Instead of using specialized Bitcoin mining equipment, PoC simply uses hard drive space to mine cryptocurrency. Burstcoin (BURST) is the #1 PoC cryptocurrency. Bitcoin HD (BHD) is another PoC cryptocurrency, but it has a highly centralized supply with 3.1 million out of 5 million total coins in the hands of the developers, so it is nonsensical to choose BHD considering that BURST has a highly decentralized supply. The problem with a centralized supply is it can cause a coin’s value to collapse long term due to developers dumping on the market.
In order to start mining BURST, a user simply allocates part of their hard drive, and this area of hard drive is plotted. Plotting is a 1-time hashing cycle where the hard drive is filled with cryptographic hashes via the Shabal cryptographic algorithm. The node also has to synchronize with the BURST blockchain before mining. Fortunately, the BURST blockchain is less than 9 GB, versus the Bitcoin blockchain which is nearly 240 GB.
Once plotting and synchronization is complete the user can begin mining. During each mining round the plot file is searched to find the correct cryptographic hash for the block, and when the correct hash is found the user receives a block reward. Essentially, the hashes in the plot file can be thought of as lottery tickets, and the bigger the size of the plot, meaning the more hard drive space dedicated to mining BURST, the more likely it is to find the correct hash.
Like with Bitcoin mining, users can join pools so that even if they have a small amount of hard drive space they can still earn BURST at a steady pace.
Since BURST’s PoC algorithm simply reads a hard drive versus the intense computational work of Bitcoin’s PoW, BURST mining uses a negligible amount of electricity. It is estimated that each BURST transaction consumes 0.0024 KWh of electricity, versus about 1,000 KWh used for each Bitcoin transaction.
Aside from being far more environmentally friendly, electricity costs are negligible for BURST miners, so BURST miners earn nearly 100% profit. This opens the door for users with any level of technology to profitably mine BURST, including personal computers and technically even cell phones. Compare this to Bitcoin where mining with even a powerful personal computer is impossible.
Ultimately, BURST’s energy efficiency makes the barrier to entry very low, a user simply needs to have hard drive space to mine BURST. This results in the BURST network being highly decentralized.
Notably, miners do not have to buy any special equipment to mine BURST, they just use spare hard drive space that was sitting unused, versus Bitcoin mining where specialized hardware that costs thousands of dollars is required. Bitcoin mining rigs often become obsolete with time, and also have no other use besides Bitcoin mining, whereas hard drive space used for BURST mining never becomes obsolete and can easily be freed up and used for storage by deleting the plot file.
In summary, BURST is one of the most unique and fundamentally robust cryptocurrencies due to its PoC algorithm, which ensures decentralization while simultaneously guaranteeing energy efficiency and a low barrier for miner entry.