As the blockchain ecosystem continues to grow and expand, debates about the benefits and drawbacks of Proof-of-Work (PoW) versus Proof-of-Stake (PoS) keep intensifying.

Both PoW and PoS are the most popular consensus mechanisms for blockchain. Other systems include Federated Byzantine Agreement (FBA) and Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS).

In Defence of Proof-of-Stake

Chorus One co-founder Brian Crain made a few arguments earlier in the month about how PoS was superior to PoW.

According to Crain, the cost to actually secure a PoW blockchain is very large since the bulk of the resources are allocated to energy production and ASIC producers.

Chorus One Research Analyst Felix Lutsch argued this is “suboptimal and resulting in an environmental threat.” The Proof-of-Stake system is known for being more energy efficient since the intensive mining process is cut out.

Lutsch pointed out how people would probably prefer to attack a PoW blockchain as opposed to a PoS one, since attacks get more expensive with the latter.

Lutsch also said PoS “has massive performance benefits regarding speed” due to shorter block times.  

Re-Examining The Question

However, others seem to be more inclined towards PoW for certain situations. In a Reddit thread on /r/btc, one commenter pointed out how the “rich are cemented for life in PoS” since it requires a “one time buy in only.”

They said in a PoS system, the “formation of the plutocracy” was a “given from the start.”

Another noted how the conversation should focus on “pure economics,” and wrote how so far, PoW is “doing that the design said it would do,” and argued the jury was still out about what the true merits of PoS are.

Still, some others think the question should be more nuanced when it comes to discussions about consensus algorithms.

They suggested the discussion should focus on the advantages and disadvantages of each, instead of trying to pit the different ones against each other to try and decide a ‘winner.’