This is the opening opinion by Doc Sharp, a Bitcoin product designer currently funded by Spiral to contribute to several Bitcoin FOSS projects.
It’s not the absolute truth for anyone who’s been in the digital asset space for a while that nearly every venture, with the exception of the industry’s great Bitcoin, succeeds in building effective PR to sell what they have. Decentralized in name only (Dino) project. This is not surprising because the tens of billions raised over the past several years have had to go somewhere, and certainly not go to build new innovative technology.
One area where bitcoin has failed in the PR department, and the focus of this piece, is framing how blocks are validated, colloquially called Proof of Work (PoW) or mining.
First, how does mining work?
In short, Bitcoin miners use PoW, which uses energy, to find a needle in a haystack. When they find the needle, they use it to create and add a new block to the Bitcoin blockchain. When this new block is added, the miner is rewarded with the newly minted bitcoin. To date, this is the most decentralized means of achieving network consensus and creating valid blocks. More about Bitcoin mining over here.
Bitcoin mining and frame effect
In a world where capital is directed against criteria such as Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) outcomes, green narratives are increasingly important in adopting new technology.
Knowing this, the perceived high energy costs of bitcoin mining and the term mining itself, linked to environmental destruction, have become a barrier to bitcoin adoption and a red herring that DINO projects use to discredit bitcoin and pump its bags.
term Mining It comes with many negative connotations (see image below). With the availability of other digital assets that promise similar solutions to Bitcoin with a much smaller environmental footprint, naive users in many cases will choose them over Bitcoin due to the framing effect.
People think of this when they hear about mining.
I won’t go into the details in this article, but the “greener” PoS solution is Not a viable alternative It will inevitably lead to centralization. Despite the complexities that underlie both PoW and PoS, it is not surprising that people make their choices for superficial reasons, such as naive views of energy.
The psychological theory underlying the framing effect is known as probability theory Explain why:
Most people don’t understand that the gain of Proof of Work (more power usage, but decentralization) is greater than the loss of PoS (less power usage, but centralized). Although it is easy to understand the loss from a purely environmental perspective.
This is exacerbated by the fact that the majority of people today Do you think climate change is dangerous? Societal problem and erotic pieces like “Bitcoin consumes more electricity than many countries. How is that possible?” Trade regularly. This is how the effect of the framework manifests itself when individuals only show the context of one of the frameworks (the environmental framework).
So, what can we do to get around the framing effect and make people realize that bitcoin mining won’t boil the oceans and is actually a good use of energy? We can take a note from the DINO handbook and use narratives that have fewer negative connotations associated with them to our advantage.
How does this apply to Bitcoin mining? we will …
Let’s Call Bitcoin Miners, Bitcoin Verifiers
With the integration of Ethereum 2.0, Ethereum moved from mining with PoW to using validators with PoS. Mining and miners as we know them will no longer exist on Ethereum, and Claims up to 99.5% Reduction in energy use has been cited.
These energy savings are a hoax because they come at the expense of decentralization. Decentralization is a basic first principle of cryptocurrency, without which it becomes useless. The energy use of a centralized public cryptocurrency, even if it is minimal, is wasted 100% due to network failures. Bitcoin Traders Know This, This Is Why They Know It Start Change the code.
So, back to the frame effect. The term auditors have more positive connotations towards it due to the marketing efforts of DINOs, and it is not as loaded with a term like mining. Less negative connotations mean that people will perceive the term more favorably. Avoiding the effect of frames by using a more media-friendly term like validator will make it easier for people to understand the Proof of Work gain (more power usage, but decentralized) than the PoS loss (less power usage, but centralized).
DINO has done all the work here by turning the combo into PoS > PoW. The least we can do is use this effort to our advantage as they have repeatedly done using the bitcoins brand to justify their Rube Goldberg machine.
So, when Bitcoin miners are called, Bitcoin validators can prevent the framing effect from occurring and shift the narrative towards PoS.
Here are the mining related terms that we must change:
Bitcoin Mining Pools = Bitcoin Verification Pools
Bitcoin Miners = Bitcoin Checkers
Bitcoin mining = Bitcoin validation
In short, reframing PoW to validate Proof of Work will benefit Bitcoin in the long run by preventing the framing effect, which is a cognitive bias where people decide options based on whether the options are presented with positive or negative connotations.
Mining = negative connotations.
Validation = positive semantics (thanks Ethereum).
This is a guest post by Doc Sharp. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.