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Proof of Weight (PoW) Consensus Mechanism in Blockchain

A blockchain is a distributed ledger in which a record of transactions made in Bitcoin, or another cryptocurrency is maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network. The Blockchain ledger is immutable, decentralized, digitized, secure, traceable, and scalable and generates a great sense of trust by incorporating a consensus algorithm. Proof of Weight is a blockchain-based consensus mechanism that gives users a weight based on how much cryptocurrency they are holding. Currently, there are many consensus mechanisms in use but, the most popular of these is Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS) mechanisms. 

Proof-of-work and proof-of-stake variations remain the most widely used mechanisms for reaching consensus but come with some limitations. Proof of Stake gives an unfair advantage to the rich nodes as more the coins they own more they can earn while Proof of Work consumes a lot of electricity and requires a complex hardware setup. As a result, Proof of Weight has been introduced recently and is different from the Proof of Work and Proof of Stake mechanism.

What is Proof of Weight (PoW)?

Proof of Weight was launched in 2017 as a consensus algorithm on the Filecoin blockchain platform and is a large upgradation of the Proof of Stake mechanism which aims to remove the biased nature of PoS. 

Why is Proof of Weight Required?

The general idea is that where in Proof of Stake, your percentage of tokens owned in the network represents your probability of “discovering” the next block and this gives an unfair advantage to the nodes having a large number of tokens in terms of more control over the blockchain network and more mining rights. 

To counter this many consensus mechanisms have been introduced, Proof of Weight is one such consensus mechanism that considers a relatively weighted value that makes fairer decisions and gives a completely different value than proof of stake value. 

How Does Proof of Weight (PoW) Work?

Proof of Stake (PoS) vs Proof of Weight (PoW)

Even though the proof-of-weight seems very similar to the proof-of-stake consensus algorithm, we can notice a key difference when we take a more detailed look.

Benefits of Proof of Weight (PoW)

Limitations of Proof of Weight (PoW)

Conclusion

The whole idea of blockchain technology is decentralization and it is the consensus mechanisms that help in achieving this. The proof of Weight mechanism is one such consensus algorithm that aims at fair common agreement beneficial to all nodes in the network. There is no single consensus algorithm that is perfect, and there is constant change and development in consensus mechanisms to accommodate new requirements and reduce previous loopholes. Therefore, it is very important to choose the consensus algorithm for a blockchain network based on the business requirements.

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