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Proof of Stake and Proof of Work –How Do They Compare?

Last updated on March 4th, 2023 at 02:02 am

blockchain, data, records

In the world of cryptocurrency, there are two main ways to validate transactions as consensus mechanisms: proof of work and proof of stake. Both have their pros and cons, but which is better? In this post, we will explore the differences between these two validation methods and see which one comes out on top.

Crypto mining as an integral part of proof of staking. (PoS)

What is Proof of Stake (PoS)?

Proof of stake (PoS) is a consensus mechanism used by many cryptocurrencies to validate transactions and generate new coins. This approach to consensus replaces the proof of work (PoW) model used by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which requires miners to use their computer resources to solve complex mathematical problems in order to validate transactions and generate new coins.

In the PoS system, miners use their existing coins as collateral in order to validate transactions. This is done by staking the coins with a validator node. Validator nodes are responsible for verifying transactions and adding them to the blockchain. When a validator node verifies a transaction, it is rewarded with a transaction fee.

When a node stakes its coins, it is essentially betting on the validity of the transactions it is verifying. If the transactions are invalid, the node’s coins are forfeited and the validator node loses its stake. This creates a financial incentive for validator nodes to only verify valid transactions, as they stand to lose their stake if they verify an invalid transaction.

Proof of stake is increasing in popularity as a consensus mechanism due to its energy efficiency and has the potential to increase the amount of de-centralization in the network.

How Does Proof of Stake (PoS) Work?

Validators in a proof-of-stake system are chosen to discover a block based on the number of tokens they possess rather than having an arbitrary contest between miners to determine which node can add a block.

The “stake” quantity, or amount of crypto held by a user, replaces the work done by miners in the proof-of-work framework. Because a potential participant must buy cryptocurrency and keep it to be eligible to create blocks and win incentives, this staking structure safeguards the network.

Participants are expected to spend money and make financial contributions to the network, just like miners in a proof-of-work system. Those who invested money in order to earn these bonuses have a vested interest in the network’s long-term viability.

What Cryptocurrency Coins are Proof of Stake?

  • Polkadot
  • BNB
  • Solana
  • Cardano
  • Avalanche
  • Cosmos
  • Algorand

Pros of Proof of Stake

  • Efficient.
  • Resistant to censorship.
  • Lower barrier to entry.

Cons of Proof of Stake

  • Possibility of centralization.
  • Not as secure.

What is Proof of Work (PoW)?

Proof of work is a system that helps keep track of accurate transactions on a blockchain network. Nodes on the network compete to solve complex puzzles first. The winner is rewarded with cryptocurrency. This system is likely to be secure because it takes a lot of energy to solve the puzzles.

Like the hard work and resources needed to extract precious metals from Earth, this process is often considered a digital equivalent of mining.

How Does Proof of Work…Work?

The proof of work system, well, works like this. Miners compete to solve complex mathematical problems. Once a computer figures out the correct answer it is presented to the other miners to verify or deny.

If the answer is correct and verified, the winner is allowed to create a new block and broadcast it to the other computers, who then audit the existing ledger and new block. If everything is up to snuff, the new block is chained to the previous block, which then creates a train of transactions.

Which Cryptocurrencies are Proof of Work?

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Monero
  • Zcash
  • Doge

Pros of Proof of Work

  • Healthy competition
  • Security
  • The use of energy consumption is helping facilitate a transfer to renewable energy.

Cons of Proof of Stake

  • Traceability
  • Possibility of monopolies in the mining industry

Proof of Stake vs Proof of Work

The main difference between proof-of-work and proof-of-stake is how they choose who can add transactions to the chain.

Proof of stake is a method of validating cryptocurrency transactions that is more energy-efficient than proof of work. In proof of stake, validation is done by stakeholders who put their coins at stake in order to validate blocks.

Proof of work requires miners to use their computing power to solve complex mathematical problems in order to validate blocks. The miner who solves the problem first gets rewarded with coins.

Quick FAQs

Q: Will Bitcoin use proof of stake? Can they use proof of stake?

A: No and no. According to Solberginvest.com:

Proof of work is fundamental to Bitcoin’s basic use case of being a store of value that can be securely and trustlessly transferred without censorship.

Q. Which coin is most profitable to stake?

Depending on how much you like the project behind the coin, some of the most profitable stakeable cryptos are:

  1. Ethereum
  2. Cosmos
  3. VeChain
  4. Tezos
  5. Algorand (Don’t stake it on Coinbase, they dropped their percentage in March. Ugh.)
  6. Loom
Ethereum is a proof of work coin that is one of the most popular to stake.

In Conclusion

Both methods have their own set of pros and cons, but at the end of the day, proof of stake and proof of work have their advantages and disadvantages.

The answer may depend on who you ask. Some people prefer proof of work because it is more secure. Others prefer proof of stake because it is more energy-efficient. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference.

Author Bio

Dani Lehmer is the Founder and Head Honcho of Dani Digs In.

She is a Quality Assurance Analyst and blogger whose natural curiosity allows her
to dig in (pun intended) to help people build their businesses and satiate curiosity
in regard to data science, analysis, and crypto.

Connect with Dani on LinkedIn.

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