The blockchain worked as a catalyst which escalated the germination of many other crypto currencies besides the maiden- Bitcoin. But unlike Bitcoin, which is based on the Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm, the new-in-chain cryptos (also called altcoins) follow a rather unconventional wave. So, if earning Bitcoins by maintaining humongous mining farms seems a secluded vision, you are gladly welcome to Burst!
Burst- The Green coin
Imagine a blockchain network which can be accelerated within the vicinity of an average-size living room. The vision isn’t far-sighted, for it is made possible with Burst.
Burst is an open source blockchain platform with multiple core-level features and embarked as a crypto currency from August 2014. It is a code fork of Nxt using Proof of Capacity (PoC) consensus
Leveraging upon the Proof of Capacity (PoC) protocol, Burst allows energy-efficient mining by demanding more empty space on your Hard drives rather than high computational power out of mining machines.
The PoC model not only allows one to mine by utilizing the hard drive but also undertake small verification processes over it. The use of Hard Drive stands as an evident challenge to ASICs and GPUs- which, according to certain reports, have been eating up power at an annual rate of 32TWh- about as much as Denmark’s.
The roots of Burst are far spread for its principles are laid down with reference to three different crypto world sources, namely- Nxt community white papers, Proof of Space by Dziembowski and SpaceMint papers by Sunoo Park.
We have already discussed the possible pitfalls for Bitcoin’s PoW and Ethereum’s hybrid model in the earlier post. Below are the fundamental grounds over which the Burst mechanism is built:
- PoC consensus algorithm
- Mining done over Hard Drives and even Android and macOS.
- Accessible to a larger community of miners; decentralized
- Cuts down on the unjustifiable cost and resources used for mining; energy efficient
Burst- The working
It was in the summer of 2017 that the PoC Consortium entered Burst to jury-rig the traditional blockchain of Burst. The PoC algorithm can be seen almost as the reciprocal of the PoW model, both in terms of mining process as well as the energy consumption.
The mining process under the PoC model of Burst coin involves 3 steps:
1) Plotting– The deployment of ASIC- Cryptonight to compute the mathematical algorithms of PoW model is done at a harsh rate of ~ 17,000,000 tera hashes per second, that is 17,000,000,000,000,000,000 guesses per second for the entire network!
Contrary to this, the PoC mining can be initiated on any ordinary hard drive with a current required hash rate/ faucets of 1.57 Th/s. But the process is reverse in the sense that one needs to pre-generate the computational solutions to the possible hashes even before the mining process begins. If your hard drive has the fastest solution to the most recent block’s puzzle, you are rewarded with that particular block.
Miners might also use the Plot software, also called Plotter, which is used in Burst to plot your drives. This means to prepare them for the process of mining. During this process, large files – so called plots – are written to your hard drive. These files are then examined by a miner. Plot software currently runs under multiple operating systems.
And once on board, miners can hit their solutions in order to find the solution in the fastest possible time.
But this isn’t a cake walk as it may sound. It might take you days to create a unique plot file. Moreover, the hashes used in Burst network are comparatively slower than the SHA-256 used in Bitcoin. Burst uses a combination of three cryptographic hash functions- Shabal256, SHA-256 and Curve25519.
Below you’ll find all the structural details about the process of plotting-
Within a plot file, there are one or more groups of data called nonces. One nonce contains 8192 hashes, and because of that, the nonces are 256KiB large. Each nonce has its own individual number. This 64bit number can range between 0-18446744073709551615 (264) . Each nonce is sorted into 4096 different places of data. These places are called scoop numbers. Each scoop contains 64byte of data which holds 2 hashes.
For an in-depth familiarization with all the terminologies please refer BurstWiki.
2) Reward Assignment– There are a number of pools within the Burst network where miners validate the block at hand, past which the miners decide who shall be rewarded with the block. What’s unique is the “handling of deadline”- which basically means the smallest amount of time taken by a miner to submit a block computation. The one with the shortest deadline shall be rewarded with the current price of 809Burst Coins.
Here’s a list of a few currently active pools:
3) Mining– Once validated, then mining only requires reading through your cache/ plots – your HDD is idle most of the time and reads through the plot files only for a few seconds for each block.
Sounds peculiar? You may get a better idea with a hands-on experience of the mining process here.
Now when you’re familiar with the mining process, let’s have a look at the idiosyncrasies of the Burst coin-
1) You can send or receive arbitrary/ data messages up to 1000 bytes in length from one account to another account over the burst blockchain.
2) Burst blockchain is based on Coloured tangles– which allow an acyclic communication of data over the chain. You may get a greater insight about the same in the white pages of Burst Dymaxion. Dymaxion was released in Dec 2017 with its layers deployed on top of the burst blockchain. It uses IOTA-like tangles for verification.
3) The burst blockchain implements data scrubbing, thereby doing away with the glutted data over the chain or what they call blockchain bloats.
4) The algorithms are very much similar to the Lightning Network since +Burst opens and closes an arbitrary number of general purpose transaction channels.
5) Burst’s Android wallet and the all new Paper Wallet for Windows shows promising future if implicated intelligently.
6) The graph below encompasses the growth of Burst (from 2018 till date) in US Dollar:
Ready to make some room for a?
With an All Time High of 1200 satoshis and the availability of 2,158,812,800 coins to mine, Burst seems to be a well-prepared future competitor for the current top 5 cryptos.