Can a proof-of-work (POW) protocol substitute or supplement a proof-of-cognition (POC) protocol?
Can a proof-of-work (POW) protocol substitute or supplement a proof-of-cognition (POC) protocol? It is possible, but not ideal. Humans in a POC protocol have equal mining power, instead using human biology to secure human conscience. If mining power were unequal (as is the case with POW), human consciences could be manipulated– a debatably far worse outcome than a simple double spend in a currency system. By relying on machines rather than biology, the network can be overpowered by artificial intelligence producing their own mining hardware, or re-routing existing mining power to reap digital currency rewards (BGP hijacking). Furthermore, miners in a POW protocol are motivated by currency rewards for honest mining. Human-to-human transactions would need to be made feeless if humans were to continuously verify each other. Determining which verification webs were human-based would be difficult or impossible from a POW miner’s perspective.
Can POC replace POW? The simplest reason it cannot is that miners in a POC protocol would be able to inject bad blocks into the network, sending themselves currency when they had previously had sent it elsewhere. Since POC trades a valueless data structure, this risk is nonexistent.
Proof-of-work is ideal for currency, while proof-of-cognition is ideal for identity.
Reference: proof-of-cognition-implants , published May 2015. Disclaimer: Project Oblio’s mechanism does not rely on brain implants, but the mechanisms of action are the same. An early version of the paper provably exists in bitcoin address 13eeMVU5fXNfZdoBk5z4fEAbgSH9MawQ6H.