Proof of Work (PoW)

What is Proof of Work (PoW)?

Proof of Work (PoW) is a blockchain consensus mechanism in which the network is maintained through the process of mining. In this process, miners provide computing power and compete to solve complex cryptographic puzzles required to validate transactions made on the network. In return, miners are compensated with a cryptographic token that underlies the network.

Today, there are many cryptocurrencies that use the Proof of Work blockchain consensus mechanism. The mechanism was first introduced with the creation of Bitcoin.

Advantages of Proof of Work

  • Decentralization
  • High security, destruction of the system requires an enormous effort, see 51% attack

Disadvantages of Proof of Work

  • Criticised for large waste of resources and high energy intensity
  • Low network performance

See also: 51% attack, Blockchain Explorer.

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