Rethinking Decentralization

rethinking decentralization

During one of my presentations at the Consensus 2019 conference in New York, I briefly discussed how the Titan hashpower marketplace would work. More importantly, though, I presented a vision for how the greater Titan network would address a persistent perceived threat to proof-of-work cryptocurrency networks: the centralization of mining.

We all want greater decentralization in mining. It makes networks more robust, less vulnerable, and means there is a wider participant pool. Currently there are two leading ideas for keeping mining decentralized. The first is the “better hash” proposal, which fundamentally changes the relationship between miners and pools. In the “better hash” model, individual miners chose what transactions to put in blocks, rather than having pools assign this. It is counterproductive, if not outright adversarial, to pit pools against their miners and vice versa.

The second is a developer-focused mindset that holds as an article of faith that ASICs are bad and cause centralization, suggesting that flexibility in device function could better serve decentralization efforts. However, since we already know that a solid foundation of ASIC-powered hashrate provides for a stable, reliable level of security (Bitcoin Gold found this out the hard way), the notion that moving away from such devices may throw security into jeopardy.

We propose a third option that doesn’t require more burden on the miners and still provides better opportunity for hashrate distribution – decentralization of control. This third option considers that mining devices will most often be physically located in the following areas:

  1. In areas with cheap electricity.
  2. In areas with favorable government regulations.

Since the concentration of hashing power around cheap electricity and favorable regulation is inevitable, Titan proposes to decentralize the control of these devices through the use of a peer-to-peer smart contract network.

By decentralizing in this way, Titan can effectively secure decentralized proof-of-work networks with secure decentralized mining. The hashing power produced from a large mining farm in Iceland could be remotely controlled and routed in real-time by thousands of people from all over the world, all driven and maintained by smart contracts issued by the farm on the Titan network.

More to come on this topic soon.

Ryan Condron is Titan’s co-founder and CEO.