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  • Why Proof of Capacity should be taken seriously

    Technical details and proofs of numbers stated here are coming soon in future posts, however this is an overview of the advantages of Proof of Capacity as a mining algorithm.

    In the minds of many people involved in cryptocurrency there are two mining algorithms: Proof of Work and Proof of Stake. Amazingly though and luckily for me and anyone else finding Burst at it’s current ridiculously low market cap, most people haven’t heard or seriously considered one other major algorithm that has more potential than either of the other two, Proof of Capacity.

    The first reaction many people have is if you are looking for a new algorithm, then why not go for a variation of Proof of Stake? It seems like the obvious choice, you totally eliminate the energy hungry mining equipment from the equation. However, Proof of Stake has a few key issues with it. And those who realize those issues, assume that Proof of Work is the only algorithm with potential.

    First, let me quickly explain how the various Proofs work. All blockchain algorithms work by linking together blocks that contain all the transactions that occurred during a certain block of time. Miners are paid because these blocks contain transaction fees, as well as initial transactions. All transactions occur similarly in all these networks, however it’s the way that these blocks are linked together which is the issue at hand.

    In a Proof of Work network, everyone hashes the last block plus a random number they have created until they find a valid hash that meets certain criteria. These hashes prove that a whole lot of work has been spent creating the block and therefore the miner who created it must have spent a lot of money on his mining equipment.

    In a Proof of Stake network, the mining equipment is not important. The miners get to mine approximately the portion of blocks that correspond to the percentage of the coins they control.

    With Proof of Capacity the portion of blocks a miner gets to mine corresponds to the amount of hard drive space that miner has dedicated to mining for the network. At first glance, it seems approximately the same as Proof of Work, using hard drives instead of mining equipment.

    Again, I will go into more detail and prove these numbers in future posts but there are calculations to back them up. This is just a quick overview.

    Proof of Capacity has several advantages over both Proof of Work and Proof of Stake.

    Proof of Capacity vs Proof of Work

    Energy Efficiency

    The biggest reason that Proof of Capacity beats Proof of Work is that Proof of Capacity is very energy efficient, using approximately 30 times less energy per dollar spent than for a Proof of Work miner. This is a fair comparison because miners will spend a certain amount of money in order to attain a certain ROI given a similar network that has similar transactions and block rewards.

    Ease of Mining for Everyday People

    Mining for a Proof of Work coin requires an ASIC to mine. ASICs are expensive, loud, energy consuming, and in some cases require extra cooling systems. This is not something an average person is going to buy but everyone already has a hard drive.

    Being ASIC Proof means that every day people can mine for the network and be just as efficient as the people who buy fancy, expensive equipment trying to gain an edge over each other.. because those people will also be buying hard drives and any technology that allows easy mining will also offer an edge to businesses and people that require cheap storage technologies and most people also should own such equipment if they regularly backup their computer as is highly recommended.

    If you look at Litecoin, back when it was ASIC resistant, though not ASIC Proof as Proof of Capacity appears to be, you’ll see that there was a huge rush of people buying extra graphics cards to mine for Litecoin. Odds are that Burst will create similar rushes, and lead to people buying extra hard drives. At the moment, your average miner mines with 12.5 TB if you analyze the miners for Which seems likely to remain steady as new miners join in on securing the coin.

    Proof of Capacity vs Proof of Stake

    Energy Efficiency

    Proof of Stake does use a little bit less energy but Proof of Capacity only uses approximately 25% more energy as Proof of Stake for a similarly sized network due to the low energy usage of hard drives compared to the attached computer that has to be used to mine in an equally sized and decentralized Proof of Stake network.

    Blockchain trimming

    Proof of Stake has some serious issues when it comes to trimming its blockchain. In a Proof of Work or Proof of Capacity environment, you can take these Proofs and use them to prove that a given chain of blockchain headers is valid. In Proof of Stake, these blockchain headers are made using Proofs that rely on the blockchain to be created. Ethereum has proposed a blockchain trimming solution but it is risky and flawed as it relies on at least 66% of miners staying online at all times. In a later blog post I will show why this is flawed and will not work.

    Proof of Stake Cannot be as Trustless

    In a Proof of Work or Proof of Capacity system, you can find a blockchain that has had more work than the rest used to create it. And you can show that these miners have agreed on which chain is correct. In a Proof of Stake coin, there is no way to prove that you are mining on the correct chain in a trustless manner.

    The only plan I’ve heard so far that could help is to have corporations such as Walmart and McDonalds essentially ‘vote’ on which chain is correct and then rely on the majority to win. This is the so called ‘Economic Clustering’ Nxt has discussed. So essentially we’re trusting corporations to secure the blockchain.. which seems to conflict with the goals of most of the people interested in cryptocurrency. And because this type of agreement is susceptible to the Byzantine Generals problem, it means that we have to trust that over 2/3rds of the agreeing parties are honest. With those votes, this leaves the chain with both a 51% attack on the blockchain as well as a 33% attack on the number of votes. This method is much more complicated both for developers to write as well as customers to use and harder to prove correct.

    The other way to achieve some trustlessness that helps this problem of determining the correct genesis block is to add Proof of Work to the equation, similar to what Peercoin does where Proof of Work is initially used to create the coins, but then it is tapered off and replaced with Proof of Stake. But in this case, that trustlessness about which genesis block is correct is only as strong as the Proof of Work component, leaving the coin wide open for 51% attack on the Proof of Work component by creating fake chains and with the Proof of Stake component not providing any extra protection against this type of attack.

    Proof of Stake Relies on Miner’s Keys Remaining Secret

    Two issues with miner’s keys potentially being compromised: 1)In order to mine a miner must store his private key on a computer mining for the network connected to the internet. This directly contradicts the idea of best practice security for cryptocurrency in general where holders should hold on to their keys offline and in a secure location. 2)History key attacks are possible where miners sell their private keys long after they have emptied their accounts and the key is otherwise useless. Proof of Stake supporters have argued that this is not a problem because of decentralized checkpoints not allowing the blockchain to be rolled back far enough for this to occur. The attack vector that this misses is that such an attack could happen using forks off of blocks over a year which ends up with millions fake forks building off of various blocks, and how can a new miner just joining the network for the first time possibly know in a trustless manner which fork is correct?

    Other Proof of Capacity Advantages

    Proof of Capacity is more Decentralized

    A benefit of everyday people being able to mine profitably is that the mining power tends to be more decentralized given that it is profitable for everyday people to mine. No longer is mining concentrated in the hands of miners who have spent millions on specialized mining equipment. It could happen that giant data centers will start using their extra free space to mine, but nevertheless, as long as average customers still are able to be profitable by mining, this will not prevent them from mining. Additionally those giant data centers will earn approximately the same ROI as customers. Let’s face it, in a Proof of Work system, if you start using even your GPU to mine, but ASICs are 1000s of times more cost efficient, your average user isn’t even going to try mining. Because they would never win a block and barely help secure the network or make any money for doing so, so what’s the point?

    Easier new customer Acquisition method than other Algorithms

    Being ASIC resistance and given that every day people will be more likely to mine means that they can be easily introduced to the coin. There will always be a ‘free’ way for people to earn Burst, simply by mining for the network. This is a great way to get new customers to join the network. Once you get customers holding on to small amounts of the coin, they feel some loyalty and are more likely to become longer term users, both buying more of the coin themselves as well as encouraging others to use the coin.


    Proof of Capacity offers the best of both worlds and many compelling advantages over Proof of Work and Proof of Stake. Proof of Capacity should be taken seriously and has the potential to win over more customers and if properly marketed, it can quite possibly even become larger than any Proof of Stake or Proof of Work coin out there due to these inherent advantages.

    Proof of Capacity is currently running and has been running since August 11th, 2014 and powering Burst. At the moment Burst is the original and at the moment only coin to use the Proof of Capacity algorithm.

  • The FIRST BURST blog post

    Hello there Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts!

    As you may or may not know, my name is crowetic, and I’ve been a BURST miner since day one. I immediately fell in love with this coin for the mining style, then realized that it was MUCH more than just that. The technology behind this amazing coin is something that has the ability to take certain people’s jobs, and provide completely new and innovative software based on this tech that has almost limitless capabilities. I’m not only a proud member of the community, I feel honored to be part of something so awesome. I am going to give a little rundown of the coin and why it is so great, then in another post my friend and team member mczarnek will give a little bit more on the underlying tech behind the coin, and what it does. Let’s begin!

    BURSTcoin is the very first, and still ONLY coin, to have implemented the algorithm called ‘PoC’ or ‘Proof of Capacity’. This algorithm allows people to take their unused extra hard disk space, and ‘plot’ it, Turning it into mineable power. Yes, that’s right, you can take your extra hard drive space, and make money with it now!

    With BURST, one takes their hard disk space, and uses a program called a ‘plotter’ to ‘plot’ space (basically fill the space up with things called ‘nonces’ that are essentially your hashpower) on their drives, that is then read through each block, and ‘deadlines’ are submitted in shares. Every miner’s goal, is to read all of their plots, and submit all the shares for the current block that they can, in hopes they submit the winning share (lowest deadline.)

    In BURST, each new block starts at 0 seconds, and a timer starts. The timer counts up, at which time BURST miners are reading their plots, and submitting their stored deadlines for each block. The lower the deadline submitted, the higher the likelihood of that miner finding the block and thus being rewarded handsomely! If the miner submitted a 30 second deadline, as soon as the timer hits 30 seconds, that deadline is recognized as the winning deadline, and that miner wins the block.

    BURST mining is not only easy, but fun, and very energy efficient as well! The difference between hard drives running for a minute or so each block, and an ASIC or GPU running at full capacity constantly, is HUGE. Therefore BURST is absolutely the most energy efficient style of actual mining. (What I mean by ‘actual mining’ is anything that isn’t PoS, basically.) Myself personally, I used to run 17GPUs and then I switched over to BTC ASICs, and I was used to an astronomical power bill. But since I’ve switched over to BURST mining solely, my power bill is basically no different than if I were to just leave my computer on (which I do regardless.)

    So it is clear, BURST is a coin for the home miners, it is a coin for decentralization.

    But like I said, BURST isn’t just about the mining style, even though it is the only coin of its kind in that. BURST is also about the tech that our amazing developers have made possible. BURST is the first coin to implement Automated Transactions, it has decentralized asset exchange, marketplace, and trustless escrow built into it. These features are things that people have been asking for in other coins for ages, and BURST already has them.

    I will let mczarnek explain Automated Transactions and what they are capable of, because I wouldn’t want to give any misinformation, but I do know that they have the potential to make things possible that have never been before. You’re able to put a script on the blockchain that activates when the creator (of the script) decides, and does what they have programmed it to do. It allows for trustless transactions that are decided upon between two people at the start, and is automatically executed at a specified time, carrying out those people’s wishes. It is something that will revolutionize the crypto world (which is saying a lot because the crypto world is revolutionary as it is.)

    We are on the cutting edge of the cutting edge here, and with the fantastic team of developers we have on the project, and guidance of some bright minds in the community and team, BURST is destined for success! Thank you for reading.

    I will post more on how to use BURST and what all is available, in the next couple days. This was more just a brief introduction, and a general idea of what BURST is, and why it is so awesome. I know that with the people we have, and the tech, we are going nowhere but up. We are doing things that haven’t ever been done, and breaking boundaries of what people thought possible. That is a task that takes a little time, but I know that in the future we will look back on this and smile.

    Thank you. :)