Microsoft could revolutionize cryptomining with user body activity proof-of-work
Microsoft has been a supporter of cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech for quite some time now, and, at one point, the Microsoft Store even allowed customers to pay in Bitcoin. Blockchain adoption and integration might see a boost with all the economic troubles nowadays, and Microsoft could be among the big companies to push for such developments. Just recently, the software giant published a patent that details a new and more efficient way for mining cryptocurencies that could pave the way for greater blockchain tech adoption and possibly a new way of looking at finances.
The energy costs and processing power required for cryptomining endeavors have increased exponentially in the past several years. 10 years ago, Bitcoin miners used to rely on graphics cards, but, as the mining difficulty increased, specialized ASIC devices needed to be created in order to keep up with the ever-increasing needs for more processing power. This is also true for most of the other cryptocoins out there that make use of a proof-of-work mining approach. As an alternative, proof-of-stake does not require any processing power at all and users only need to hold a certain amount of said cryptocurrency, but this approach is not as popular.
Now, to effectively mine significant amounts of Bitcoin, for example, one would need to invest in a small farm of miners in the ballpark of $50,000+, so the average user cannot easily get into this anymore. However, Microsoft’s new patent details a new proof-of-work validation system that employs the human body activity rather than costly processing power and energy.
The patent explains that this new validation system includes a task server that issues certain simple tasks instead of computational problems that have an ever-increasing difficulty and require huge amounts of processing power. The user wears special devices with sensors that receive the task and generate user body activity data. In turn, this data is sent out through the blockchain, which verifies the validity and awards a certain amount of cryptocurrency to the user’s wallet.
It remains to be seen if Microsoft is going to implement this system in a commercial product. Since most existing cryptocurrencies already rely on computer processing power, Microsoft would have to develop its own blockchain and cryptocurrency to take advantage of the new proof-of-work system, so it would eventually have to compete with Bitcoin.