The crypto-currency Bitcoin consumes enormous amounts of energy and thus produces considerable CO2 emissions. Researchers at ETH Lausanne are working on an energy-saving alternative.
The ecological footprint of the digital currency Bitcoin is huge. The reason is the mechanism for ensuring the security of transactions, for example, to prevent a Bitcoin unit from being issued multiple times. In essence, each transaction must be confirmed by a temporary central controller who controls the entirety of the Bitcoin network and has the authority to add the new transaction to the blockchain.
However, a research team led by Rachid Guerraoui of the EPFL (EPFL) proposes a different, minimalist approach that consumes far less energy. “If it’s just a question of whether Person A is allowed to transfer a Bitcoin unit to Person B, or if they already gave that unit to Persons C, D, and E, then you do not need a central authority that controls the entire network,” Guerraoui said in an interview with the news agency Keystone-SDA. It’s a much…