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A German university develops energy-efficient cryptographic puzzle
Technology experts from Ruhr-Universität Bochum, a German-based university have developed an energy-efficient cryptographic puzzle, which is based on storage space rather than computing power.
Noting the high computing power of the bitcoin network at present, Prof Dr. Sebastian Faust from Ruhr-Universität has suggested an energy-efficient alternative. According to the university’s science magazine ‘Rubin’, for solving the proof-of-space puzzle, the user has to initialize it in a CPU-intensive manner; in the process, a huge portion of the storage space on the hard disk is used. Subsequently, the user can solve the puzzle without any considerable computational cost. However, this is only possible as long as storage space is actually available.
“This is the basic idea, but in actual fact the puzzle is more complicated than that,” explains Faust.
Rubin reported that a group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston and at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria in Vienna has expanded the proof-of-space concept and created a new cryptocurrency based on it.
In addition, the experts from Bochum are also exploring other aspects of the bitcoin network, such as the security of smart contracts, which have the potential to prevent fraud and facilitate simpler international trade.
“We would like to analyze the bitcoin system formally and prove that it is secure”, he said.
Faust believes that it’s not enough just to distinguish between honest and dishonest bitcoin users, but instead sometimes it may be profitable not to immediately publish transactions and observe what is going on in the network.
“Bitcoin should be analyzed using game theory concepts in order to represent the practice as realistically as possible”, he said. This is one of the objectives his group aims to achieve someday.