February 10, 2014 2:00 PM

UNITAS Would Replace ASIC, GPU, and CPU Miners with Humans

These students would get paid through a proof-of-learning mining process on UNITAS. Photo via Robert E. Kennedy Library at Cal Poly.

There have been endless debates on whether proof-of-work, proof-of-stake, or some other type of blockchain would be the correct choice for the perfect cryptocurrency, but UNITAS, a proposed decentralized content network, could be offering the most revolutionary blockchain design yet. The basic idea is that UNITAS tokens would be a cryptocurrency based on a content platform where people consume various forms of media. There are no ASICs or GPUs to worry about in UNITAS, as the new currency is “mined” when someone creates or consumes content. The entire storage system for UNITAS could be based on something like Bitcloud, which is also supposed to have a distributed content network of its own. In a world where people are worried about the relatively unfair distribution of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, UNITAS would provide everyone with an equal chance to get a fair share of the cryptocurrency by creating a valuable ebook, podcast, blog post, song, video, or other form of media.
Bringing a Human Element to the Mining Process
Proof-of-work mining with computers consumes a lot of energy. When you think about it, the reason that Satoshi needed proof-of-work for Bitcoin was to allow miners to prove they actually had some skin in the game. Miners prove their trustworthiness to the system by solving complex mathematical equations that require a large amount of computing power. In UNITAS, the mining process is moved from computers to humans. Instead of having a computer solve mathematical equations, miners on the cascading blockchains in UNITAS can prove their worth by creating and consuming content. Creators of ebooks, movies, music, and other forms of content are rewarded with more UNITAS tokens as more people consume their content. On the other side of the equation, people who are reading ebooks or watching a documentary could actually be paid after proving that they actually consumed the content on the screen. Not only do we get rid of the so-called “wasteful” proof-of-work mining process, but we also get to replace it with a system where people are actually paid for learning. This could be the first step towards an ultimate endgame where currency is nothing more than information.
Sharing the Wealth with Latecomers
Another key aspect of the UNITAS decentralized content network is that it rewards early adopters and latecomers equally. It’s impossible to have a situation where some of the early adopters own all the UNITAS tokens because the system rewards people as they create new, popular content. This means that the system will be somewhat inflationary by nature. Someone who publishes an extremely popular book on UNITAS ten years after the blockchain has been launched has the same chance to get a large number of tokens as one of the early adopters. The distribution of UNITAS tokens will be mostly based on what each individual can provide to the content network.
Could Proof-of-Learning Work?
Like many revolutionary concepts, it seems like there is a fundamental idea here that could blossom into something that changes the world. If UNITAS were structured in the correct manner, it could completely change the way people think about money for the second time in the past decade. UNITAS as a decentralized content network is a big deal on its own, but adding in the idea of a cryptocurrency based on proof-of-learning takes this concept to the next level. UNITAS could offer a fair currency based on an individual’s contributions to society, but the world will still have to decide whether or not that’s something it actually wants.
For more information, read the full UNITAS white paper.

Kyle Torpey @kyletorpey

Kyle is a freelance Bitcoin writer and the Marketing Director for Bitcloud. His work has been featured on Business Insider, VICE Motherboard, Let's Talk Bitcoin, and RT's Keiser Report . You can follow him on Twitter (@kyletorpey) or send him an email.