At the moment, Proof-of-Work (PoW) activities to secure the Bitcoin network require a lot of energy to power the ASIC mining hardware. This is something that is starting to raise some concerns among regulatory agencies and governments. Some jurisdictions have already banned crypto mining activities and there are other countries that have been trying to better control the mining industry.
There are developers that are currently working on other solutions in order to make the mining activities much more efficient. Apparently, Michael Dubrovsky could be launching a soft version of the oPoW this year.
oPoW is a new algorithm that is compatible with Photonic Integrated Circuits in order to fix the dynamics of the PoW ecosystem. The goal is to solve the energy use and centralization problems in the ASIC mining industry.
Since the first version of the oPoW algorithm was released back in July, the team behind PoWx has been working on a testnet based on the Bitcoin codebase. At the same time, they have already designed a prototype oPoW mining Photonic IC and sent it to fabrication at AMF Singapore with the help of SiEPIC Kits.
This version that the company is currently developed will be serving as a proof of concept rather than a fully optimized device.
Now one, the company will be working on a scientific crypto paper that will include a formal proof of the security of the oPoW architecture. They will also be talking with startups that work on optical computing and incumbent miner manufacturers to build a consortium of companies to start working on an oPoW standard.
Finally, they will also be trying to approach development teams to find an alt-coin that would be interested in trying the oPoW in real world.
About it, Cobra Bitcoin commented that he is super excited about the work that Michael Dubrovsky is doing with this oPoW. As Cobra explains, if Bitcoin wants to scale up to trillions of dollars of value, the costs of securing the blockchain would be very high. Indeed, there would be an extreme centralization pressure on mining.
With the cost of mining shifted to hardware costs, and energy costs made negligible and irrelevant, miners can be dispersed more across the globe and able to operate profitably anywhere in the world, avoiding centralization in regions of the world with low electricity costs.
— Cøbra (@CobraBitcoin) January 26, 2019
There are other algorithms that have been implemented to reduce energy costs such as Proof-of-Stake (PoS).
Ethereum (ETH), the third largest cryptocurrency in the market, is currently moving from a PoW consensus algorithm to a PoS.