“Proof-by-Location” published in iGETblockchain
Bill Tomlinson and I published a paper in 2022 IEEE 1st Global Emerging Technology Blockchain Forum: Blockchain & Beyond (iGETblockchain) This was a first of its kind forum and was presented in a very well-organized virtual conference format. We joined a number of other scholars to discuss globally focussed blockchain work, such as our “Proof-by-Location” system, Xylem.
What’s the paper about?
The paper introduces Proof-by-Location, a novel consensus algorithm for cryptocurrency platforms that addresses both environmental concerns and issues of wealth inequality associated with current Proof-of-Work (Bitcoin) and Proof-of-Stake (Ethereum2) systems. Traditional consensus mechanisms have significant drawbacks: Proof-of-Work requires massive energy consumption due to computationally intensive calculations, contributing to high CO2 emissions, while Proof-of-Stake, although energy efficient, is criticized for promoting wealth inequality as only those with substantial existing wealth can earn transaction fees. The proposed alternative, Proof-by-Location, verifies blocks by engaging agents at specific geographic locations, leveraging the inviolability of the speed of light for consensus.
This paper introduces Xylem as a groundbreaking system that utilizes the speed of light as an unalterable mechanism for transaction block verification, thereby decentralizing the consensus process geographically and fostering a more accessible and equitable system. Instead of adhering to the Proof-of-Stake model where wealth is a prerequisite to earning fees, Xylem’s model distributes transaction fees to a network of ‘Notaries’—anyone with a smartphone—around the world, encouraging broader global participation and providing a universal basic income for participants. In sum, the paper underscores that the Xylem platform, powered by the innovative Proof-by-Location algorithm, represents a significant step forward in the evolution of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, offering a more sustainable, socially equitable, and inclusive solution to global financial infrastructure with an improved user experience and economic infrastructure.