DEFINITION of Micro Mining (Cryptocurrency)

Micro mining refers to the limited capacity mining activity that can be performed on commonly used Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled home appliances. Micro mining attempts to fix the scalability problem and aims for mass adoption of the cryptocurrency by using the limited processing power and memory available in various home appliances - like refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and vacuum cleaners.

BREAKING DOWN Micro Mining (Cryptocurrency)

Delays in transaction processing and high transaction costs have emerged as the two biggest hurdles to mass adoption of cryptocurrency networks. These two factors are attributed to the mining activity, which is required for generating new cryptocoins and for validating and authenticating the transactions occuring on cryptocurrency networks. However, limited availability of devices contributing to mining (called nodes) has led to longer delays and high transaction costs. Micro mining attempts to fix this problem by using IoT-supported devices.

IoT is the ecosystem of internet-connected smart devices, appliances and accessories which are fitted with (micro-) processors, (micro-) controllers, and memory modules. These quotidian devices are capable of storing, processing, and exchanging data with other systems and networks in real-time. These capabilities can be harnessed for the necessary mining activity.

However, the standard mining operation of popular cryptocurrency networks like bitcoin and ethereum needs high end hardware. The limited resources available in white goods are no match for those requirements, but a new low-capacity, limited-resource, lightweight contribution towards mining can be achieved.

For instance, the IOTW blockchain network allows micro mining supported by IoT-enabled white goods. It eliminates the storage requirement of the transaction ledger and its maintenance by the device, and “outsources” this ledger storage and maintenance task to various trusted, pre-established nodes on the IOTW blockchain. The household device only performs the limited activity of validating the transaction and sending the necessary details to the trusted node. The network nodes collect these validated transactions from various devices, and store them in the network ledger based on necessary authentication and consensus. Such delegation of storage, maintenance and processing to the trusted nodes eliminates the need for the low-end device to have high computation power and memory, yet allows them to contribute significantly towards the mining activity leading to more scalability and rapid execution of transactions.

With the increasing adoption of white good appliances across the globe, micro mining aims to harness their available power making them contribute towards transaction authentication. The device owner benefits by earning cryptocoins for their contribution towards mining. Additionally, they can also willingly share and/or sell the relevant device data which can be of great value to lots of entities – including device manufacturers, service centers, researchers, and town planners.