Ethereum Foundation, Interchain Foundation, Protocol Labs, Supranational, Synopsys, and Xilinx, with the support of Amazon’s AWS, have unveiled the $100,000 “Forever Change Blockchain” prize.
The announcement was posted on the blog of AWS, Amazon Web Services, and the prize will go to the first one who can solve this problem:
“Given 1024-bit input x, compute the verifiable delay function ‘h=x^(2^t) mod N’ as fast as possible.
The prize will be $100,000 and there is time until the end of September to find the solution: the first one who will be able to find it and communicate it to the organisers will receive the $100,000.
The problem is extremely technical and is therefore addressed only to an audience of experienced programmers.
The goal is to find a solution that will “change the face of blockchain” and the way the hardware is designed and built.
The problem was launched by the VDF Alliance and is aimed at finding a solution to solve the way the Verifiable Delay Function is calculated in the shortest possible time.
VDF technology has among its objectives, for example, the “unbiased proof of randomness”, which could allow for the creation of reliable and certified generators of truly random numbers for blockchains.
Currently, in fact, the randomly generated numbers are only pseudo-random and therefore can potentially be exploited by malicious individuals who can guess them: if it were possible to reach true randomness, this would not be possible.
Another point, which specifically concerns Ethereum, is the transition from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS).
Senior manager of the AWS startup development in the UK, Tim Boeckmann, said:
“The Ethereum ecosystem alone currently uses on the order of 850 megawatts to extend blocks. That’s about $460 million in running costs per year. With VDFs in Ethereum, there is an opportunity to bring down that cost to less than $0.13 million for the 0.25 megawatts of energy to power the hardware random beacons”.
The Ethereum Foundation has been working on the VDF problem for some time now in order to replace PoW with PoS.