The high consumption of electric power for the mining of bitcoin and its impact on the environment led a group of computer experts from the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL) to work on an alternative cryptocurrency transaction system to the one currently used for bitcoin.
Rachid Guerraoui led the group of EPFL researchers, who have proposed the “Reliable Byzantine Diffusion” system, which is supposed to be available in open source from the end of next year.
With this system they seek to “reduce the limitations of the popular bitcoin, whose energy consumption is already having a significant environmental impact.” It is an option based on a radical paradigm shift. The current system requires verification of each transaction by all participants in the system. For its part, “the model devised in Switzerland assumes that everyone is “innocent until proven otherwise and no expensive verification operations are required.”
The problem with the current system, attributed to Satoshi Nakamoto is a high electrical consumption because the participants have to perform complex mathematical operations that take time. Given this, the alternative proposed by the EPFL assumes that the participants are honest from the beginning and will be expelled in case they commit any irregularity.
Guerraoui said that in each transaction an energy consumption is generated “equivalent to sending an email.” On the contrary, currently the environmental impact of the exchange of 1 bitcoin “is equivalent to about 300 kilos of carbon dioxide, the new model would impact only a few grams.”