The world is full of eco-warriors that read something in a fake news publication and believe it to be true. Bram Cohen appears to be one of those individuals, as he has taken aim at Bitcoin for destroying the planet with the vast amount of power it consumes – ugh, not another one of those people. Cohen – the founder of BitTorrent – is creating his own crypto in Chia that will make mining a thing of the past, and presumably save the planet.
Using Proof of Space and Time to Power Crypto
Cohen and his team at Chia are running a competition to get developers to submit code that can power his new cryptocurrency. At the end of the competition, the fastest offering will be chosen as the winner. The algorithm must use proof of space and time in order to process transactions, in a bid to use as little energy as possible. This might sound bizarre, but it would save a lot of energy and cut cryptos power bill down to a fraction of its current cost. Without the repetitive action of mining by creating hashes, an almost infinite amount of power can be saved, and so too the planet – if you ask Cohen.
Bitcoin Uses Green Energy
Now, it’s time for the facts. A recent report showed that 77.6% of all energy used in the mining and validation process of the Bitcoin network comes from green and renewable sources. On top of this, if you compare the total power consumed by the current banking and financial system to Bitcoin, it’s clear that Bitcoin is in fact much better for the planet when it comes to general use.
Christmas is Killing the Planet, Not Bitcoin
If you believe that Bitcoin mining is killing the planet, it’s time to stop celebrating Christmas. That’s right, Christmas lights in the US alone consume more power than the entire Bitcoin mining network. There are a whole host of other useless practices that we humans take part in that consume more power and are worse for the planet than Bitcoin mining, so let’s focus on those first.
Killing Bitcoin Slowly
Cohen’s master plan to kill Bitcoin is rather simple – prove to the world that his crypto consumes less power and get people to start using it. If Cohen can make a crypto that consumes less power than Bitcoin, great – but people are unlikely to suddenly drop all their Bitcoin and buy up Chia instead. If Chia really wants to succeed, Cohen needs to develop an entire ecosystem filled with businesses that are ready to accept Chia as a payment method. Should Cohen and Chia create some form of mass adoption on a similar scale to Visa and MasterCard, then Chia could quite easily kill Bitcoin, but we are talking years of work to even get close.
The truth is, Cohen is trying to do his part and look after the planet. His Chia project isn’t actually a bad one either, but by attacking Bitcoin so vehemently as the sole cause of global warming is the wrong way to convert Bitcoin fans into Chia loyalists. Chia looks like it has a bright future and could help solve a number of problems the planet faces, Cohen just needs to play the game carefully.