Many have heard of proof of work and proof of stake, but don’t necessarily know the difference. Why does this matter? Because the difference is huge—it’s the difference between competing in a drag race and being elected class president.
Different blockchains use different consensus mechanisms to preserve order and keep things running smoothly. Proof of work is the original gangster of consensus, having driven the Bitcoin blockchain (and many others) since 2009. Proof of stake emerged in 2011 as an energy-friendly alternative for accomplishing the same task, and it just happens to work completely differently.
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