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Mechanism of Consensus (Cryptocurrency)

What Is a Consensus Mechanism, and How Does It Work?


A consensus method is a fault-tolerant mechanism used in computer and blockchain systems to obtain the necessary agreement among distributed processes or multi-agent systems, such as cryptocurrencies, on a single data value or a single network state. It’s useful for keeping track of items, among other things.

Proof-of-Work (PoW) is the consensus process used on the Bitcoin blockchain, which demands the use of computer power to solve a challenging but random problem in order to keep all nodes in the network honest.

The Mechanism of Consensus is Described


A central administrator has the authority to maintain and update any centralized system, such as a database containing critical information regarding a country’s driving permits. Any updates—such as adding, deleting, or amending the names of those who qualify for various licenses—are handled by a central authority, which remains solely responsible for maintaining accurate data.

Decentralized, self-regulating public blockchains operate on a global scale without relying on a single authority. They entail contributions from hundreds of thousands of people who work on the blockchain’s verification and validation of transactions, as well as block mining.

In light of the blockchain’s constantly changing status, these publicly shared ledgers require an efficient, fair, real-time, functional, reliable, and secure mechanism to ensure that all transactions on the network are authentic and that all participants agree on the ledger’s status. The consensus mechanism, which is a system of rules that determines the legality of contributions made by the various participants (i.e., nodes or transactors) of the blockchain, performs this crucial role.

Consensus Mechanisms on the Blockchain


There are a variety of consensus mechanism algorithms, each of which operates on a different set of principles.

Proof of work (PoW) is a widely used consensus technique in cryptocurrency networks such as bitcoin and litecoin. It requires a participating node to demonstrate that the work they have completed and submitted qualifies them to add new transactions to the blockchain. However, the entire bitcoin mining mechanism consumes a lot of energy and takes a long time to process.

Proof of stake (PoS) is a popular consensus technique that originated as a low-cost, low-energy alternative to the proof of work (PoW) process. It entails assigning a participant node responsibility for maintaining the public ledger in proportion to the number of virtual currency tokens it holds. However, this has the disadvantage of encouraging cryptocoin hoarding rather than spending.

While PoW and PoS are by far the most popular in the blockchain field, additional consensus algorithms such as Proof of Capacity (PoC) allow contributing nodes on the blockchain network to share memory space. The more RAM or hard drive capacity a node possesses, the more rights it has to keep the public ledger up to date. The Decred blockchain’s Proof of Activity (PoA) is a hybrid that incorporates elements of both PoW and PoS. Another is Proof of Burn (PoB), which requires users to send small amounts of money to inaccessible wallet addresses, thereby “burning” them out.

Another, named Proof of History (PoH), was created by the Solana Project and is similar to Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET) in that it cryptographically encodes the passage of time itself to establish consensus without using a lot of resources.

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Written by Trevanna Gordon

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