Proof of Stake P-o-S: Explained

In simplest terms, proof-of-work and proof-of-stake are two different ways that you can mine a cryptocurrency. In liquid proof of stake, there is no fixed number of block producers. In delegated proof of stake , there is typically a fixed number of block producers.

Proof of stake is faster, lower cost, and more energy-efficient than the more popular proof of work method. Special entities in proof-of-stake known as “validators” are charged with selecting the next blocks for the Ethereum blockchain. Take control of your financial future with information and inspiration on starting a business or side hustle, earning passive income, and investing for independence. Part of that has to do with the fact that PoW requires more advanced equipment.

Blockchain systems use voting to decentralize governance and operation. Comparing proof of stake and proof of work is essential when deciding whether to invest in a particular cryptocurrency. But even if you believe proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies are superior, it’s important to remember that not all proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies are of equal value. Proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies allow people who use the network to gather records of transactions and propose them for inclusion in the permanent record of their underlying blockchain. While mining cryptocurrency tokens is rewarded and incentivized, the proof of stake system also disincentivizes bad behavior by way of slashing stake, ejection from the network, and other penalties. While proof of stake offers several major benefits over the more popular proof of work method, the three most noteworthy benefits are faster transactions, lower costs, and lower energy use.

What is Proof of Stake

The rule prevents multiple chains, each reflecting different versions of history, from existing side-by-side. The longer the consensual version of the blockchain becomes, the more computing power and resources would be needed to — in theory — roll it back. Some people and organizations invest in powerful machines which consume substantial energy to perform mining more effectively. This makes it more difficult for the average person with a standard computer to mine and receive rewards. But if anyone can participate, how do you ensure an honest majority, and protect the blockchain from bad actors?

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As an example, we can understand better how this works by looking at Avalanche, a significant cryptocurrency that uses PoS. A person attempting to attack a network will have to own 51% of the stakes. Both miners and validators perform essentially the same function, albeit in very different ways. Tezos is designed to allow for the creation and trading of security tokens.

What is Proof of Stake

Any crypto earned from staking profits is considered taxable income, similar to how dividends earned from holding stocks might be. However, if you buy a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency, you’ll be well-served by a better understanding of how it works. The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. NerdWallet does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks, securities or other investments. This may influence which products we review and write about , but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services.

At OriginStamp, we are committed to protecting important documents, data and other valuable assets. Over time, this could mean that there will be a centralized institution that runs Bitcoin. Proof-of-Stake consensus is the main challenger of Proof-of-Work’s hardware and electricity-based paradigm. If you want to know more about the crypto world and are interested in investing in it, that’s great.

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The participant to create the next blockchain block is selected based on how many coins or tokens the individual participants are currently staking. PoS was first implemented in 2012 by Peercoin, a cryptocurrency created to address some of the problems seen in Bitcoin and other proof-of-work cryptocurrencies. The PoW model had several drawbacks that led developers to consider other methods of reaching consensus on a blockchain network.

In more detail, the PoS validator is constrained to validate a level of coins according to their amount of money. For example, the one who claims to have 3% of all the Bitcoin can hypothetically validate only 3 % of the blocks. This implies that the more coin or altcoin is being claimed by the validator, the more validating force this person has got. The cryptocurrency Ether is a high-profile example of a project that is currently in the process of migrating away from proof-of-work blockchain toward proof-of-stake blockchain. In proof-of-work blockchain, majority decision is represented by the “longest-chain-wins” rule.

Most popular proof-of-stake blockchains

A proof-of-work problem requires multiple, repeated attempts — consuming significant computing power (“work”) — before it is successfully solved. It’s largely a question of try again, fail again, fail better, as Sam Beckett would say. Percent stake in the network is typically calculated by the ownership of tokens, distributed via rewards. At the time of the writing this article, however, these mechanisms are not tested on a large network like Bitcoin or Ethereum yet and are therefore riskier choices. Everyone can check and verify these transactions; therefore, if you wanted to spend the same Bitcoin twice, validators would notice and the community would kick you out.

Prior to that, he launched the open banking payments platform, Token, and built the pipeline for the business in Europe. However, proof-of-work is a significant disincentive to assaulting the chain as a whole, which adds a heightened level of security for all parties involved in transactions. Brian Nibley is a freelance writer, author, and investor who has been covering the cryptocurrency space since 2017. His work has appeared in publications such as MSN Money, Blockworks, Robinhood Learn, SoFi Learn, and The Balance. Because there is no “mining” involved in PoS, PoS networks often start with a “pre-mine,” where the entire supply of tokens is brought into existence at once.

What is Proof of Stake

PoW-enabled blockchains count on miners to follow protocol and not break consensus laws. Both PoS and PoW are consensus mechanisms for cryptocurrency nodes on blockchain. The method by which the two consensus approaches work varies significantly. Decentralization is at the heart of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. There’s no central gatekeeper to manage a blockchain’s record of transactions and data.

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Compared to other consensus protocols, proof of stake is faster, offers lower transaction costs, and requires less computational power. Cryptocurrency networks maintain security and confirm transactions using consensus mechanisms such as proof of work or proof of stake. Each consensus mechanism requires multiple network participants to validate transactions, but in different ways.

  • The longer the consensual version of the blockchain becomes, the more computing power and resources would be needed to — in theory — roll it back.
  • Proof of work is utilized by some of the largest cryptocurrency networks including Bitcoin , Litecoin , Bitcoin Cash and Dogecoin .
  • Many other cryptocurrencies use PoS as their main consensus algorithm, including Cosmos , Cardano , Polkadot , Solana , VeChain , and Tezos .
  • This results in mining devices around the world computing the same problems and using substantial energy.
  • Each consensus mechanism requires multiple network participants to validate transactions, but in different ways.

With changing Ethereum and other platforms to Proof of Stake, we can say that the business pattern is going to end up progressively better both for the cryptomarket and the environment. According to the CCID Research Institute, EOS can be a top digital currency due to its innovation, application, and technology. In the case of XTZ baking, the rewards are being formed for the bakers who bake new blocks. Decreased centralization dangers as economies of scale are considerably less of an issue. $10 million coins will get you precisely ten times higher returns than $1 million coins, with no extra gains from the top-notch technology you can afford.

Validating transactions

To become a validator for Ethereum, you will need to stake 32 ether, worth roughly $45,000 as of September, 2022, to run a validator node. © 2022 NextAdvisor, LLC A Red Ventures Company All Rights Reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and California Do Not Sell My Personal Information.


Delegated Proof of Stake allows users to stake coins without becoming a validator. In this case, they stake them behind a validator to share in the block rewards. The more delegators stake behind a possible validator, the greater its selection chance.

This is beneficial because users can quickly align themselves with a baker that has similar voting preferences. Tezos was one of the early implementers of this consensus mechanism and remains one of the best proof-of-stake blockchains. In decentralized cryptocurrency systems like Bitcoin or Ethereum, however, there are no police. To avoid the double spend problem, then, one needs something else.

However, they pay their operating expenses like electricity and rent with fiat currency. What’s really happening then is that miners are exchanging energy for cryptocurrency, which causes PoW mining to use as much energy as some small countries. Different proof-of-stake mechanisms may use various methods to reach a consensus.

Jake Frankenfield is an experienced writer on a wide range of business news topics and his work has been featured on Investopedia and The New York Times among others. He has done extensive work and research on Facebook and data collection, Apple and user experience, blockchain and fintech, and cryptocurrency and the future of money. Waves is a high-performance blockchain with up to 6.1M throughputs per day. It’s vital in crypto-collectibles, which means updates can’t be accepted without 80% positive votes.

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The mechanism is versatile and can easily fit most blockchain use cases. Once a node has forged a block, its coin age is reset to zero, and it must wait a certain period to be able to forge another block Ethereum Proof of Stake Model – this prevents large stake nodes from dominating the blockchain. If the block is not verified by other nodes on the network, the validator loses its stake and is marked as ‘bad’ by the algorithm.

Both proof of work and proof of stake are ways of solving this challenge. They secure the ledger and ensure the validity of transactions by making it more costly to do the wrong thing than to do the right thing. Since The Merge, anyone can buy some Ethereum and earn more of it over time as transactions get validated. Bitcoin, on the other hand, requires massive server farms and maintenance costs that few can afford.