Proof of Thought (PoT): The Holy Grail of Cryptocurrency has arrived

 Also called Proof of Human work (PoHW)

This idea was sparked by the great and succinct riddle that monsterer2 proposed on this BitcoinTalk thread:

"A truly decentralised consensus mechanism is one where humans perform the PoW. The trouble is, finding a problem that only a human can solve that is also easily verifiable by a machine is unsolved.

The person who solves this problem will be very rich indeed. "

Ask and you shall receive.

While I do not expect to get rich ( I have solved many of the worlds biggest problems; but if it doesn't make someone else rich then no one cares) from this idea. Actually I think the opposite, people will hate this idea because they would actually have to work for their money instead of having a computer doing it for them.

I have termed this idea Proof of Human Work (PoHW). I do not claim that no computers or AI will be able to mine this. However I do claim that humans will have a fair shake at least until an algorithm can be developed to solve it (which likely will take a good number of years at the very least since these problems have been known and researchers trying to solve them for decades at least). I think the biggest risk to this proposal is the training of AI to use skills humans have developed to solve these problems.

It would probably find form in "puzzle video games". They can likely be done with paper or pencil but doing it on a computer in a program or app would be the best way to go for mining purposes.

The idea is simply this: Use NP-complete problems as a proof of work. NP complete problems are Non-deterministic polynomial time problems. An NP Hard problem means in essence that they cannot be sped up with computers. The larger the problem, the worse computers (algorithms) are at solving them. Np-complete are a subset of NP-hard problems. What NP-complete means is that a computer can easily verify a proposed solution is correct, but cannot "know how to" solve the problem. This even works if you believe P=NP (which I do), as you can create a new coin using a new NP-complete problem that has not been cracked (or change the algorithm of your coin but I always advise against this where possible).  P=NP hypothesis means that every problem that can be easily verified can eventually be solved quickly too.

Now the problems shouldn't be just NP-complete, all hashing functions are designed to also be NP-complete.  But the problems should also benefit from heuristics.  This means that you can find ways to improve your ability to solve the problem.  You likely won't be able to find any heuristics for SHA256 for example but you can find heuristics for the traveling salesman problem or minesweeper for example.

This is exactly what we want; a problem whose proposed solution can be quickly verified by computer and yet the computer would be "bad" at finding solutions itself. Perfect.

Some example problems to solve could be the traveling salesman problem and/or minesweeper, and/or any other NP-complete problem or combinations of problems. Any implementation and/or mining methods or programs or suggestions can be used. This idea can be used by itself or in conjunction with computer mineable problems like using this idea in conjunction with other PoW algorithms.

For example you could have a 100x100 minesweeper or any size or size dictated by automated difficulty adjustment and the first one to solve it win's the block in mining. A program could disseminate this to people around the world to work on it and could pool the individuals and split the reward or give the individual who wins it first the whole block reward. Also some programs can have collaboration where everyone can work on the same minesweeper problem together. There are many challenges minesweeper would pose (such as needing a trusted 3rd party to create the minefield or obfuscating their ability to see it) in this context which we won't go into, it is just an example of how this human mining could be set up.

Minesweeper is np-complete

Traveling salesman problem

Drawbacks: People have to do work. Slavery could result from this. People may need more food because thinking takes energy.

Benefits: Mining centralization will be a smaller problem. Anyone with a brain and a communication method can contribute and earn money. Even animals like bees may be able to be used to solve these (search: bees traveling salesman). No specialized hardware or even computer is needed. Energy problem will be nonexistent. Just like we don't tell people not to exercise, this will be exercising peoples brains. The whole global network would use negligible extra energy, and even if the people ate more, exercising the brain will make them healthier. It may help reduce the risk of dementia and other degenerative brain diseases. This is our liberation from the coming "tyranny of the algorithm".

Here is another whitepaper that uses the term proof of human work however it uses CAPTCHA's and not NP-complete problems.  I think our idea is better and is more veritably NP Hard.

This topic, using conway's game of life as a PoW problem, fits into this definition I have given of Proof of Thought:

Can also be called Proof of Neural Work or Proof of biological work or proof of thought.


The Mastercoin System: Blockchain based personal IOU accounting

The Mastercoin System: Blockchain based personal IOU accounting.
What do banks do that we can't? Create debt. Oh wait, we can create debt too, it is called an IOU. So why don't we do this? Why do we abdicate our own ability to create debt and instead have banks create debt for us?
Because everyone trusts that the bank will repay debt that they issue. But I don't think this is so true anymore. I would venture to guess more people dread going to the bank than to the dentist or doctor. Banks are showing thier cards in thier fees, how petty and backstabbing they really are while claiming it is free checking or some other BS. This is a symptom of an industry in upheaval, benks can't reliably make money on interest anymore and have to resort to nickel and diming. Or more like jackson and hamiltoning us to death.
There is no reason for friends to use bank issued debt to pay eachother back. Doing this is just bending over for the banks. Friends don't let friends use banks.
So how can we use IOU's in an efficient way? Pen and paper anyone? Apps now exist that allow you to keep track of who owes you what. But what I have seen does not let debt automatically be cancelled when someone owes you and you owe them back. So we need to design a system that can cancel debt automatically. Also a ledger to keep it all in that can be accessed anywhere by anyone on any device and trusted by all parties.
Blockchain anyone?
Here's how it could work.
Everyone gets a private key(s) and each private key is free to create as much debt as they want on the platform, or there could be a debt limit per key. In order to create debt you would need two signatures. A signature from the private key who is creating the debt, and a signature from the private key who is accepting the debt. So say for example Bob owes Sally a jug of maple syrup (maple syrup explained later). Bob creates a debt of 1 in a transaction, signs it, and includes sally's public key. Sally sees this and signs the transaction as well. Now the blockchain miners record this as a completed transaction. The “1” will be stored in the blockchain as bieng owed from Bob to Sally. Call it a “bob to sally coin”. No one else can extinguish this debt with sally except sally (exceptions later). To do this she has to create a “sally to bob coin”. Once bob has paid sally a jug of maple syrup then sally creates a “sally to bob coin” (signed by both parties) which extinguishes the debt. Or Sally could owe bob a jug back for something and she sends Bob a “sally to bob coin”, and this act also extinguishes the current debt. By doing this maple syrup or anything else doesn't have to physically change hands. Just friends paying back a favor.
Miners keep track of all of these transactions and append them to thier ledger for mining the next block. Miners can use any proving system the software allows like Proof of work or proof of stake or other method or combination to win the block reward and append thier transaction ledger onto the blockchain. The block reward can be anything but preferably denominated in jugs of maple syrup (more info on this later), say 10 jugs of maple syrup worth of coins. Now these miners coins are signed by the blockchain itself and the miner. They are a sort of master key that can extinguish any debt on the blockchain. Lets call them Mastercoin's. The way this should be viewed as slight and predictable inflation; debt will be worth a little less because miners can extinguish some of it. This is the cost of using the platform, you are paying this to the miners to keep the ledger for you. The problem here is that no one would want a miner or apparent miner from owing them anything because they would always just be able to extinguish the debt; the friends of miners would bear all of the inflation on the network. Ouch. So how do we get around this and make the miners coins (mastercoins) not wreak havoc to thier close friends? The solution is to allow the mastercoins will continue to work after given, but at a reduced rate. So say a miner has a mastercoin. For example this mastercoin would be able to extinguish say 4.4% of 1 jug (.044 jugs) of maple syrup debt. Now this coin when given will forgive the miner of 4.4% of 1 jug of debt to a friend. Then this friend will be able to use this mastercoin to forgive 4.3% of a jug's worth of debt to thier friend, and on and on. When all is said and done 99% of 1 jug's worth of debt (.99 jugs) would be extinguished from the network from that one mastercoin. So people will actually want to be friends with miners. Why? Because bieng friends with a miner will allow you to pay off your debts for free (well a small fee) for just forgiving the debts that miners have with you.
Why jugs of maple syrup? Because we need a consistent value of each unit of debt. If you say you owe me a car so you owe me “1” then when that person gets a mastercoin they can extinguish that car debt much too easily. We need everyone to value a unit of debt the same, so we need to find an item that is valued similarly no matter what country and currency you use is. Enter maple syrup.
Why maple syrup?
    1. Liter Glass Jug of 100% pure Grade A maple syrup
      1. It is easy to produce without technology, and technology doesn't give such a great advantage. There aren't a lot of disruptive technologies in maple syrup production that would change it's relative value against other things. There are no GMO maple trees. No pesticides or herbicides or fertilizers will give you a significant competitive advantage. It is non-destructively harvested, the trees stay alive. It is possible to be used and traded interchangably with syrups produced in other biomes like Agave Nectar, sugarcane syrup, honey, etc.
      2. It can be verified by simple technology. The simplest technology is taste or density. Or light: http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/science-and-innovation/research-centres-and-collections/quebec/saint-jean-sur-richelieu-research-and-development-centre/safeguarding-maple-syrup-quality/?id=1519066161077
      3. It is required biological energy. Hunting produces protien and fat, edible weeds can produce vitamins and minerals, but carbohydrate is precious and difficult to come by in nature.
      4. It is hypoallergenic. Many people are allergic to it's competitor, honey.
      5. It is non-perishable. You can HODL it and not worry about it going bad or changing in any way. Not damaged by air (unlike oil), not irreversibly damaged by moisture (just reboil it).
      6. Common value: the cost of a jug of maple syrup is around one hours worth of labor which is a convienient amount and similar to the price of a meal or other things that people would typically owe someone.
      7. Self contained and easy to transport or ship. If the value was less than it may not be worth the shipping cost of an individual item.

In conclusion we have developed a blockchain based system of tracking IOU's with your freinds.

  • Mastercoins would have to carry a dataset. For example master coins will have the be signed by each recieving and giving party, and the value will lessen depending on how many times they have been signed. This could potentially, but not likely, cause fungibility issues.
  • IOU's will have to also have a dataset, ie: this coin is only valid between sally and bob.
  • Anyone can use the system without having to buy coins or mine them. You simply just start using the system. The mining just causes a small fee for using the platform, and not a monetary fee, just making you forgive a little bit of peoples debt. Not a problem.


Proof of Play (PoP): A proof of stake consensus utilizing video game PoW

Gamers play video games.  If the gamer is good they can achieve a lot of rewards in the game.  From player level, stat points, skill points, gear, experience points, and in-game currency; these achievements prove that the player has done work.  The whole point of video game design is so that bots and cheating cannot win you rewards in game.  Other products/services/companies also have this like uber, doordash, amazon, etc.  Miles driven in uber, number of years working at walmart, etc.  These sorts of achievements can also be used in this idea.

Why not utilize this proof in a blockchain?  How would that even be done?

Proof of stake.  That is how it would be done.  The stake could be the player level, in game currency, stat points, skill points, miles driven in uber, packages delivered for amazon, etc. or anything else or a combination.

Proof of stake is typically an unfair system because anyone with lots of money can easily gain a high stake.  But coupling the proof of work by achieving things in a game or other system to set the stake the player has, will allow proof of stake to be fair while not wasting CPU cycles to arbitrarily prove work.

In conclusion games (and any other system) are designed to prove that work was done by a user.  Why not utilize this to prove work on a blockchain?  This is done by coupling player work to a stake in mining a coin, token or anything else on a blockchain or similar network or technology.  The currency will be "backed" by how much people trust the game/dev's.  Amazon could have FlexCoin where Flex drivers get a mining stake based on how many packages they have delivered.  Walmart could have PensionCoin where employees get a mining stake based on how many years they have worked at the company.  Companies can even premine the coins or take a fee for every transaction.  Could this in fact be a better version of an ICO?

The games or systems themselves can even run on this blockchain partially or fully if desired.  For example an MMO could be devoid of a central server and instead the stakeholder players could record server data like character locations and items etc. on their computer and their ledger would be included in the blockchain if they won the next block based on their proof of stake.


Claim Consensus: Another example application of Bid consensus

Here is another example of how bid consensus (claim consensus) can be used.

A minimum chain length is required to claim a coin and this claiming can be permanent if desired.  So lets say for example this length requirement is 1000.  So you can start mining a coin and when you hit a blockchain of 1000 blocks (or more) for it then you post this chain to the consensus layer.  There may or may not be a "bidding time" and/or "verifying time" set starting when you post your 1000+ blockchain that gives others an opportunity to verify your chain and for others to post a longer chain if they want to bid against you for ownership.  Now there can be multiple consensus layers and they can have different requirements for claiming coins, but as long as they don't change the algorithm and rules then your blockchain for coin claiming will still be valid, but may or may not be sufficient depending on how long of a blockchain they require.  And this blockchain you posted is public so someone else can mine on top of your chain to claim your coin on another consensus layer so some miners may want to keep mining their coins past the requirement that some consensus layers require so they can be assured to claim the coins on new consensus layers.  This would be similar to hard forks in some ways and different in other ways.  It would be the similar as the same people can own the same coins on multiple blockchains, but different in that there is no "fork" persay and you trading coins could show up on both blockchains simultaneously if desired or not (by the consensus layer using replay protection techniques).  But the cool thing is clone coins could be invented that copy your transactions from another consensus layer but the new consensus layer uses a new algorithm.  This would mean if one consensus layer becomes 51% attacked the other ones with different algorithms would be safe.  If one consensus layer get's 51% attacked it is no problem because no coins will be lost (accept on that consensus layer) because everyone's ownership is already backed up by the fact that they have their own coins blockchain that they can use to claim their coins on another consensus layer.  You would finally be truly in control of your own destiny.  It would be much easier in this situation to swap consensus layers than it is to currently shift momentum from a coin to its hard fork.

The consensus layer can be anything, centralized or decentralized.  It can be a program or database or blockchain or anything or combination.  This layer would most likely be a blockchain as well.  The interesting thing here is it doesn't need to offer any rewards, either coins nor fees in order to get miners.  Why?  Simply because people already have an incentive to mine on it.  Why?  Because they own coins and those coins need a good trustworthy consensus layer to trade them.  It is the same incentive people have for creating crypto wallets.  Why do they create free open source crypto wallets?  Because they own crypto.  There will be two types of miners.  Those that want to claim coins from scratch (CC's; Coin Claimers), and those that buy coins and mine on the consensus layer to protect their investment (CM's; Consensus Miners).  CM's will be the type of people who like running Full Node's.  CC's will be the competitive type who like creating something from nothing.  CM's will need to be connected to the internet and run a full node and download the blockchain, and CC's will not need internet and will not need to download the blockchain.

Bitcoin designed mining for 2 reasons; fair distribution, and to prevent fraudulent accounting from being accepted.  We already solved the distribution by the claiming coins method.  Preventing fraudulent accounting by mining is already incentivized by people wanting to protect their investment.  I think we have now obsoleted bitcoin's mining fees and mining coin rewards with regards to the consensus layer.

Therefore many decentralized consensus layers can and will be free in every respect.  But I believe some centralized ones will likely charge coin owners for being able to claim coins on their consensus layer.  So in addition to having 1000+ or whatever blocks on your coin, you may also need to contribute a fee to get your coins listed on their consensus layer.  This would be similar to how exchanges work currently.  It is also possible for these consensus layers to charge a fee for trading coins, but I doubt that will be very widespread especially because people are investing into every coin, and coins are not divisible (think of them like satoshi's) so people probably wouldn't want to give them away as fees for every trade.

In conclusion this system would be more decentralized, resistant to 51% attacks, cloneable, flexible and fluid, fungible, high investment and therefore high price, more collaborative, larger more open and embracing community, secure, no fees, offline minable, and coin claiming doesn't require downloading the blockchain.  The downside would be increased complexity, more flexible (less prone to breaking but also more prone to adaptation/change), and value uncertainty.  You don't really know how much resources people are putting into mining coins because they can hide how much they mine until they make their "claim" public.  Even then they may only reveal part of what they have mined, just revealing enough to claim the coin.  But I feel this is a good thing because this uncertainty as to how much more people invested then they let on would raise coin prices.


Bid Consensus: Offline minable, pool resistant PoW Blockchain

Bid Consensus (BC) is a complex proof of work that leverages everyone orchestrating simultaneous 51% attacks on their own coins in order to secure the network.  The benefits of this proof of work is that it would be minable offline for any set amount of time (a week or more even), it would be minable without a pool and be pool resistant, it would resist network-wide slowdowns of transaction verification, it would resist network-wide 51% attacks, faster sending possibly, and it would be fun and competitive.  Who wouldn't want to orchestrate their very own 51% attack in order to secure the network?

The basis for this idea was invented by Still_Looking on Bitcointalk.org.  He was the scientist who thought up the barebones technology, and I'm the inventor to define it into context so that it can be developed.

The downsides are more complex than current protocols, coins may be possibly less fungible, there could be more uncertainty to who ultimately owns the coins since people can be mining behind the scenes and 51%ing your ownership.

It works something like this.

A coin is developed and a requirement is set as to what are valid coins.  This requirement can be anything but lets say for example the rules are you have to start with a prime number and hash it with a certain algorithm to get the genesis block of your coin(s).  You then have to find a nonce that solves the hash; the nonce when hashed with the previous hash gives a number (new hash) with a certain amount of leading zeroes or whatnot.  And that would be the only starting rules needed.  Now there will be a scramble to find as many prime numbers as possible, hash them with the given algorithm, and then find a nonce; then rehash the previous hash together with the new hash to get the next hash. Find the nonce for that hash and complete the process over and over again.  Each time a nonce is found the chain grows by 1 block.  Thus every "coin" on the network has it's very own blockchain.  This blockchain is relatively simple though, it contains no transactions or signatures at all.

Now what?  Well now there is another layer, a consensus layer which is anything or multiple things but preferably another blockchain or blockchians that should preferably be mined as well.  The coin squatters (people 51%ing their claimed coins) would be incentivized to also mine the consensus layer for free (no fees or coins needed but they can be given as rewards if required) to ensure their investment is secure.  Now if you want to trade your coin how would you do this?  Well first you will have to claim ownership of your coin on the consensus layer.  The way you do this is by making public your individual coins' blockchains.  Now this is where the bidding starts.  Anyone else who is mining that same coin you were will see that you are attempting to claim it.  An arbitrary "auction" time limit is started.  Others who want to claim that coin can then "bid" a higher amount of valid blocks.  After the time limit (or any other limiting factor) is met then the person who posted the highest number of block "bid" wins ownership.  This ownership can be permanent or any amount of time, but preferably something like a week or month or year or sabbatical or jubilee, but lets just refer to it as "jubilee".  Now, after the ownership is awarded in order for this coin to be spent it has to be signed by the winning bidder over to the new owner on the consensus layer.  Now the new owner can spend it in the same way, they now have to sign the transaction to spend it etc.  This is all done on the consensus blockchain which is separate from the individual coin's blockchain which is now on pause.  When the jubilee period is over, bidding opens up afresh and anyone can claim ownership of the coin, and may the holder of the longest blockchain for that coin prevail!  So during the jubilee period it is a sort of hot potato game of sorts, don't be left with the coin when the music stops because then someone else can claim it!  The good thing is everyone will know how much longer the current coin ownership is valid for.

So it is a little more complex than current methods but I feel it holds much promise for a more resilient and less centralizable system.  All the bidding and notifications can be done automatically so you don't have to worry yourself.  Ownership will be continuously refreshed in a fair and predictable way.  There are definitely downsides like coins will be less valuable near the end of the jubilee cycle, but this can always be factored into the mentality, it is no different than inflation.  You can have a single cell phone mining each coin you want to claim if you want and do it offline.  It will be a leaner, meaner, and probably faster than the clunky traditional blockchain implementation that holds tons of data.  So I feel that this protocol will have some real and valuable use cases.


Proof of Work Squared: new method of human and computer hybrid proof of work POW^2

A new method for securing and enabling the productivity of a blockchain is described wherein useful work and arbitrary work (proof of work, proof of space, proof of space-time, etc.) is used in tandem in order to generate and/or redistribute tokens/coins/etc.  Typically computers hashing generate new coins as well as generate fees for verifying transactions.  The reasons why computer hashing work is desired in order to provide a fair proof for coin generation is because it is hard to fake that work.  Winning a lottery is a good (enough) proof that you bought lots of lottery tickets. You are not going to consistently win lots of lotteries without buying lots of tickets.  There is literally no other way to win the lottery.  This is why hashing algorithms as a proof of work are desired because there is literally no way to win the block without doing tons of computationally and electrically expensive computations.  If, for example, you made the "proof" that you completed many successful transactions; well this can be 'gamed' by creating lots of transactions with yourself.  So you would never loose money because you kept it all yourself, yet you would be generating new coins in addition to what you already had by creating transactions with yourself.  So in order to add new coins fairly to a blockchain or other system you need to really make someone prove they are irreversibly spending their resources to obtain the new coins.  Using "completing successful transactions" would be a successful proof of work however only for redistribution of wealth.  What this means is as long as no new coins are generated in the process, someone wouldn't gain an advantage by doing transactions with themselves.  Just one of their accounts would pay the fee and the other one of their accounts would gain the fee.  So as long as no new coins are generated a fee based redistribution of wealth system works.

However we do want new coins generated.  Why? Because who is to decide the initial distribution of coins?  If a person or group of people decide this then we have a Centralized Digital Currency (CDC).  for a Decentralized Digital Currency (DDC) we want coins to be distributed in a way that is fair to anyone who wants to participate.  Hashing algorithm proof of work is currently the best way to guarantee this fair initial distribution.

Why not proof of stake?  While proof of stake is a good way to prove something, namely that you own coins and are not spending them, this is a terrible way to initially distribute or redistribute coins.  Why? Because it is the opposite of Robin hood, this is taking from the poor to pay the rich (those able to stake large amounts of coins).  So proof of stake can be renamed "Proof of Riches" and "Proof of Hoarding" and that makes no sense and has no place in a decentralized system that is aiming for fairness and where you actually want people to spend and trade the coins not just sit on them.

The reason we would rather not the computers hashing to generate the fees is because then they are double dipping in initial distribution and redistribution.  It would be better if arbitrary work is only used in things that must be proven (initial distribution) and useful work was done for things that cannot be easily gamed (redistribution).   This way real useful work can be incorporated into a blockchain or any other system.

This new method would separate the fee generation from the creation of new coins.  There may be a fixed maximum number of coins or infinite, but preferably infinite.  It could also work where there are fees along with generation of new coins by hashing algorithms (or any other arbitrary proof), and an additional fee for useful work.

A computer using a hashing algorithm will be used to create new coins just like any typical blockchain proof of work currently.  Any hashing algorithm can be used.

A human (or animal or anything including AI) doing useful mental/physical/spiritual or any other type of useful work will be used to generate fees.  This can take any form.  For example a decentralized trading and shipping platform could have nodes set an equation or fixed amount for what they charge to physically ship an item a given distance.  This fee could be subtracted from the coins that were sent in payment for the good(s) between the buyer and seller.

In this way an entity performing a hashing algorithm creates new coins in the network, and an entity performing useful work gains transaction fees in the network.

This can be used for any purpose and/or as part or whole of and/or added as another layer on top of or as a service to any decentralized or centralized system.

This is an open source invention/patent and can be used and plagiarized for any purpose whatsoever.