Proof of Useful Work#
While Proof of Useful Work (PoUW) is an interesting concept, it is still in the research phase. Ergo, being open to implementing new ideas, is willing to explore PoUW. However, a radical change to Ergo's consensus mechanism that requires a hard fork would likely be beyond the scope and resources of Ergo's small core development team and limited budget.
Currently, Ergo is considering conducting preliminary research and establishing specifications for PoUW, but its actual usefulness is still uncertain. It is difficult to make a definitive judgment at this time.
PoUW is an intriguing concept, but there are practical challenges associated with its implementation. The Ofelimos paper has made a breakthrough in terms of security definitions, but it is important to find a concrete approach that avoids potential private optimizations.
From an economic standpoint, PoUW introduces various interesting and possibly unconventional dynamics, as someone would need to pay for useful work. In the worst-case scenario, the payer could collude with miners.
Therefore, during the bootstrapping phase, it seems necessary to have rewards determined by the protocol.
The most realistic option, it seems, would be to launch a PoUW sidechain. However, what other possibilities could be explored? Furthermore, what options could benefit the Ergo main chain and its ecosystem?