Stanford professor claims to have invented a safer and faster “new Bitcoin”

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A new Bitcoin is born and it is better safer and faster than the “old one”. Or, at least, that is what its inventor claims. David Mazières, professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, is the brain behind the new payment system called SCP.

He recently designed the new system that explores the weaknesses of Bitcoin such as security flaws and high energy consumption levels during the mining process.

David Mazières

David Mazières

David Mazières believes he has created “a faster, more flexible, and more secure alternative” to Bitcoin. “If Mazières is correct, his technology could make digital payments and other transactions cheaper, safer, and easier—particularly across borders,” according to the MIT Technology Review.

The new cryptocurrency’s white paper was only released this week, but the nonprofit Stellar has already announced it is going to adopt the payment system to replace a system inspired on Bitcoin and Ripple that was being used by the organization since late 2014.

Last year Stellar’s system unexpectedly “forked” into two networks that disagreed on which transactions were valid, and several hours’ worth of transactions got rolled back. Mazières says his new system avoids the part of the design that caused that problem. (Ripple maintains that its design is safe if used correctly.)

“Bitcoin is good, but we wanted to start from scratch and address some of these additional properties,” said Mazières. His system relies on “people running software that communicates over the Internet, but trust is not enforced through mining.”

On the contrary, “each person running the software must identify a few other trusted participants to correctly apply the cryptographic rules used to validate transactions. Each instance of the software will recognize transactions only once a certain majority fraction of its trusted partners have also signed off. And the trust relationships are all public.” This means SCP’s structure will allow the users to perform reliable transactions in less time.

Besides, SCP also allows the use of stronger cryptography, says Dan Boneh, another Stanford professor that knows Mazières’ work. “By design, you can’t crank up the hardness of Bitcoin to the point it’s infeasible for a well-resourced attacker. With this you can.”

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Maria Santos

Maria is an experienced journalist currently living in the UK. She has been writing about Bitcoin and the altcoin universe since 2013. She is also a member of the Lifeboat Foundation's New Money Systems Board and a big cryptocurrency supporter.

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