What is PoW and What is PoS?

First, Proof of work (PoW) and proof of stake (PoS) are two different consensus mechanisms that cryptocurrencies use to confirm transactions and add new blocks to the blockchain.

Proof of work

Proof of work is the older method. Bitcoin, Ethereum (until recently), and many other cryptocurrencies use it. Miners compete to solve hard cryptographic puzzles. This is how PoW works. The first miner to figure out a puzzle gets to add a new block of transactions to the blockchain and earn cryptocurrency.

PoW is a very safe way to do things, but it can use a lot of energy. Miners have to use powerful computers to figure out the puzzles, which uses a lot of electricity.

Proof of stake

Proof of stake is a newer way to reach a consensus that tries to solve the energy problems that PoW has. PoS works by choosing validators based on how much cryptocurrency they have put up as a stake. Then, it’s up to the validators to check the transactions and add new blocks to the blockchain.

Validators get paid for their work, but if they try to cheat or attack the network, they get punished. This is because the cryptocurrency they have staked is at risk.

PoS uses much less energy than PoW, and it is also easier to scale up. This is because miners don’t have to try to solve puzzles faster than each other.

Differences between PoW and PoS

Here is a table that summarizes the key differences between PoW and PoS

FeatureProof of work (PoW)Proof of stake (PoS)
Consensus mechanismMiners compete to solve complex cryptographic puzzlesValidators are selected based on the amount of cryptocurrency they have staked
SecurityVery secureSecure, but less secure than PoW
ScalabilityLess scalableMore scalable
Energy consumptionVery energy-intensiveMuch more energy-efficient


Last, PoW and PoS are two different ways that cryptocurrencies reach a consensus on transactions and adding new blocks to the blockchain. PoW is the older of the two mechanisms. It is safer, but it uses more energy. PoS is a newer method that uses less energy and can be used on a larger scale. However, it is less secure than PoW.