Let’s All just Agree: Achieving Consensus in Blockchain-based Systems
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One of the most important tenets of blockchain-based systems is their decentralized nature, and the resulting need to achieve consensus without being able to rely on a central cooardinator. Bitcoin as the most prominent blockchain application is famous for its “proof of work (PoW)” approach, not the least because it’s been heavily criticized for its wastefulness of energy. In this session, we will start with the world’s shortest introduction to blockchain. Then, we will take a look at the PoW approach to see whether the criticism is justified, explore the alternatives, including “proof of stake” and others, and discuss which of these, if any, might replace, or possibly co-exist with it.