It’s nice to get to use both crypto and cryptocurrencies tags in their correct, distinct contexts :)
I like keybase a lot, but I have mixed feelings about all this. Mainly, I doubt that we’re stopping climate change by switching to Stellar. 🙄
Proof-of-work incentivizes people to go full throttle on electricity consumption, especially in regimes where electricity is free/subsidized. And of course fossil fuels are still the cheapest and most accessible source of electricity in most of the world.
It’s not a huge leap in logic. It’s simple: proof-of-stake = less electricity usage = less electricity generation = hurting environment less.
Disclaimer: I don’t own any proof-of-stake cryptocurrency (yet?).
Stellar is not a proof-of-work cryptocurrency, but it is neither a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency.
Thank you for the correction; that was a naive assumption for me to make.
For posterity: the Stellar Consensus Protocol implements a variation of Byzantine agreement, aka the classic systems problem of Byzantine fault tolerance, where nodes in a system try to establish quorum in making decisions.
However, they differentiate themselves from classic Byzantine agreement, where the nodes are already known. A downside of the competing Ripple cryptocurrency, according to Stellar authors, is that it requires an initial set of trusted nodes provided by a central authority. In contrast, SCP does not require an initial set of trusted nodes or a trusted authority; they call this “Federated Byzantine agreement.”
As for proof-of-stake, Stellar’s authors say that that approach has problems with “nothing at stake” attacks. Proof-of-stake works by putting up collateral in exchange for having a say in the network. Bad actors could theoretically behave well initially, up until the point where they cash out, and then maliciously rewrite history starting from when the network thought they still had a stake.
Stellar’s blog post from 2015 has a high-level Q&A about the consensus protocol.
Another blog post describes the protocol in a bit more detail, going into the federated voting approach that happens between nodes.
Finally there’s the detailed whitepaper.