Since the release of the Bitcoin whitepaper in 2008, excitement has been building around the potential of blockchain technology to bring about a merit-based, egalitarian economy, based around equal access to resources.
However, thus far, all deployed blockchains exhibit centralization tendencies at odds with their original ethos as they gain popularity, and encounter scalability bottlenecks which restrict network functionality. Bitcoin and other Proof of Work (PoW) systems contribute to huge energy waste, whereas Proof of Stake (PoS) based systems require trusted checkpoints and increase the risk of divergence due to hard fork replicas.
Spacemesh, a new project from an expert team of cryptographers and entrepreneurs, is focused on solving these issues. Focused on breaking down barriers to entry, Spacemesh is committed to reviving the true decentralized ethos of blockchain technology.
Tomer Afek, CEO and Co-Founder of Spacemesh, said,
We have reached a point at which many existing blockchains, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, and despite their best intentions, are no longer available to the home miner, which has significantly compromised their decentralization. Our primary motivation in creating Spacemesh has always been to democratize access to blockchain technology and create a platform for anyone to use, regardless of their background or economic status.
In pursuing this goal, we also focused on driving significant improvements in scalability and reducing the environmental footprint of this incredible technology, to bring it closer to achieving its enormous potential to drive change across almost every sector of society. We’re really excited for people to be able to use Spacemesh and to see the interesting use cases that they come up with.”
Tal Moran, Chief Scientist at Spacemesh, said:
Current cryptocurrencies present high barriers to widespread mining participation. Spacemesh has the potential to overcome these and change the rules of the game.”
Spacemesh employ a new mathematically proven consensus protocol that replaces Proof of Work (PoW) with Proof of Space Time (PoST). As disk space is a homogeneous, highly underutilized and readily available resource, the Spacemesh protocol is specifically designed for running a node on a standard desktop PC and allows newcomers to join and contribute to the network via unused space on their hard drives and computing resources.
Spacemesh also uses a Blockmesh design in place of a chain, enabling far more frequent rewards than a blockchain, thwarting pressures against decentralization.
So, what is Proof of Space Time (PoST)?
PoST is a new, mathematically proven consensus protocol upon which the Spacemesh network operates. PoST is designed to work on almost any computer and is less energy-intensive than proof-of-work (PoW) algorithms, such as that used by the bitcoin protocol, and is more accessible than proof-of-stake (PoS) systems.
PoST uses underutilized disk space on ordinary computers, meaning that almost anyone can join and contribute to the network via unused space on their hard drives. By enabling people to run nodes on ordinary desktop PCs, Spacemesh prioritizes decentralization, preventing the network from becoming increasingly centralized over time.
One of the main issues affecting current blockchains and consensus protocols is the tendency for miners to diverge from the protocol in search of higher profits. However, PoST removes the incentive to do so, by supporting a highly scalable network with thousands of transactions per second that enables more frequent rewards, thereby guaranteeing that honest validators will obtain a fair share of the rewards without compromising the decentralized nature of the system. This removes the temptation to join mining pools in search of higher profits, a move which can prompt network centralization.
Further ensuring decentralization, the design of Spacemesh protocols makes it highly unlikely that network-specific ASIC hardware will be developed, and also makes it less profitable to use cloud computing or dedicated hardware than the unused space on users’ existing computers. Spacemesh protocols also eliminate the advantages of joining a virtual mining pool and make it unnecessary to pay a percentage of block awards to a central entity.
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