Speculative POC: New consensus or speculation?

Text | Kyle

Edit | Sword

The proof-of-capacity mechanism POC has emerged in the past two years, and many projects based on the POC consensus have emerged. They want to build a new consensus by "hard disk mining".

Publicity articles for various POC projects have explained the advantages of "hard disk mining" and used the characteristics of "low threshold for mining", "decentralization", and "energy saving" to highlight the POW (Proof of Work) and POS ( Proof of stake) mechanism. After entering the room, the POC also drew questions. Can this consensus build a secure and decentralized blockchain network? What applications can the network carry under the POC consensus?

At the current stage, no POC application in the true sense has been born. Most projects only stay at the "mining" level. Obtaining currency rewards is the ultimate meaning of miners.

The "energy saving" feature of hard disk mining's POC has also been criticized. Some people think that it stores "answers" on the hard disk, which will cause the hard disk to be filled with a lot of "useless" data, which will become another waste. In addition, most POC projects need to purchase tokens for collateral mining, and the cost is not low.

Behind the "perfect mining" propaganda, the POC consensus is full of doubts, and it needs to be persuasive before it wants to become a new outlet.


Frequent POC consensus projects

Since 2019, more and more projects adopting the POC consensus mechanism have entered the perspective of the chain circle. Lambda, GN, BHD and other projects are competing for the influx of the POC mechanism, trying to export a new consensus concept to the blockchain world.

The POC Corps, which focuses on the "capacity certification mechanism," advocates replacing hard disk capacity with POW's workload (computing power) certification to reach consensus. "Hard disks can be mined" is a prominent highlight of POC projects when they are popularized. The low threshold, energy saving, and anti-Asic (chip integration) characteristics of the future are considered by practitioners as the advantages of easier participation and more decentralization.

POC focuses on hard disk mining

Compared to POW mining, which uses computing power to "solve problems" to mine, POC blocks are produced in different ways. If the former is a "closed book exam," the latter is like an "open book exam." Before mining, the problem solving method has been generated and stored in the hard disk. Whoever has the latest block problem solving method in the hard disk will get the right to book and get the mining reward.

In order to obtain the right of bookkeeping, the miners will fill up various "question-solving methods" in the hard disk to increase the probability of winning the right of bookkeeping and reward. In the world of POC, hard drive capacity is king.

Hard disk mining seems to make the mining industry more grounded. It seems that as long as it is researched, white players can easily become "miners" with hard disks.

However, in the eyes of professionals, POC is a variant of POW. It was born to a large extent to make up for various shortcomings of POW, such as high thresholds, centralized computing power, and so on. Some people have also questioned that POC is just "mining for mining."

From the original intention, POW networks such as BTC mainly want to provide the world with a decentralized point-to-point payment system; networks such as POS and DPOS hope to establish a blockchain application ecosystem through smart contracts and higher-performance underlying facilities. The original intention of POC is more like making mining more perfect, but is mining really important enough?

In recent years, there have been many projects exploring on the POC, and the thinking around the POC has also been launched simultaneously. In the eyes of the KOL star of the EOS community, POC has a problem of low efficiency, "because the storage distribution is too decentralized." But the POC camp firmly believes that POC will rely on a higher popularity to grow into a new consensus over POW in the next 5 years .

Lack of application landing is questioned

"I always think that technology does not make money, what makes money is business." The owner said that if the POC can find the right business, "I will change."

From the current point of view, the most ridiculous point of POC is that it is still at the conceptual level and lacks a practical landing. Looking at the "POCs" publicity documents, all of them have ambitious visions. Projects such as GN and Samsara Network have all screamed the slogan of "Ethereum in the POC world".

A stark reality is that most POC projects have no actual business, and DAPPs, which are rapidly growing on public chains such as Ethereum and EOS, have not yet appeared in the POC network.

The media industry expert in the blockchain industry believes that the POC project is obviously not suitable for Ethereum, because it cannot compete with Ethereum in terms of smart contracts or ecology. Some people even think that the business of POC is mining, "except for mining, I don't know what it can do."

Compared to POW, which has a history of more than ten years, the development of POC is not long. In 2014, the first-generation POC project Burst kicked off the development of POC. But to this day, the project has no actual landing application. The "achieving a low energy consumption, highly scalable, anonymous financial payment system" mentioned in the 2017 white paper has not been achieved, at least in terms of high expansion. Burst failed to succeed EOS after its birth.

Compared with other consensus, POC lacks application landing

For 6 years, POC has been silent on the periphery of mainstream consensus projects. With the increasing maturity of POW and POS, these two major mainstream mechanisms have exposed various disadvantages, and POC has once again entered the vision of the blockchain world.

Various projects of the POC consensus mechanism have different exploration directions. Some focus on decentralized storage and target competitive targets at centralized storage giants such as Alibaba Cloud and Tencent Cloud; and some focus on edge computing to form ubiquitous CDNs. The network allows data and files to flow between users at high speed.

But these two paths are lacking in achievements and no new breakthroughs have occurred. The industry believes that decentralized storage is a pseudo-proposition in itself, and the decrease in efficiency makes storage lose scalability. In addition, in most POC projects, the storage space provided by miners is not used to store user data, but is used to store mining "answers"; and the CDN network consisting of edge devices is still a long way from implementation.

The way forward to expose defects still needs to be explored

As POC enters the vision of more and more people, some people find that POC is not perfect on the low threshold of mining.

Hong Chenning, a senior Bitcoin player, said that POC can also be "Asicized". At present, there are already high-priced POC miners on the market, which can mine POC currencies such as BHD and LAMB. Although the miner does not use Asic chips, it also belongs to non-ordinary hard disk professional miners. Miners using this type of mining machine have an advantage in mining.

A POC mining machine

"At present, the POC capacity is not concentrated, mainly because the currency prices of POC currencies are very low. If the currency price rises high enough, there will be a behemoth similar to the mining pool. There is no absolute decentralization in front of interests. A Weibo big V comment.

In addition, the old man proposed that POC is not good enough in energy saving. "Although compared to POW, it solves the problem of energy consumption in mining, but the new problem that arises is that a large number of hard disks are used for storage. 'The problem-solving method, which is actually a consumption in another sense.'

In the POC Corps, there are still some projects that require high pledges, and the mining cost is not as low as it advertises. SINOC is one of them. In the mining system of this project, miners need to mortgage SINOC tokens before mining, and the mortgage amount ranges from 300 to 2000 SINOC coins. The value is 300 to 2000 dollars. If you want to stop mining midway, although Mortgage coins can be refunded, but a 5% commission will be deducted.

Mortgage means buying a certain amount of tokens or renting tokens in the secondary market in advance before mining, that is to say, miners not only need to buy mining machines, they also need to buy coins, which increases the mining cost. Also consider secondary market risk.

It can be seen that there are still many questions to be resolved about the POC mechanism regarded as a vent. In the face of the lack of practical applications and the same consumption of resources, the POC consensus re-entering the vision of the coin circle has yet to be verified.

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