Ripple’s CTO David Schwartz believes that PoW (proof of work), the consensus mechanism that underpins the Bitcoin network and similar networks, will not go away.
I don’t think PoW will go away. I think its popularity will drop, but there may be room for at least one PoW chain for a long time. I hope bitcoin isn’t the token filling that particular niche though.
– David “JoelKatz” Schwartz (@JoelKatz) December 24, 2022
The Ripple executive was responding to a Twitter user who asked his opinion on whether bitcoin mining would still exist after 2030, as governments move toward an environmentally sustainable future.
Instead, he believes that the popularity of the PoW consensus mechanism may diminish over time. Schwartz predicts that, despite this, a PoW chain will stand the test of time, but he is not sure it will be Bitcoin.
The high energy consumption of the Bitcoin network has been a widely debated topic, with Tesla CEO Elon Musk criticizing Bitcoin’s energy consumption and environmental impact.
Environmental and proof-of-stake advocates have stepped up their lobbying efforts this year to change Bitcoin’s mining consensus code. This sentiment seems to have been fueled by Ethereum’s switch from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, which reduced its energy consumption by 99.95 percent.
However, as it stands, although uncertain in the future, it is highly unlikely that Bitcoin will move to proof-of-stake. Proponents of proof-of-stake argue that PoS staking introduces centralization and security risks by allowing malicious actors to “buy“directly control of the network. They also point out that PoS has proven its resilience as the foundation of the world’s largest blockchain.
However, the bitcoin mining industry has experienced many challenges
Bitcoin miner Core Scientific, one of the largest BTC miners in terms of computing power, reportedly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Texas due to declining revenues and falling bitcoin prices.
According to David Schwartz, the bitcoin mining industry “will self-regulate” over time. The significant drop in the price of bitcoin over the year has led to a lack of profitability for bitcoin mining. However, Ripple’s CTO believes that the network will continue to operate. He believes that reducing the number of bitcoin miners and the difficulty of mining could again increase the profitability of mining.