Proof-of-Work

Suryansh Singh
May 24, 2020 · 2 min read

I stated earlier that Blockchain isn’t the only innovation behind a cryptocurrency. Today, I talk about the ‘Proof-of-work’ concept which makes a cryptocurrency essentially ‘tamper-proof’.

The proof-of-work concept isn’t a new wrinkle in technology. It has existed since the very first civilisations. Let us take the example of the Pyramids of Giza.

These magnificent conical structures built around nothingness play an integral part in the Egyptian culture. They served as the tombs to their pharaohs and have religious significance.

They couldn’t have been constructed unless 20,000 people could be employed to do nothing but this. They couldn’t have been erected unless the Egyptians could guard it with soldiers and commit resources for decades or centuries. They couldn’t build it cheaply.

But, even an uneducated person, when witnesses the glamour of these structures, exclaims and says “wow”. This, is the expression of belief in proof-of-work.

Bitcoin is the first planetary-scale, digital monument of proof-of-work.

To explain the validation process of blockchain I would love to quote my 10th most favourite subject from school. Maths!

Whenever you submitted your answer the teacher always asked you to show the working (this didn’t play well with me because I had intelligent friends around). And, after checking your work she came to the conclusion that your answer was genuine.

Comparing it with blockchain, the answer is a new ‘block’, the teacher is a ‘miner’ who validates your block and the working is the energy resources you commit to publish a new block to establish ‘proof-of-work'.

This concept of proof-of-work transforms the blockchain technology from tamper-evident to tamper-proof.

P.S. To know how proof-of-work makes the blockchain network tamper-proof click here. Happy reading!

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