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Blockchain 101: Consensus Mechanism

Learn about the different processes in how nodes reach an agreement in a blockchain system.

Consensus Mechanism

A consensus mechanism is a fault-tolerant and standardized process of how the nodes efficiently and reliably reach an agreement. Every blockchain systems rely on consensus mechanisms to do its work. This is the key function of a blockchain being decentralized, immutable, distributed, and transparent.

Types of Blockchain Consensus Mechanisms

The most common types of blockchain consensus mechanisms are the Proof of Work and Proof of Stake. But on top of that, there are more types of blockchain consensus mechanisms available, and I’ll also cover them in this article.

Proof of Work

Simple workflow of the Proof of Work consensus mechanism. Photo from ledger.com.

Proof of Stake

Simple workflow of the Proof of Stake consensus mechanism. Photo from ledger.com.

Delegated Proof of Stake

Simple workflow of the Delegated Proof of Stake consensus mechanism. Photo from Henrique Centieiro.

Proof of Capacity

Simple workflow of the Proof of Capacity consensus mechanism. Photo from researchgate.net.

Proof of Elapsed Time

Simple workflow of the Proof of Elapsed Time consensus mechanism. Photo from naukri.com.

Proof of Identity

Simple workflow of the Proof of Identity consensus mechanism. Photo from wikipedia.com.

Proof of Authority

Simple workflow of the Proof of Authority consensus mechanism. Photo from changelly.com.

Proof of Activity

Simple workflow of the Proof of Activity consensus mechanism. Photo by naukri.com.

Conclusion

Bottomline, there is no perfect blockchain. Each of the consensus mechanisms available executes and functions in its own unique ways to achieve the concept of a decentralized, immutable, distributed, and transparent system. But each also has its own compromise and shortcomings.

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Harvey Javier

Co-founder & CTO, SparkLearn EdTech | Tech Advisor, SparkPoint Technologies | VP Tech, Bicol IT | harveyjavier.com