There has been a lot of talk about Mozilla this week after the company decided to begin accepting PoS crypto again after an outcry against Bitcoin forced it to suspend donations earlier this year.
The Mozilla Foundation had put cryptocurrency donations on hold in January following a community backlash sparked by trenchant criticism from co-founder Jamie Zawinski who openly said he wasn’t agreeing with the evironmental impact of crypto, he said: “Everyone involved in the project should be witheringly ashamed of this decision to partner with planet-incinerating Ponzi grifters”.
After this statement Mozilla announced it had paused crypto donations due to the online discussion around crypto’s environmental impact.
But Mozilla said it would continue to explore decentralized web technology but would only resume if would fit with its climate goals. It also said that in the spirit of open source, Mozilla would be transparent in the review process and share constant updates.
So now, the company behind the Firefox internet browser Mozilla announced it is accepting Proof-of-Stake (PoS) crypto donations again, in an attempt to appease its environmentally-conscious community. The company feels that its donations policies are now aligned with its climate commitment policy.
So what exactly is the difference between PoW and PoS?
Proof-of-Work (PoW) is the consensus mechanism that was first popularized for permissionless blockchains and cryptocurrencies through the Bitcoin network. The proof-of-work protocol is hugely energy-intense as it revolves around countless servers keeping the network alive, in return for a great deal of electricity and server capacity.
Proof-of-stake (PoS), on the other hand, reduces the amount of computational work needed to verify blocks and transactions that keep the blockchain, and thus a cryptocurrency, secure. It can be no more than a computer set-up to become a validator and verificator. It sends and receives a lot of data but does not require the calculating power needed as in a PoW consensus mechanism.
While there has been a lot of critisism on the crypto donations and the environmental impact they have on our planet, there is also critisism on the entire Mozilla backlash itself, saying it’s not only about how cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are generated and sustained, but just as much about how the energy that is used is consumed.
“The amount of energy consumed by a blockchain’s consensus mechanism should not determine whether it is sustainable or not. The only thing that matters is how the energy used is consumed.
Enabling anyone to cooperate to build and secure the network, energy consumption is decentralized across many devices. This facilitates environmental sustainability by enabling everyone to source a small amount of energy in a climate-neutral way, which is much easier than doing so than for centralized energy production seen on other PoW blockchains.
Minima utilises an implementation of PoW known as Tx-PoW that allows each network participant to do a small amount of PoW by running a complete node on the network.
Ultimately, we believe that complete decentralization and cooperation is the only way of achieving optimal sustainability, so that is what we have created with Minima.”