Proof of Stake vs Proof of Work: Differences & Functions

Validators “earn” the right to verify the next block of transactions by staking or “locking” their cryptocurrency for a specific amount of time. Different blockchains use different methods to achieve this consensus. However, there are two in particular that are most used, proof of work and proof of stake . Proof of work is the consensus mechanism used by the most popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Proof of work is a system that is used by blockchain networks, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, to achieve distributed consensus. In a PoW system, network participants, known as “miners,” compete to solve complex mathematical problems in order to validate transactions and add them to the blockchain. Proof of work is a system that is used by blockchain networks, such as #Bitcoin and #Ethereum , to achieve distributed consensus. In a PoW system, network participants, known as “miners,” compete to solve complex mathematical problems in order to validate transactions and add them to the blockchain.

Proof of Stake vs. Proof of Work

Affiliation with Proof-of-Work doesn’t provide the edge of resistance to the number of attacks, but this resilience in terms of attack was not possible with Proof-of-Work. This Proof-of-Stake model includes more exciting points and more strict action against bad behavior. In the future, this Proof-of-Stake model will be more adaptable and successful. Many argue that Proof of Stake is the most beneficial system seeing as actors are less likely to jeopardize a system they have a huge stake in. However, each all these methods have their own benefits and can be applied to a variety of blockchain systems depending on the needs of the participants.

As cryptocurrencies rise in market value, this issue could become worse. As a result, other consensus mechanisms have been created, with one of the most popular being the Proof of Stake model. Proof of Stake was first created in 2012 by two developers called Scott Nadal and Sunny King. At the time of its launch, the founders argued that Bitcoin and its Proof of Work model required the equivalent of $150,000 in daily electricity costs.

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Proof of stake is used by well-known cryptocurrencies like Cardano, Avalanche, and Polkadot. Developers are continuously coming up with new ways to achieve consensus on a blockchain. For that reason, proof of stake can be an effective way to prevent cryptocurrency attacks since there is no benefit to the attackers to disrupt the blockchain to steal or double-spend coins. In proof-of-work, verifying cryptocurrency transactions is done through mining. In either case, the cryptocurrencies are designed to be decentralized and distributed, which means that transactions are visible to and verified by computers worldwide.

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The safety and validity of each transaction were ensured by the consensus protocol, which is an essential component of any Blockchain network. And two of the most well-known consensus mechanisms of the crypto world are proof of work and proof of stake. When talking about proof of work consensus algorithms, the “work” in question is the amount of computing work a miner utilizes to solve ethereum proof of stake model the math equation for each block . The idea for proof of work dates back to 1993, devised by computer scientists Moni Naor and Cynthia Dwork as a method of thwarting denial of service attacks and network spam. However, it became inexorably linked to cryptocurrency once proof of work was included in Satoshi Nakamoto’s famous 2008 whitepaper laying out his vision for Bitcoin.

Proof of Stake VS Proof of Work: The Basics

Reading through various best crypto exchange reviews online, you’re bound to notice that one of the things that most of these exchanges have in common is that they are very simple to use. While some are more straightforward and beginner-friendly than others, you shouldn’t encounter any difficulties with either of the top-rated exchanges. That said, many users believe that KuCoin is one of the simpler exchanges on the current market. If you have read it from start to finish, you should now have a good understanding of how each consensus mechanism works, and how they differ from one another. The second concern that some people have about Proof of Stake is that it allows people to verify transactions on multiple chains, which Proof of Work doesn’t.

  • Each will have its own method of processing and recording transactions on their respective blockchains, the decentralized digital ledgers that support the cryptocurrencies.
  • Validators who hold large amounts of a blockchain’s token or cryptocurrency may have an outsized amount of influence on a proof of stake system.
  • That’s what PoW is—it’s a control mechanism that preserves the uniqueness of every single one of the 21 million Bitcoins that will eventually circulate in the marketplace.
  • This is because the cryptographic sum that miners must solve is incredibly difficult.
  • Proof of work is a system that is used by blockchain networks, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, to achieve distributed consensus.
  • A PoW system combines processing power and encryption to establish consensus and ensure the legality of transactions recorded on the blockchain.

Thus, developers make the platform more accessible and scalable and work equally efficiently for mining. The news entirely depends on the user as he can stake less and per his will. Only when transactions in proof become part of an entire block the transaction in proof reaches its final stage. Validators could lose the entire stake if they tried to revert it after or on a fifty-one % attack. ● Improved energy efficiency in Ethereum, which means wasting a lot of energy in miners’ blocks, is not required.

Working on Beacon chains

If they don’t verify it properly, their own stake will be affected and they will lose some or all of their coins. This provides more security to the process since there is no incentive to cheat or steal coins. Proof Of StakeProof of Stake mining is a consensus mechanism that validates blocks and transactions to secure a Cryptocurrency blockchain. Unlike the proof-of-Work system, where users compete for their chance to append the blockchain, validators are selected at random in PoS depending on the user’s stake.

Proof of Stake vs. Proof of Work

I mentioned earlier that Bitcoin transactions take 10 minutes before they are confirmed as valid. Well, in each 10-minute interval, something called a new “block” is created. As you can imagine, thousands of people use Bitcoin, Ethereum and other blockchains that use the Proof of Work model. In my example below, I am going to use Bitcoin, however, the process is the same across alternative Proof of Work blockchains.

Ethereum, just like Bitcoin and many other popular cryptocurrencies, uses a Proof of Work system. A 51% attack is used to describe the unfortunate event that a group or single person gains more than 50% of the total mining power. If that happened in a Proof of Work blockchain like Bitcoin, it would allow the person to make changes to a particular block. If this person was a criminal, they could alter the block for their gain. The most important theory supporting the Proof of Stake consensus mechanism is that those who stake are going to want to help keep the network secure by doing things correctly.

Big Data, Small Data, or Both?

Both consensus mechanisms have economic consequences that penalize malicious actors who try to disrupt the network. Firstly, to have the opportunity to validate transactions, the user must put their coins into a specific wallet. This wallet freezes the coins, meaning that they are being used to stake the network. Most Proofs of Stake blockchains have a minimum requirement of coins required to start staking, which of course requires a large upfront investment.

In Proof of Stake, the more blocks a miner already has within a blockchain, the more blocks they are able to mine. Proof of work is utilized by some of the largest cryptocurrency networks including Bitcoin , Litecoin , Bitcoin Cash and Dogecoin . “This is computationally intensive and is one of the reasons that many people are concerned about the environmental impact of the Bitcoin network,” says Mulligan. “The more computers that you need to ensure the network is robust and functioning, the more energy that is consumed.”

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Essentially, they refer to the mechanism through which the actors who are able to confirm transactions on blockchains are chosen and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Proof of Stake , Proof of Work and Proof of Authority are commonly used terms within the crypto industry. All three concepts relate to the creation of transactions and the confirmation of blocks upon the blockchain but are all different methods through which this is done. Proof of work requires increasingly fast computers, the use of significant energy resources, and processes that eventually slow down transaction times as a cryptocurrency network grows.

Proof of Stake vs. Proof of Work

In Proof-of-Work, computer components are used to solve problems by minors. Points are earned in the form of coins by stacking hardware & by use of computational power. The new block of transactions becomes a part of the blockchain and is viewable by anyone with an internet connection. Proof of stake achieves consensus by requiring participants to stake crypto behind the new block they want added to a cryptocurrency’s blockchain. Meanwhile, proof of work achieves consensus by requiring participants to spend computational power — and electricity — in order to generate a new valid block.


In Proof-of-Work, the validators create new blocks and transaction orders on which nodes agree in the chain. The existing data of these transaction requests are kept in blockchains, stored, and agreed upon by nodes. The stored data can not be tampered with & a cryptographic mechanism ensures its safety. This mechanism also ensures that every transaction fee in the block is executed with proper permission.

Difference between Proof of Stake and Proof of Work

The most obvious starting point is to discuss the original adopter of Proof of Work, which is the Bitcoin blockchain. Every time a transaction is sent, it takes about 10 minutes for the network to confirm it. Furthermore, the Bitcoin blockchain can only handle about 7 transactions per second. Anyway, the first-ever blockchain project to use the Proof of Stake model was Peercoin. The initial benefits include a fairer and more equal mining system, more scalable transactions and less reliance on electricity. Binance, Kraken and KuCoin are among the most popular and reliable options.

Proof of Work VS Proof of Stake: The Conclusion

The latter, by contrast, may favor large holders of cryptocurrency, who may often be early adopters and who may ensure that the corresponding blockchain is developed in a certain way. Given the ecological impacts of proof of work, alternative models are likely to gain prominence in the coming years. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

While proof of stake is still emerging as a consensus mechanism for blockchain, it holds significant potential. With lower energy demands and a higher level of accessibility for everyday people to participate as validators, proof of stake has many attractive features that could bring it to the mainstream for blockchain security. Decentralization is at the heart of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.

In the case of Proof of Authority, it is not suitable for public blockchains as there is essentially a monopoly with a few actors who may confirm transactions. In Proof of Authority, a certain number of actors are pre-determined to be able to confirm transactions and this is very common in private blockchains. The validator do not receive a block reward, instead they collect network fees as their reward. Proof of work projects also struggle to scale their transactions leading to slowdowns in transaction times. That has led to suggestions for changes in block sizes and different transaction channels off the chain. But many believe these solutions would only be temporary and would lead to increased centralization, something that many in the crypto world would not like to see.