Over the last five years the Bitcoin revolution has soared, crashed and now seemingly stabilized. Today millions of computers mine for Bitcoin. Most of the computers powerful enough to Bitcoins are owned by the wealthiest people and organizations in the world. Can we use mining to help solve world poverty?
Mining Ecoins is expensive
All Bitcoins begin their life when they are mined by a computer. Effective computer mining requires a great deal of computing horsepower and energy. If you do not have a powerful computer and a cost effective power supply, you will not be able to mine Bitcoins. Unfortunately, this describes most of the people living in the world.
Most of the world is disenfranchised
Right now there are about 2B computers connected to the Internet. Probably less than 1% of those computers can mine Bitcoins effectively because of the power and hardware required. There are over 6B cell phones in the world. How can those 6B cell phone users participate in Bitcoin mining? One idea is an Bitcoin like crypto-currency (ecoin) with mining opportunities for even the most basic cellphone. For example, a Ecoin that allows cellphone users to manually enter number sequences or very advanced captchas into a cellphone to mine for coins. While there are some technical challenges, it can be done.
Doing well, doing good
The long term value of Ecoins is directly related to the amount of real Ecoin buying and selling transactions. For now, most of the world is out of the game. If you believe that the Ecoin revolution is a wealth redistribution, this project is both a market opportunity and an important economic justice project. This is our generation’s opportunity to do well while we do good; and set the stage for global wealth for the next 100 years or more.
How this could be done
The ecoin would probably need to have some percentage of the coins to be reserved for human mining instead of just machine mining. It would be best if the human task is actually trying to solve real world problems like Gamer’s did for protein sequencing.
One of the challenges with the current mining ecosystem is that the coin creators would have to determine the human mining task ahead of time once, for the entire life of the coin. This may not work because over time the human task may become irrelevant or ‘solved’. It should be possible to crowd source the nomination and voting of the human task that should be rewarded with coins and also change that task over time.
Most coins are created with milestones that adjust the coin award per block over time. For example, the Bitcoin award per solved block started at 50 coins per block at the first block solved, and will eventual reduce to 6 Bitcoins per block when block 630000 is solved. The human mining task could use the same type of supply control and in addition to a reduction of the coins per block, the task could change at certain block milestones. The human task for the upcoming block could be nominated and voted on by the coin community ahead of the block and adjust automatically when the milestone block is reached.