Bitcoin might be the king of cryptocurrencies, but it’s facing an ecological backlash over the energy-intensive technology .
A new crypto called chia says it’s the eco-friendly alternative.
Like most digital monies, chia runs onto a decentralized ledger system called blockchain. But unlike bitcoin, chia, which was founded by the inventor of BitTorrent, claims it has a much smaller carbon footprint using its mining procedure for verifying and documenting transactions.
Chia logged its first trades this week, joining a crowded crypto scene at a time of frenzied investor attention in other digital assets.
What is chia?
Bitcoin may be the king of cryptocurrencies, but it’s facing an environmental backlash over the energy-intensive technology underpinning it.
A new crypto known as chia says it is the eco-friendly alternative.
Like most digital monies, chia runs onto a decentralized ledger system known as blockchain. But unlike bitcoin, chia, which was set by the inventor of BitTorrent, claims it has a much smaller carbon footprint using its mining procedure for verifying and documenting transactions.
Chia logged its initial transactions this week, joining a busy crypto scene at a time of frenzied investor attention in other digital assets.
What is chia?
The Chia Network made the coin in 2017 with a focus on the ecological consequences of digital currency”mining” — the highly specialized, energy-intensive computing process that creates new coins by solving complex equations.
The vital distinction between chia and other cryptos, according to its creators, is its own”proofs of space and time” method of validating transactions that utilizes fresh disk space on users’ hard drives and is much more energy-efficient than bitcoin’s”proof of work” model.
The Chia Network was set by Bram Cohen, who also invented the peer-to-peer file-sharing system BitTorrent, and has already won backing from notable investors like Andreessen Horowitz and Naval Ravikant.
Each cryptocurrency has its own method for validating transactions, typically by using the collective computer power of miners, who are paid for their aid in cryptocurrency. The chia mining process, which the Chia Network calls”farming,” relies on using empty computer storage space instead.
Chia’s”evidence of space and time” procedure enables network participants to show they have been physically saving data over a certain period of time, based on Coin Market Cap.
This does not resemble the mining procedure of cryptocurrencies such as ethereum, for example. In its current iteration, ethereum utilizes proof-of-work, which requires a massive quantity of personal power to harvest and mine the decentralized coin. The proposed ethereum 2.0, however, would utilize a proof-of-stake model, which is allegedly more energy-efficient.
Part of the allure of cryptocurrencies is that people may send or receive money without the involvement of traditional banks or government bodies, unlike a fiat currency controlled by a central bank. All transactions are confirmed and recorded by huge networks of computers, utilizing a database known as blockchain. Typically that procedure calls for a large amount of power to power those computers — some estimates put bitcoin mining’s carbon dioxide output as equal to New Zealand’s.
Cohen told CNN Business he hopes to get chia listed on crypto exchanges soon, such as Coinbase, the electronic money exchange which went public at April.
Chia is meant to be available.
“We’ve designed our applications with the intention of it being usable by anyone who can use the world wide web,” Cohen told CNN Business. Since”farming” doesn’t require huge amounts of electricity, Cohen said”it can be carried out in a normal apartment.”
The Chia Network has a blockchain trade platform called Mainnet, which is downloaded on the network’s site, chia.net. To start farming, you need to download the app to your computer and allocate a specific quantity of space to the network through the user interface.
“It involves completely normal hardware instead of super custom and expensive stuff,” Cohen stated. “Many people have some amount of storage space they could do it .”
And because”farming” does not use a ton of energy, it is possible to fire up your laptop and get to work. Another cryptocurrency mining processes, however, demand complex machines and will send your electricity bill through the roof.
Will it conserve energy?
The chia”farming” process is a greener mining alternative, but it will still require power.
Once it comes to cryptos,”environmentally friendly” is a”relative term,” said Nick Spanos, CEO of Blockchain Technologies Corp, a software company. Computers need electricity to operate, and natural sources are used to build hard drives,”substantially in precisely the same way that electric vehicles and windmills still require too much resources to truly be environmentally friendly.”
“Plotting,” the procedure for producing documents that are later harvested as a member of their farming process, still uses computer hard disk space and CPU power, but it requires significantly less energy than that which is necessary for the mining process for additional proof-of-work cryptocurrencies.