What Proof of Stake Means for the Future of Blockchain Security

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Proof of stake is a consensus algorithm originally invented by Sunny King and Scott Nadal in 2012. The idea for proof-of-stake (PoS) began as a way to create an alternative to Bitcoin’s proof-of-work algorithm, which requires miners to solve cryptographic puzzles to verify transactions on the blockchain. PoS was supposed to be an energy-efficient method of accomplishing the same thing.

In the same year, Peercoin became the first cryptocurrency to adopt proof-of-stake as its main consensus algorithm when it switched from Bitcoin’s SHA256 hash function used in POW algorithms (e.g., Bitcoin) and instead used a hybrid solution called Secure Hash Algorithm 256v1 with chained hashing (SHA-256c).

How Does Proof of Stake Work?

Proof of stake is a consensus algorithm that relies on coin age and weight to achieve consensus. Coin age is the total amount of time that the coins have been held by one or more owners, while coin weight is calculated by multiplying the number of coins by their value. For example, if you had 100 EOS tokens with a price of $1 each (100 x $1 = $100) and it was your only cryptocurrency asset, then your entire portfolio would have a coin weight of $100.

Although proof-of-work systems rely on computing power to reach consensus and validate transactions, proof-of-stake systems rely exclusively on ownership information, making them inherently energy efficient. This is known as crypto staking, and it means that instead of burning electricity to perform complex computations to reach consensus (as in the case with Bitcoin), users only need to lock up their assets as collateral for a certain period before being able to validate transactions within the system (e.g., Ethereum).

Is Proof of Stake Easy to Attack?

Proof of Stake is no more secure than Proof of Work. In fact, it’s less secure in many ways and easy to attack.

PoS systems are susceptible to centralization because they have a higher barrier to entry for miners (the same amount of coins owned) and the ability for stakeholders to vote on which transactions are valid and hence can be mined.

This means that someone with many coins could effectively control consensus on what blocks get added to the chain, allowing them to double-spend or prevent any transactions from being confirmed. In addition, PoS systems could suffer from collusion attacks because stakeholders can easily communicate with each other before voting on consensus changes (e.g., voting out an existing validator).

Finally, bribery is also easy in PoS systems because all stakeholders will want as much money as possible when they receive their dividend payments!

Keep an Eye on the Future

While proof of stake is still growing, it’s already clear that it has the potential to be a game changer for blockchain security. This technology will likely make mining obsolete, at least in terms of how we may use those terms today. Yet don’t expect the end of mining altogether.

Proof of stake could also lead to more decentralized mining pools and distributed networks, enabling users to earn cryptocurrency without needing specialized hardware or taking up valuable space on their hard drives.

Potential Game Changer for Blockchain Security

Proof of stake is a potential game changer for blockchain security. After all, it’s hard to imagine a better incentive than money and reputation for miners to protect their own hard work. Though proof of stake is still developing and has only been implemented on a few major blockchains, it holds promise as an alternative to proof of work.

Proof of stake offers many benefits over proof of work:

  • It is more environmentally friendly by using less electricity than Proof-of-Work systems.
  • It is more democratic because users with larger stakes have stronger incentives to act honestly.
  • Stakeholders’ rewards are proportional only to their voting power (which tends to go up as they invest more) instead of being tied directly to how much computing resources or electricity are used.


Proof of stake is emerging as a new way to secure the blockchain. It offers many benefits over proof of work, like lower energy consumption. However, it also has some downsides that must be addressed before the adoption becomes widespread.

For businesses looking for ways to improve their security, this could be one option worth exploring in 2022 and beyond as more proof-of-stake coins emerge.

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