To celebrate World Poetry Day, we’ve united our passion for technology with our strong links to Wales, to take the Welsh language and one of its most famous sons to the world, in a way possibly never seen before.
By contributing to the blockchain, Cufflink has been able to share one of Wales’ most famous poems and its beautiful Welsh language with the world, forever.
It's not every day that the words "Blockchain" and "Poetry" are used in the same sentence.
For a few months now, we've been staking on the Ethereum 2.0 Proof of Stake blockchain and as such we got to include some "graffiti" on any blocks that were proposed by our staking machine. We decided to include the poem "Yr Arwr" (the Hero) by the Welsh Poet Hedd Wyn .
More commonly known as Hedd Wyn - which literally translates to ‘Blessed Peace’ – Evans was a pacifist who went to World War One to protect his younger brother, as his family were required to send one of their sons to join the British Army through conscription. His most famous work, Yr Arwr (The Hero), showed Wyn’s longing for a perfect world away from the chaos of war.
For some, blockchains are often misunderstood or misaligned with many a nefarious use whilst for others they can be a thing of beauty and liberty. Yet the underlying mechanism on which all blockchains were initially based (Proof of Work) continues to be fundamentally flawed given the significant drain on energy and resources required to maintain them.
The Ethereum (Proof of Stake) Beacon chain is another step forward in this regard and at Cufflink we're excited to be part of a world computer that is owned, controlled and for the benefit of all.
One of the biggest concerns with traditional blockchains, which use what is called the Proof of Work (PoW) method, is the environmental impact of their energy consumption.
PoW is like a lottery. Every ticket costs energy to buy and the more tickets you have, the greater your chance of winning. Since there can only ever be one winner for each block, this leads to a lot of wasted energy and is bad for the environment.
One alternative used by the clever people at Ethereum is called Proof of Stake (PoS).
Proof of Stake secures the network by requiring stakers to provide collateral (in this case Ethereum tokens) in exchange for a share of a reward. There is no competition between stakers and no reward for spending more energy.
The Cufflink stacking machine uses around 10W of power and, in its 110 days of operation, has used 26.40KwH of energy to produce 11 Ethereum blocks. The less environmentally-friendly PoW method would have used 1,000 times the energy (27878KwH), so we’ve contributed to the blockchain in a much more efficient, environmentally friendly way, and as computers get more efficient this will only improve further.
To put that into context, doing this innovative work through PoS over the past 110 days has contributed the same carbon footprint as driving around 0.2 miles every day, whereas the alternative would have equated to driving 210 miles a day, so the environmental benefits are huge!
By contributing to the blockchain through Ethereum 2.0 we're addressing the very real environmental and data privacy concerns by being a small green link in a safer, better world.