Microsoft Imagines Cryptocurrency Mining Within Brain Reach

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How to Use Your Smart Phone to Mine Crypto-Currency

Microsoft filed a patent dealing with algorithms Proof of Work exploiting the brain waves, and more broadly bodily activity and the biometric data. Science fiction?

Today, the mining of cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin and Ethereum) is essentially based on the use of computing power. This resource is costly in energy and inefficient in terms of energy consumption.

Different actors are therefore working on other consensus algorithms, for example in the ecosystem Ethereum. With version 2.0, the blockchain network will begin to switch from Proof-of-Work to the Proof-of-Stake.

Proof of work based on bodily activity

Microsoft also is thinking about new algorithms for mining, as evidenced by a new patent filed by the firm. The publisher thus imagines a consensus based on biometric data for mine cryptocurrency, like brain waves.

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Different data of this type, therefore linked to the activity of the body, could thus be exploited. In his patent entitled "Cryptocurrency system using bodily activity", Microsoft imagines the exploitation of a sensor ensuring the transfer of biometric data from an individual to a server.

The Redmond company cites the example of body radiation, brain activities, of blood flow, of organ and movement activity. In the case of the brain, the sensor described by Microsoft would notably have the ability to distinguish the different brain waves (gamma, beta and alpha).

And if connecting a user would be necessary in this model, it is in particular to control the performance of certain tasks. In return for a gain in cryptocurrency, the user with the sensor would be required to perform operations, such as viewing advertisements or sharing content on online platforms.

Cryptocurrency system using body activity data

Less energy-consuming and faster mining

Such blockchain consensus algorithm, which for the moment is still basic research, even fiction, would have the advantage, according to Microsoft, of doing away with "massive computing work" – the standard on the main public blockchain networks, including Bitcoin.

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The alternative imagined by the American publisher is a task carried out "unconsciously" by users. So on condition that the latter agree to transmit to third parties information as sensitive as biometric data, generally rigorously regulated.

Instead of the massive computational work required by some conventional cryptocurrency systems, the data generated based on the user's bodily activity can constitute proof of work, and therefore, a user can unconsciously solve the difficult calculation problem, ”explains Microsoft in its patent.

The key: a reduced energy consumption necessary for the calculation involved in the mining process, but also for an acceleration of this same mining process.