How blockchains are meant to be - In line with original Satoshi ideals.
The concept behind Bitcoin’s original whitepaper was to have users mine coin on their home computers as incentive for supporting the network. Over time, as developers took over the direction of Bitcoin, this innovative concept for decentralization was corrupted by the development of mining software and expensive hardware specifically designed to mine BTC.
This led to the centralization of power on the Bitcoin network, allowing those who have enough money to buy massive amounts of ASIC machines, to control consensus and earn most the rewards. Now the future of the network was in their hands. (MOST other projects in the ‘crypto space’ are allowed to be influenced by ‘money’ or ‘resources’. Proof of Stake AND Proof of Work are both influenced directly in this fashion.)
QORTAL’s ‘Minting’ consensus mechanism (A.K.A. ‘Proof of Contribution Over Time, and Memory Proof of Work’) removes the influence of money over the network. Instead it uses time as its main measurement of influence, where users upgrade to higher levels of influence the longer they run a full node supporting the network (with a ‘minting key’ assigned to their node). To become a Minter, and receive a reward every time a new block is signed, one must obtain a ‘sponsorship key’ from another (Level 5 or higher) minter.
The account providing the sponsorship key in Qortal does NOT get ANYTHING for issuing the key for a new minter, Qortal does NOT work like that. The ‘sponsorship’ is merely a method to limit minting account creation and provide a human verification element to the system. Allowing your friends and family to become minters is the goal of the system, building a completely legitimate network with REAL people involved.
(Improvements to the methods utilized for creation of new minters will of course take place over time.)
The ‘Become a Minter’ and ‘Sponsorship’ plugins (released in version 2.0 of the Qortal UI), dramatically reduce the complexity of creating and assigning ‘minting keys’, explain the minting system clearly, and allow simpler ‘tracking’ of the newly added minters.
The ‘influence’ generated by ‘Blocks Minted’ over time, is then directly applied to the ‘vote weight’ of Qortal Minters. This weight will be applied directly to votes in the ‘Voting System’ that will determine the future direction of the project in many ways, and the future block rewards after the initial schedule completes.
As time goes on further ‘leveling methods’ will also be created, to measure other types of input with new systems of influence measurement created by use of on-chain data.