Beginners Guide

Proof of Work (POW)- What it is & How it Works

Written by: Qadir AK

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Qadir AK

Qadir Ak is the founder of Coinpedia. He has over a decade of experience writing about technology and has been covering the blockchain and cryptocurrency space since 2010. He has also interviewed a few prominent experts within the cryptocurrency space.

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Oct 3, 2020

A consensus algorithm is, in general, the decision-making process within a group. The algorithms for the blockchain consensus work with identical logic. Furthermore, the blockchain consensus algorithms have clear goals to expand the use of blockchain networks 

There are various types of consensus algorithms, based on the blockchain networks. But the two main ones are Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS).

This episode of Hard Fork Basics is going to take a look at one of the blockchain‘s most defining characteristics, its consensus mechanism, specifically Proof-of-Work (PoW). By the end you should hopefully be able to prove you know what it’s all about.

In this article, we will provide you with the complete guide on the popular consensus algorithm, Proof-of-Work (PoW). Let us look in detail in this review now.

What is Proof of Work?

Proof-of-Work is also commonly abbreviated as PoW. Proof-of-Work (PoW) is the oldest method of consensus. The idea for Proof of Work(PoW) was first published in 1993 by Cynthia Dwork and Moni Naor and was later applied by Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin paper in 2008.

Proof of Work consensus is the mechanism of choice for the majority of cryptocurrencies currently in circulation. The term “proof of work” was first used by Markus Jakobsson and Ari Juels in a publication in 1999.

It is essentially a network that prevents double-spending, and the big cryptocurrencies use it as the consensus algorithm.

A PoW algorithm works in such a way that nodes within a network have to solve a math problem in order to construct the next block. Second, the one who gets the solution to the math problem gets the consensus permission to pick the block that should be added next to the board. 

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