Crypto mining has come a long way from when Bitcoin first appeared, and people could use a basic CPU to help keep the blockchain running.
Nowadays if somebody wants to mine, they need to have tools designed specifically for the job (known as ASICs) or possibly multiple powerful GPUs depending on their coin of choice. What was once a way for anybody to make some extra cash has become a lucrative career and an arms-race of hardware. Miners are regularly accumulating more computers with more powerful stats simply so that they can keep up with each other.
This system works, but it is fraught with issues such as high costs and high consumption of electricity, and these problems are not going away anytime soon as cryptocurrency is only getting more and more popular. While this method has successfully allowed Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other Proof of Work coins to flourish, it is still a flawed protocol.
These problems are the reason why Proof of Stake was created. As a consensus algorithm, it is cheaper and more energy efficient, but it has its issues too. While on the surface, it seems like the perfect alternative to Proof of Work, it has unfortunately gained a bad reputation of being used by scams and other malicious projects. There is also the view (or perhaps misconception) that Proof of Stake is significantly worse than Proof of Work because it is not meant to be easy to create a cryptocurrency.
However, there is one pitfall that both Proof of Stake and Proof of Work succumb to, and that is human error.
AI and the reduction of human error
Both consensus algorithms promise to be fair and protect their blockchains from malicious activity, but they both fail at this. Coins still get hacked and miners still often feel wronged. The problem is caused by the simple fact that humans struggle to regulate themselves and others. We make mistakes, and we let greed take over. The solution to this is to place a heavier reliance on artificial intelligence. AI is not as elusive and unfathomable as it once was; in the last decade, we have made huge strides towards creating programs and machines which can act semi-independently. These are the types of tools which can be used to change the way blockchains are managed.
There are two reasons why AI could be the future of crypto mining: AI’s do not make simple mistakes, and AI’s are dynamic in their behavior. They can be relied upon to take control of large ecosystems (such as a blockchain) and maintain it with precise judgment. They can control how fast or slow the blockchain should move, when rewards should be released to miners, and can more easily detect when somebody is acting maliciously.
With the speed at which technology is moving in the crypto industry, it may soon be necessary to embrace AI as a means of keeping individual blockchains secure. As cryptocurrency gains popularity, it will gain new hackers ready to enact malicious activity, and while most hacks can be prevented by swift human action, there may come a time where humans are not fast enough to keep things safe. That is when AI can no longer be ignored in this industry.