One of the most contentious issues for Bitcoin critics is the amount of energy consumed by the network, but according to Chris Larsen, there may be a solution for the network.
Bitcoin Will Consume Significantly Less Electricity
Chris Larsen, co-founder of Ripple, has proposed an ingenious method for Bitcoin to significantly reduce its energy consumption. He observes that the only way to achieve a low energy consensus is through a change in the network’s code. It is widely assumed that such a change would significantly alter the nature of the Bitcoin network.
“The least disruptive code proposal would simply take a snapshot of existing miners’ current hash rate and then reward miners on a pro-rata hash power basis through 2140,” Larsen wrote on Medium. “Existing miners would simply have the right to future bitcoin rewards without having to invest in new mining rigs.”
Larsen believes his proposal is fair because it rewards miners for their efforts in securing the Bitcoin network over time with lower operating costs. Larsen writes that the proposal could be tweaked to comply with staking rules for improved network security.
While miners may see the shift away from Proof-of-Work as detrimental to their interests, Larsen’s strategy suggests that they can still reap their rewards without spending a fortune on energy. His concept entails tokenizing a new asset class that can be purchased by individuals, mining pools, and funds looking to earn BTC.
The Counter-Arguments to His Proposal
Larsen’s suggestion has been met with a slew of criticisms since he made it public. The most vocal claim is that Proof-of-Work is what distinguishes Bitcoin and makes it secure, with maximalists claiming that PoS cannot provide comparable security measures.
Mining hardware has a 5-year lifespan, and some community members believe that rewarding miners until 2140 for a decade of work is unwise. Larsen’s proposal is unlikely to be implemented due to Bitcoin’s inherent rigidity, as the network has only received a few upgrades since its inception. The most recent were the SegWit and Taproot Upgrades, which occurred in 2017 and 2021, respectively.