Proof of Work [PoW] what? Details of how it works

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2021-03-23 16:52:47

What is proof-of-work?

Proof of work ̣ (PoW) is the first consensus algorithm created in the Blockchain network. Used to validate transactions and produce new blocks in the chain.

Also known as proof of work. The Pow algorithm is an essential part of the cryptocurrency mining process. This is a basic Bitcoin consensus model, and Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency that pioneered the use of PoW. Accordingly, it was designed by Satoshi Nakamoto himself.

PoW requires the owners of the computers on the network to solve a complex problem in order to add a block to the chain, but it is not easy to get the answer to the math problem.

A decentralized ledger gathers all transactions into blocks in a network. Solving this problem is known as mining / mining (minning) and “miners” (miners) are participating nodes compete with each other to validate transactions and receive rewards in cryptocurrency.

What is a complex problem in blockchain?

How to solve the problem

Proof-of-Work works like a complicated problem. It requires a lot of computational effort to solve. There are several factors that help to solve this problem:

  • Hash Function: The term you hear is also a lot, right. In the hash function the output value is known and you need to define the input value.
  • Integer Factorization: Split a number into a product of the smaller integers. Used to make the public-key encryption system more secure.
  • Guided tour puzzle protocol: In the event the server suspects a DoS attack. It requires recalculation of hash functions, for a number of nodes in a particular order. In this case, it can be called “How to find the equivalent string of hash value string”.

With the growth of the chain, countless obstacles emerged and algorithms required additional hash power to solve these problems. So the answer to this PoW problem is a “hash function” or “hash”.

The reason needs complexity

Difficult problems take a lot of time to form blocks. So the difficulty shouldn’t be too complicated. This problem causes transactions to stay undone and results in work being stopped in a process.

The fast or slow resolution time will affect the block generation. And it would be meaningless to not do it for a certain period of time. However, you question the flip side of this: If the problem is too easy. It makes the network easily accessible to DoS and spam attacks.

The answers to these problems should also be easy to verify and check. Since not all nodes in the network can analyze if the computation is correct, last but not least is trust. You will have to decide on other nodes with trust and this is the point where the blockchain proves its transparency.

How to implement PoW in Blockchain

PoW in Blockchain is deployed as follows: The “miners” seek to solve a computational challenge to create new blocks and initiate transaction confirmation.

The nodes must first find the solution to the problem through computational power. This means that the nodes with the highest computational power are most likely to find solutions to math problems.

Then the process of verifying the transactions in the block will be added. Organize these transactions chronologically in the block and announce the newly mined block for the entire network (this process doesn’t take a lot of energy and time). The energy consumption part is solving the difficult math problem of associating the new block with the last block in blockchain.

You will see that the hash of the following block contains the hash of the previous block. This increases the security as well as builds a valid block.

proof-of-work integration into blockchain

For new “miners” (miners) after solving the problem set by the server (network server). Nodes on the network will confirm the submission and finally receive the reward:

block reward for successful mining

Why is Proof-of-work successful on blockchain

PoW is quite successful at the moment for the following reasons:

  • The first way to get the solution to a math problem is quite difficult. Therefore, nodes need to spend time in complex calculations. The power supply for the computing power is quite tight and this means that very few people can access it, which is also the reason behind the inability of nodes to cheat on transactions.
  • Second, PoW is successful because when one node creates a block, other nodes can easily verify the process leading to a solution to the problem.

PoW for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

As introduced in the concept, Bitcoin pioneered the use of PoW. And also the most prominent. The proof-of-work system on the bitcoin network is called hashcash. It allows to change the complexity of an issue, enhancing security.

When a miner finally finds the right solution. The node will broadcast it to the entire network at once. They then receive the cryptocurrency (reward) provided by PoW.

At the time of writing this article, the mining of a block takes 10 minutes. The bitcoin network gives miners a win of 12.5 bitcoins. The amount of bitcoins won by half every 4 years or so (this concept should everyone read what is Halving? To understand).

Similar platforms use: Etherum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Monero (XMR), Dogecoin (DOGE). With Bitcoin, at the end of a process, new Bitcoin will be distributed by the network to miners (miners) with each block rewarded.

Pow in bitcoin is called hashcash

Why use PoW?

In the process, Proof-of-work helps protect the network from malicious attacks. Make sure that the “miner” cannot add fake blocks to the blockchain. If a miner tries to attack the network. They will need to use a lot of resources as well as computing force. But they won’t receive the rewards (Bitcoin newly released) that true miners did.

This is not the only consensus mechanism. Several cryptocurrencies use a different mechanism, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, albeit with the same purpose: Providing a way to process and verify transactions, while keeping the network secure.

The purpose of Proof-of-work is to provide operators with an incentive to support and secure the network by making it profitable to do so and making it detrimental to trying to hack the network.

Evaluate the pros and cons of Proof-of-work


  • PoW can ensure the safety of the entire network. This is the main purpose of why so many cryptocurrencies use PoW. If multiple nodes are competing to determine the resolution of the problem, the computational power required will become so high that the chain will become unattainable for one or even a small group of hackers.
  • Spammers detection.


  • Waste of time : The miner has to check many nonce values ​​to find the right solution for the problem to be solved in order to exploit the block, this is a time consuming process.
  • Resource consumption : It takes high computational energy consumption to find a solution to a difficult and complex problem. It leads to the waste of precious resources (money, energy, space, hardware).
  • It is not an instant transaction. Because it takes a while to mine, transact and add it to the blockchain to make the transaction.

51% attack

It could be called a bulk attack. This is the case when a user or a group of users controls the majority of the mining power, and the attackers have enough power to control most events in the network.

They can exclusively create new blocks and receive rewards because they can prevent other miners from completing blocks. And there’s also a chance to reverse all transactions. A good example of this type of attack is the Bitcoin Gold network hacked at $ 18 million in 2018. And there are many more known as “51% attack”.


So I introduced you to Proof-of-work and detailed how it works. As well as any problems related to PoW. Read on to learn more about how it works in blockchain. As well as being able to question myself as a miner, what should I do in this case

#Proof #Work #PoW #Details #works

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