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Author Topic: A useful PoW without replacing Nakamoto Consensus  (Read 643 times)
kernel1983 (OP)
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November 01, 2022, 11:46:37 AM
 #41

Code:
import hashlib

BYTES_TO_ENCODE = b'\x01\x05\xff\xcc'
PREVIOUS_BLOCK_HASH = b'\x00' * 64
TXS = b'RANDOM TRANSACTIONS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE NEXT BLOCK'

difficulty = 10
nonce = 0
encode_offset = 0

while True:
    nonce += 1
    if nonce % 1000000 == 0:
        print(nonce, encode_offset)
    hash = hashlib.sha256(PREVIOUS_BLOCK_HASH+TXS+str(nonce).encode()).hexdigest()
    if hash.startswith('0' * difficulty):
        break

    if hash.endswith('%02x' % BYTES_TO_ENCODE[encode_offset]):
        print('hex %02x nonce' % BYTES_TO_ENCODE[encode_offset], nonce)
        encode_offset += 1
        if encode_offset >= len(BYTES_TO_ENCODE):
            break


The nonce are the enocded value. I'm using python 3.8

We did not change the rule of consensus, the block difficulty is the start of the hash. (left bytes)
But just adding a check for the end of the hash to see if it is equal to the byte we want to encode. (right bytes)

In general, I don't think a blockchain is the right data structure for decentralized file hosting.
Me neither, that's why I think this proposal, filecoin included, is fundamentally flawed. If I want to share a file, I'm the one who first of all have to take personal responsibility of the file, and second, pay the required cost. There's no reason a hundred miners keep my file when I only need one to store it. That's the definition of inefficiency. If I want true decentralization of my file storage, then I should run a BitTorrent client, and seed my stuff there. If I don't care about that (which I honestly don't), I can stick with a centralized solution, such as Mega Upload. Privacy can be assured with encryption.

And that's before I even comprehend (2 pages now) how Proof-of-Work can help the situation in decentralized file sharing / storage. It's just flawed, no need to. Blockchains solve the double-spending problem, and that's all they do.

Maybe it is true.
However, if I did not step into the detail of Filecoin, I will never realize that PoW can be upgraded. (Now lots of people turns to PoS, what a pity!)

Compare to other blockchain storage project, I will say EcoPoW based blockchain is totally different.
It is not just a blockchain storage, this is the key to build a more decenterization blockchain!

I can foresee the storage feature become the source of PoW computation, since we all know that coin price will not go up forever.
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kernel1983 (OP)
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November 01, 2022, 12:19:25 PM
Last edit: November 01, 2022, 12:43:46 PM by kernel1983
 #42

But it is nice to have many miners each to buy a 8T (cheap) hard drive, and many users each purchase several gigabytes of space.
Miners aren't the only ones keeping a copy of the blockchain, though. Every single node will need to buy 8TB (or however much) storage for the blockchain to remain decentralized.
There are even miners without own full node; not sure why you conflate those groups.
No, only the miners need extra hard drive, the node doesn't need to.
Again, the users file doesnt go into the chain.

Filecoin spends most the computation on PoRep and ZK. And for the consensus, EC is actually a PoS (which doesnt cost much computing).
I believed PoW can bring the true decenterization.
Exactly; only PoW can give you true decentralization. By adding paid file storage, you add in all the problems of Filecoin & keep the high power consumption of SHA256 mining as well.
I believe I was fix Filecoin's problem with EcoPoW.
Again, I'm not selling this to Bitcoin, there is no hard fork. We build a new chain but PoW based.

It is important to understand miners contributing computation for the reward. And nowaday, the mining pool is the only choice to get incoming.
If the computation are useful for miners to get more incoming, they will consumed the computation locally, which behaved like solo mining.
We can see the mining is a side output during file encoding.
Oh, so there will be no actual SHA256 mining anymore; when you say mining you actually mean file encoding? You should have said that earlier. Well, Filecoin also requires file encoding right. So filecoin is also a 'PoW' mechanism in your eyes, because the nodes need to do some computation?
Filecoin is PoS (EC), check out my previous post.
There is SHA256 mining and encoding. They are combined in the EcoPoW.
The PoW used to output mining, EcoPoW outputs mining and encoding with the almost same computation (we added another 'if' check).

This is how mining pools are gone naturely.
Do note that mining pools aren't such a big issue as some papers or articles may make it out to be. If you got more questions about this, feel free to ask or browse the forum.
Yes, mining pools is not big a issue as Bitcoin is still the most decentralized blockchain so far.
However, a PoW blockchain without mining pool will be more decentralized, right?

But we must stick with the existing decenterization.
I don't understand what you wrote in the last paragraph, but I suggest you use the right spelling (decentralization); if you always write it like this, you may get less / worse search results when browsing the web.
Yes, I will turn on the grammarly Smiley
I feel I have repeated many times on lots of the same questions, forgive me for the typos.

Nothing is free, we need a blockchain solution. Filecoin is good direction but too expensive.
How do you aim to make it less expensive? What is the big difference maker here?
OK, I have explained above.
Filecoin uses expensive server, and it is too noisy. The servers must be place in the data center.
Home PC is cheaper, and the bandwidth are free.
Compare to could computing, there are no expensive engineers.
And, the ZK, we remove it, we have the better way do this.

The miners will figure out how to get revenue higher and how to make the price lower.
What do you mean by 'miners'? Just file hosting nodes that decode / encode data or actual ASIC (or other algorihm based) miners? By the way; ASIC is probably the way to go here, especially in this application since you want your CPU to be fully available for file delivery and delegate any other computation to a separate ASIC chip.
PC
ASIC can speed up the encoding, GPU as well. Outsourcing is possible.

Again, the users files are not into the chain blocks.
Oh wait, so you are proposing a regular PoW blockchain, with regular repeated hashing for mining and minting new coins, just like Bitcoin, but nodes can choose to host some files (depending on their capacity) and get a reward for it? What if they delete them again? Is it a recurring payment? There will be no guarantee of file availability right?
Nodes doesnt host files, the miners do.
PoRep is designed for guarantee of file availability.
EcoPoW is both a PoW and a PoRep.

This sounds like just adding Bittorrent into Bitcoin Core (or similar); I don't think it makes sense to mash different softwares with different purposes together like that. Just add a reward system to Torrents and that's it. There is no reason to claim it somehow makes PoW more useful or anything like that. This is much easier implemented as a Bittorrent add-on instead of building a whole new blockchain.
A blockchain storage project like Filecoin, but PoW based and other improvements.
BitTorrent and IPFS has no PoRep.

The more unique is that it provides the PoW blockchain free security. That is the key point!
The reason to claim EcoPoW more useful is two usage is larger than one usage. And we did not even alter the PoW, but just adding a 'if' check.
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November 01, 2022, 12:42:00 PM
 #43

The nonce are the enocded value.
A block can have some extra metadata. You don't have to mess with nonce if you want to include an encoded value. I still don't understand why you'd want to do this, though.

However, if I did not step into the detail of Filecoin, I will never realize that PoW can be upgraded.
Seriously, do you call this whole thing an upgrade? It's unnecessary and inefficient.

Compare to other blockchain storage project, I will say EcoPoW based blockchain is totally different.
I don't question your part, in comparison with other such blockchains. I question the entire "decentralization of storage" as a concept.

It is not just a blockchain storage, this is the key to build a more decenterization blockchain!
I strongly disagree. A more decentralized blockchain puts scaling above all.

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November 01, 2022, 12:49:04 PM
Last edit: November 01, 2022, 01:18:12 PM by kernel1983
 #44

The nonce are the enocded value.
A block can have some extra metadata. You don't have to mess with nonce if you want to include an encoded value. I still don't understand why you'd want to do this, though.

However, if I did not step into the detail of Filecoin, I will never realize that PoW can be upgraded.
Seriously, do you call this whole thing an upgrade? It's unnecessary and inefficient.

Compare to other blockchain storage project, I will say EcoPoW based blockchain is totally different.
I don't question your part, in comparison with other such blockchains. I question the entire "decentralization of storage" as a concept.

It is not just a blockchain storage, this is the key to build a more decenterization blockchain!
I strongly disagree. A more decentralized blockchain puts scaling above all.

OK, looks like you dont like this.
Sorry that we can not be friends.

I already pasted the python code above, maybe it takes time to understand.
However, thanks for spending so much time on this, bye. Smiley
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November 02, 2022, 12:36:06 AM
 #45

OK, looks like you dont like this.
Sorry that we can not be friends.

I already pasted the python code above, maybe it takes time to understand.
However, thanks for spending so much time on this, bye. Smiley
It's not about liking something or being friends or not; the tone in this forum is just generally pretty direct and honest. Something I really appreciate.

TL;DR: I don't see why you wouldn't just implement your idea as an addition to a Torrent system or as a whole new Torrent system. Just like Bittorrent, except that 'storage nodes' can set a price per GB and get paid monthly in some (or maybe even one of a few selectable) existing cryptocurrencies. To me, that sounds like an actually useful and realistic product. Tying paid, decentralized storage too much into a (existing or not) blockchain or cryptocurrency client seems to make less sense than tying it into a decentralized file hosting client.

kernel1983 (OP)
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November 02, 2022, 01:59:35 AM
 #46

GM,

More about what I had done so far

http://159.65.14.92/dashboard
I have a testnet launched since May 2022.
There are lots of debug info.
It runs on a $6 DO server.
This is developed since 2018.
However, after found EcoPoW I decide to change this into a pure PoW blockchain.

I haven't intergate the storage feature onto the chain.
The design is there but still needs time to code.

It is open to any one. I can only do algorithm and code.
You can be the CEO or any roles.
Feel free to talk to me https://discord.gg/bUu5GcQPb5
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November 23, 2022, 01:10:06 AM
 #47

I feel like this would just complicate things. PoW is simple, powerful, useful, and has big side benefits to the energy infrastructure of the world. That's pretty great.

I don't see the point of adding Filecoin storage concepts to PoW.

I get the idea of wanting to add extra use cases to PoW's power consumption, but this is just an optics thing. People who don't understand Bitcoin and PoW and aren't educated on its purpose and utility are the ones who attack it. The vast majority of people don't understand these things. Like 99%+ of people. It's just an educational gap that causes bad optics.

PoW is perfect because it doesn't rely on secondary use cases or a secondary market. It's entirely self-sufficient.




So the solution is not to make PoW more complicated by adding ideas from some altcoin. The solution is to continue educating the world so that eventually the majority understand Bitcoin and PoW and a shrinking minority are against it.



The educational keys to the PoW optics problem are:

1. There is no relation between PoW energy consumption and # of transactions so talking about energy used per transaction is nonsensical.

2. There are many more bitcoin transactions happening than what are shown on-chain so even if it wasn't nonsensical to talk about energy per tx the number would still be very much lower than the frightening numbers thrown around by the media and politicians.

3. PoW is by far the most useful consensus mechanism for a decentralized monetary system and is an absolute requirement for Bitcoin's value proposition (and Bitcoin's value proposition for humanity is immense!).

4. Bitcoin will never switch away from PoW so there is no point pushing for the change anyway.

5. Much of Bitcoin's mining has been done by renewables for numerous years now, and some of it is also done with already produced but 100% wasted energy at power plants, which also don't add any pollution to the environment, so compared to the rest of the world Bitcoin mining is leading the movement to clean energy.

6. Bitcoin mining strengthens the energy infrastructure of the world because it can use the wasted energy from any kind of power plant (and power plants waste A LOT of energy), thereby making the energy industry stronger, likely helping lower the cost of energy for society, and allowing humanity to increase energy production (granted this part of Bitcoin mining is still in the early stages but I bet in 10 years the vast majority of power plants will have Bitcoin miners set up on-prem for precisely this reason).

7. PoW is a self-balancing system so the only reason why energy usage keeps increasing is that the economic output of Bitcoin is increasing even faster. PoW mining will always produce more economic output than the energy-cost input. That's just a fact of its design.

8. PoW is already very useful and it is a misnomer to say the energy is wasted. 100% of the energy is used in exactly the way it was designed to be used. The energy is used to secure the most secure network in human history, which operates the most fundamentally sound currency in human history.

9. Bitcoin's energy consumption is still minuscule compared to plenty of other industries, and the only reason Bitcoin's energy consumption is talked about and derided so much is because it is easy to calculate and it is still a new technology that most people don't understand yet so they question it.

...I think those are the main educational points, which, if the populace understood, the bad optics of Bitcoin's PoW would disappear entirely. So that should be the goal, not trying to make hybrid and complicated PoW models.

To the OP, have fun working on your idea though! Nothing wrong with that. I'm sure it'll be fun to try to design it. But since Bitcoin isn't going to hard fork and adopt a different consensus mechanism when PoW already works perfectly, and there isn't really a point to making yet another random altcoin just for the purpose of having a hybrid consensus mechanism, I would point out that this idea should just be an interesting experiment for you and it isn't likely to be something needed by society.

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November 23, 2022, 07:51:02 AM
 #48

1. There is no relation between PoW energy consumption and # of transactions so talking about energy used per transaction is nonsensical.

There will be in a few decades when the block subsidy dwindles into insignificance and the network security is mostly funded by transaction fees.
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November 23, 2022, 03:02:21 PM
 #49

1. There is no relation between PoW energy consumption and # of transactions so talking about energy used per transaction is nonsensical.

There will be in a few decades when the block subsidy dwindles into insignificance and the network security is mostly funded by transaction fees.


That's just simply not true.

The lack of relation between PoW energy consumption and number of transactions has nothing to do with the fact that there is a block reward. The two systems are entirely unrelated. When miners get mostly, or even only, tx fees the mining energy consumption and number of transactions will still not be related at all. Number of transactions is decided by block time and block size limit, which have nothing to do with amount of energy used by miners.


Think about this: Would number of transactions change if a year from now mining was 1/10th what it is today, or 10x what it is today? Nope. It would have zero effect on number of transactions processed. Transactions will simply continue to stay at the limit of what Bitcoin can handle no matter how much or how little energy is used.


Thank you for pointing out the educational gap in Bitcoin. You're a "hero member" on this forum, so presumably you've been into Bitcoin for a while. And no offense, but even you just got something basic about Bitcoin totally wrong. This just emphasizes the lack of education about Bitcoin because if someone who has been around Bitcoin for a while can get something as basic as that wrong, it kinda drives home the point about why the average person who knows nothing about Bitcoin can so easily buy into the false bad optics spread by the media and politicians about Bitcoin.

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November 23, 2022, 04:05:56 PM
 #50

There will be in a few decades when the block subsidy dwindles into insignificance and the network security is mostly funded by transaction fees.
The fact that the system will be dependent on transaction fees doesn't mean that you can measure transactions in energy that is spent effectively. A block can contain 4,000 transactions, or it can only contain 1 (e.g., mined right after the previous). Furthermore, a block that took very little time to be mined likely used less energy than one that took longer, while both blocks can have the exact same number of transactions.

Then, we have off-chain transactions, whose number is unknown as far as anyone can tell. Measuring transaction per energy spent is fundamentally prone to error.

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November 24, 2022, 07:18:53 AM
Last edit: November 24, 2022, 08:28:49 AM by tromp
Merited by ETFbitcoin (2), oryhp (2)
 #51

Would number of transactions change if a year from now mining was 1/10th what it is today, or 10x what it is today? Nope.

You have the causality all wrong.
Amount of mining depends on amount of transaction fees, not the other way around.

With no block subsidy, if the amount of txs drops 10x, then there will be 10x less rewards available for miners  (actually even less if you go from (nearly) full blocks to never full blocks) and so mining must decrease 10x to remain profitable.

It's worrisome that senior members can get such a trivial implication all wrong.

A block can contain 4,000 transactions, or it can only contain 1 (e.g., mined right after the previous). Furthermore, a block that took very little time to be mined likely used less energy than one that took longer, while both blocks can have the exact same number of transactions.

Of course I'm not talking about individual blocks, but about longer term trends.
I'm also (like the poster I replied to) talking about on-chain transactions only. With L2, the number of off-chain transactions becomes completely unrelated to everything, as you could do a trillion off-chain transactions for 2 on-chain ones.
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November 24, 2022, 03:02:49 PM
Merited by ETFbitcoin (1)
 #52

That's just simply not true.

It is true. Think of it this way. The network asks humans to provide security to the network in terms of energy in each step. Since the amount of energy is nontrivial (the whole basis of Nakamoto security), the network promises some compensation to those that protect the network. Nobody is going to mine at a loss (unless they expect greater returns in some reasonable amount of time) so the network security will be roughly the same as the compensation amount because of the incentives/game theory. At the moment, the compensation is a sum of two variables:
1. subsidy - a fixed reward that mints new coins. This variable is design such that it phases out over time
2. fees - a "tax" to incentivize your transaction to take the space on the chain

With time, the subsidy variable disappears into "basically nothing" value and you're only left with the fees. This directly corresponds to the number of transactions as a lower boundary. The network security will be based on it's usage which means on the number of onchain transactions and the competition to capture the block space (bumping the fees as a bribe mechanism).
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November 24, 2022, 04:13:26 PM
 #53

With no block subsidy, if the amount of txs drops 10x, then there will be 10x less rewards available for miners  (actually even less if you go from (nearly) full blocks to never full blocks) and so mining must decrease 10x to remain profitable.
That, provided that parameters such as bitcoin price, energy price, ASIC price, state intervention etc., all remain constant. But they don't. If you check on the numbers, you'll see that there are times when the price fell by more than 50%, and difficulty rose more than 100%.

Of course I'm not talking about individual blocks, but about longer term trends.
Maybe there is less room for error if you consider long term trends, and exclude off-chain activity, but I'm yet to acknowledge the whole point then.

Nobody is going to mine at a loss
You don't know where the price goes. You might have purchased an ASIC, done the logistics, but there's definitely one variable you can't be sure of.

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November 24, 2022, 04:35:39 PM
 #54

Nobody is going to mine at a loss
You don't know where the price goes. You might have purchased an ASIC, done the logistics, but there's definitely one variable you can't be sure of.

I agree, hence why I added the "(unless they expect greater returns in some reasonable amount of time)" which you left out of the quote.
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November 30, 2022, 12:30:31 PM
 #55

1. There is no relation between PoW energy consumption and # of transactions so talking about energy used per transaction is nonsensical.

There will be in a few decades when the block subsidy dwindles into insignificance and the network security is mostly funded by transaction fees.


That's just simply not true.

The lack of relation between PoW energy consumption and number of transactions has nothing to do with the fact that there is a block reward. The two systems are entirely unrelated. When miners get mostly, or even only, tx fees the mining energy consumption and number of transactions will still not be related at all. Number of transactions is decided by block time and block size limit, which have nothing to do with amount of energy used by miners.


Think about this: Would number of transactions change if a year from now mining was 1/10th what it is today, or 10x what it is today? Nope. It would have zero effect on number of transactions processed. Transactions will simply continue to stay at the limit of what Bitcoin can handle no matter how much or how little energy is used.


Thank you for pointing out the educational gap in Bitcoin. You're a "hero member" on this forum, so presumably you've been into Bitcoin for a while. And no offense, but even you just got something basic about Bitcoin totally wrong. This just emphasizes the lack of education about Bitcoin because if someone who has been around Bitcoin for a while can get something as basic as that wrong, it kinda drives home the point about why the average person who knows nothing about Bitcoin can so easily buy into the false bad optics spread by the media and politicians about Bitcoin.


Although you must remember, the incentive structure developed within the system of Bitcoin is what's making everything stick together. If the miners are not incentivized, do you actually believe they would continue mining altruistically at cost?

There are Bitcoiners, such as Peter Todd, who are starting to believe that there should be continued block rewards through a "tail emission" for Bitcoin to support the system. I made a topic asking about it before, but no one joined. Hahaha.

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n0nce
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November 30, 2022, 04:46:37 PM
 #56

There are Bitcoiners, such as Peter Todd, who are starting to believe that there should be continued block rewards through a "tail emission" for Bitcoin to support the system. I made a topic asking about it before, but no one joined. Hahaha.
Where did you make such topic? I can't find it.
There was a 9-page discussion on this in summer, though:
"Surprisingly, Tail Emission Is Not Inflationary" -- A post by Peter Todd

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Today at 10:56:53 AM
Last edit: Today at 11:17:26 AM by Wind_FURY
 #57

There are Bitcoiners, such as Peter Todd, who are starting to believe that there should be continued block rewards through a "tail emission" for Bitcoin to support the system. I made a topic asking about it before, but no one joined. Hahaha.

Where did you make such topic? I can't find it.
There was a 9-page discussion on this in summer, though:
"Surprisingly, Tail Emission Is Not Inflationary" -- A post by Peter Todd


I can't find it too, maybe it was just a post in one of someone else's topic, but the "shower thought" behind it was not essentially a tail emission, but a soft fork to decide, yes or no, to a hard fork for maintaining the block rewards by cancelling any future halvings. For example a hard fork, starting on 2048 block rewards are maintained to be at BTC0.04882812 per block until all the coins are mined, cancelling all future halvings.

I'm trying to find it. I found another post of mine, posting about it, but I can't find the original, https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5357973.msg57847458#msg57847458

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n0nce
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Today at 11:40:19 AM
 #58

I can't find it too, maybe it was just a post in one of someone else's topic, but the "shower thought" behind it was not essentially a tail emission, but a soft fork to decide, yes or no, to a hard fork for maintaining the block rewards by cancelling any future halvings. For example a hard fork, starting on 2048 block rewards are maintained to be at BTC0.04882812 per block until all the coins are mined, cancelling all future halvings.

I'm trying to find it. I found another post of mine, posting about it, but I can't find the original, https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5357973.msg57847458#msg57847458
That doesn't solve the issue in the long run, though - if anything, it makes it worse since the date for the last mined coin would approach faster. Anyhow; this is now very off-topic from this thread's original purpose. Wink

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Today at 12:38:44 PM
 #59

Here is a really easy way to implement "proof of replication" in bitcoin:

Require each mining attempt to hash the last "n" blocks, instead of just the current block.

Here is a really easy way for bitcoin to democratize mining pools:

Instead of hashing attempts to find a golden nonce, require signing attempts, where the key used in signing is 1/100th of all the coinbase outputs.  This would mean mining pools realistically could only have around 100 miners each.

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Today at 12:56:49 PM
 #60

I totally agree that PoW is useful.
However, the others who are worried about the energy cost of PoW, most of them choose PoS now.
I wouldn't say I like PoS, as the soul of blockchain, is about the miners contributing resources but not capitalizing.

I'm glad you are using your PhD to try to help solve this energy problem.  As someone who has been thinking about blockchain since 2010 and energy use nearly as long, I can assure you the place to be looking is "difficult" algorithms.  CPU only algorithms are one of the best places to go.  Also research CAPEX/OPEX ratio, you will find it discussed in oPoW whitepaper.

If we can limit only CPU's to mine it democratizes mining like you want and also limits large mining farms by the much higher capex/opex ratio than easy algorithms like sha256 which can be sped up by orders of magnitude with specialized hardware, throwing much more power at it than CPU's ever could utilize.

There has been a missing link, and that is memory hardness is the only way to reliably stop asics or gpus, but given enough time they will overcome the memory hardness due to moores law.  The simple yet non-obvious solution which I described previously, is to scale the algorithm's memory requirement with moores law.  So for example every 2 years worth of blocks the memory requirement for the hashing algo doubles.  This will preclude asic manufacturers keeping up as the consumer commodity market is the only thing that can keep up with moores law in fast memory.

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