I understand the purpose of Peercoin as a “backbone currency”, and fully support the measures being taken to reduce the size of the blockchain by discouraging micro-transactions.
However, I do feel that a feature for micro-transactions is missing. The proposed solutions I often hear include: side-chains, and (partially) centlralised solutions.
The problem with these is, though: side-chains, being blockchains, wil have slow confirmation times (for the purpose, I don’t want to wait 5 minutes to pay for my beer), a relatively high use of storage due to every node storing every transaction ever made on that chain, and the need to keep it all in sync. If we started pruning such a chain, we also risk losing unspent old transactions. Centralized solutions obviously have the single point of failure that cryptocurrencies were created to avoid in the first place
I was looking at altcoins the other day, and Safecoin caught my eye. To my surprise, I found out it doesn’t use a blockchain!
Instead, it uses a distributed hash table to assign “transaction managers” to every coin. (I believe 32 of them, but you could increase this number for added safety…).
To reach consensus, the transaction managers vote on which conflicting transaction they approve.
It’s obviously not as safe as a blockchain since relatively few nodes are involved in the transaction, but it’s a very lightweight system with a very short confirmation time, which might be just what we need for small transactions. A DHT also doesn’t have the single point of failure that centralized systems have.
Could a similar DHT-based system be a useful complement for Peercoin to process micro-transactions? Perhaps some kind of pegging system could be used, or even integration into the Peercoin protocol itself? I personally think the systems could complement each-other wonderfully.