Understanding Attack Vectors in Bitcoin’s Proof of Work PoW and Ethereum’s Proof of Stake PoS:

The algorithm used in proof-of-stake Ethereum is called LMD-GHOST(opens in a new tab)↗, and it works by identifying the fork that has the greatest weight of attestations in its history. In terms of blockchain, the consensus is the process by which a group of nodes on a network determines which blockchain transactions are valid. Blockchains don’t have a central gatekeeper, like a bank, to verify transactions. Instead, both Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two largest cryptocurrencies, rely on a consensus mechanism called “proof of work” to maintain a time-ordered ledger of transactions. Now, each PoS system is slightly different from the other one, which makes it unique.

  • If they do, the crypto industry could see a makeover in its reputation and user base.
  • Countries like China and Russia have cracked down on miners who were covertly running operations that were threatening the local energy grids.
  • If the block is invalid for whatever reason, the node software will disregard it as invalid and stop its propagation.

When Ethereum launched, proof-of-stake still needed a lot of research and development before it could be trusted to secure Ethereum. Proof-of-work was a simpler mechanism that had already been proven by Bitcoin, meaning core developers could implement it right away to get Ethereum launched. It took a further eight years to develop proof-of-stake to the point where it could be implemented. Gas fees are a product of network demand relative to the capacity of the network.

The price of ether, Ethereum’s cryptocurrency, could move up or down after the initial instability of speculation, and other proof-of-stake coins like Solana and Polkadot could be affected as well. The change could also put https://www.xcritical.in/ Ethereum in more of a regulatory gray area. With proof of stake, participants referred to as “validators” lock up set amounts of cryptocurrency or crypto tokens—their stake, as it were—in a smart contract on the blockchain.

While Ethereum has hit stagnancy, and Pepe has received constant scrutiny due to the absence of a clear roadmap, Bitgert has both the potential to grow and a strong development rate on its network. The crypto space can seem quite intimidating if you don’t know where to start. All these tokens and fancy terminology are enough to drive a newbie mad.

The Merge was when these two systems finally came together, and proof-of-work was permanently replaced by proof-of-stake. The Merge was the joining of the original execution layer of Ethereum (the Mainnet that has existed since genesis) with its new proof-of-stake consensus layer, the Beacon Chain. It eliminated the need for energy-intensive mining and instead enabled https://www.xcritical.in/blog/ethereum-vs-bitcoin-the-two-cryptocurrencies-compared/ the network to be secured using staked ETH. It was a truly exciting step in realizing the Ethereum vision—more scalability, security, and sustainability. A transaction has “finality” in distributed networks when it is part of a block that can’t change without a large amount of ETH getting burned. On proof-of-stake Ethereum, this is managed using “checkpoint” blocks.


Validators vote for pairs of checkpoints that it considers to be valid. If a pair of checkpoints attracts votes representing at least two-thirds of the total staked ETH, the checkpoints are upgraded. The earlier of the two is already justified because it was the “target” in the previous epoch.

So far 9,500,000 ETH ($37 billion, in current value) has been staked there. The plan is to merge it with the main Ethereum chain in the next few months. Of course, Ethereum’s move to proof of stake has been six months away for years now. “[We thought] it would take one year to [implement] POS … but it actually [has] taken around six years,” Ethereum’s founder, Vitalik Buterin, told Fortune in May 2021. Not only does proof of work waste electricity, it generates electronic waste as well.

Through the Ledger Live app, you can easily and securely stake Ethereum coins to a validator and start earning ETH rewards, passively. In the Ethereum PoS system, each validator must stake the network’s native tokens (in this case, 32 ETH). The requirement to stake ETH incentivizes validators to act in the network’s best interests. This because validators stand to lose their investment if they try to subvert the system, or fail to validate reliably and effectively. The validator selection in Ethereum’s Proof of Stake (PoS) system is based on a validator’s stake in the network. To explain, the greater the stake, the more likely that node will be selected to add the new block to the chain.

Advantages of Ethereum’s PoW Mining

If those updates take longer than expected to complete or there are significant hiccups during the rollouts, that could shake users’ confidence — and provide an opportunity for competitors to swoop in and grab market share. There are never any guarantees when investing, and this is especially true with crypto due to its speculative nature. No one can say, then, whether Ethereum will continue on its track of explosive long-term returns.


Proof of Stake (PoS) is a type of consensus mechanism that is used to secure blockchain networks. Consensus mechanisms are the backbone of all blockchains, as the underlying rules that determine how a network functions. Thousands of existing smart contracts operate on the Ethereum chain, with billions of dollars in assets at stake. Proof of stake, first proposed on an online forum called BitcoinTalk on July 11,  2011, has been one of the more popular alternatives. In fact, it was supposed to be the mechanism securing Ethereum from the start, according to the white paper that initially described the new blockchain in 2013. But as Buterin noted in 2014, developing such a system was “so non-trivial that some even consider it impossible.” So Ethereum launched with a proof-of-work model instead, and set to work developing a proof-of-stake algorithm.

This will keep Ethereum secure for everyone and earn you new ETH in the process. Unlike Bitcoin, however, it’s not merely a digital currency; it’s a blockchain platform that enables the creation of decentralised apps (dApps) and self-executing contracts known as smart contracts. In 2017 started mining cryptocurrencies and built many rigs on his own. As a result, he gained lots of practical knowledge and became interested in sharing it with others. In his articles on 2Miners, he shares useful tips that he tried and tested himself. For example, Darek gives advice on how to buy hardware components for the basic mining rig and how to connect them to each other correctly.

That upgrade process, better known as “The Merge”, has been years in the making. According to the Ethereum Foundation, today’s transition reduces Ethereum’s energy consumption by 99.95%. During the peak of cryptocurrency prices, companies were buying entire power plants, often coal or gas-powered, to keep their infrastructure running and mine tokens, particularly Bitcoin. Since there is only one winner for each proof of work, the entire process has high redundancy and there is massive wastage of energy.

Something similar happened in 2016, after Ethereum developers rolled back the blockchain to erase a massive hack. Some community members were so upset they kept mining the original chain, resulting in two Ethereums—Ethereum Classic and what we have today. If it happens again, the success (and mining power) behind any competing version of Ethereum will depend on the value of its coin in the open markets. In recent years, Ethereum has transitioned from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) in Ethereum 2.0. PoS is more energy-efficient and enables validators to secure the network based on the amount of crypto they hold in a digital wallet, a process known as ‘staking’.

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