Ethereum Founder, Vitalik Buterin, Supports The Proof Of Stake Over Proof Of Work; ETH Set To Launch A More Powerful PoS
The debate on which consensus to use within the blockchain ecosystem has mostly favoured the Proof of Stake over Proof of Work protocol. Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin is the latest to defend the PoS consensus when he was interviewed by Blockchain Insider.
Vitalik began with an insight on both the PoW & PoS consensus. The Ethereum founder noted that the two are different from each other hence the diverse preference in the crypto development arena. According to Buterin, Proof of Work is a simple form of communication between computers involved in completing the crypto coin ecosystem. Basically, the computers agree on block order and other requests within the network. Vitalik further explained the PoW concept;
“Proof of work you can think of it as a kind of sort of voting mechanism where you know one unit of computing power one vote well that’s a huge oversimplification but it’s kind of an ok way to think about it proof of stake replaces that with like essentially one coin inside of the system equals one vote”
However, Vitalik agreed that both consensus have some similarities especially in resource utility. The PoW & PoS consensus are designed to reward network participants hence the incentive to engage in mining & voting. Furthermore, this reduces the probability of a network participant posing as multiple personalities to create a majority network control.
The Proof of Stake consensus is definitely Vitalik’s favorite and he provided a couple of supporting factors for this bias. One of the most obvious is its energy efficient nature; the PoW consensus requires 24/7 power supply for computing. This is the only way mathematical puzzles can be solved for the release of new blocks within the network.
Bitcoin’s mining operations will require much more energy than what most of the world runs on today in Vitalik’s view. The Ethereum co-founder however stated that it is not the case for ETH although its energy requirements are still above the team’s desired level.
The Proof of Stake protocol is highly digital with participants only obligation proving their coin ownership within the network. Ethereum network users for example key in their digital identity which should in turn match with the cryptographic keys on their digital assets. This approach greatly reduces the amount of energy consumed by the ecosystem.
Ethereum’s New Proof Of Stake (PoS)
The Proof of Stake protocol is common within the crypto industry although players have different modifications to suit their interests or economic reach. Vitalik acknowledges the popularity of this consensus but sticks to the argument that Ethereum’s protocol has something more to offer.
One of the market’s PoS stakeholders that was identified by Vitalik include Tezos whose version is apparently more simple. The co-founder’s position on this simplistic nature implied a competitive edge for Ethereum. At the moment, Ethereum’s team is working on advancing its PoS to improve the power within its network in comparison to peer competitors.
Buterin’s point of view was that the simplistic PoS is nothing more but a replicate of the Proof of Work protocol. He argues that the random nature of computing by the computers is simply transferred into the blockchain ecosystem and represented by coins instead. Ideally, the simulation is now internal as opposed to the external PoW approach. Vitalik summarized this concept in a few words;
“So, you still have structure where get a block and a block on top of a block. And that kind of structure is nice because it’s very simple and very little overhead, but it’s also a terrible because it takes a long time for blocks to come to consensus”
In order to explain this practically, Vitalik used the famous BTC transaction time to explain the PoW related hurdles. Bitcoin requires 6 confirms for a transaction to be approved; this can take close to an hour which turns out to be slow. However, these inefficiencies are still inherited by the PoS protocol hence Ethereum’s decision to develop an advanced consensus in the near future.
Ethereum’s approach to the new PoS integrates a couple concepts from existing chains guided by the Byzantine false theory. The crypto development project will come up with a merged PoS which leverages the properties of both its existing chain protocols and the BFD algorithm. According to Vitalik, this gives their platform a major edge in the industry;
“So in our case, we have a version of this algorithm that takes longer time to come to a final consensus, but still not too long … and the benefit that this gives you is that within something like five seconds you get a sort of soft agreements that this block is probably part of the history forever.”