Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake Mining

In what ways can miners earn rewards from the mining process? In this section, Coin Pursuit will explore the proof-of-work and proof-of-stake mining methods.

There are two systems by which miners can earn rewards for investing in digital currencies:

Proof-of-Work Mining. This is exactly what it sounds like: you earn coin and transaction fee rewards according to the number of blocks you mine successfully. Once a miner or miners has completed the satisfactory mining of a data block, they earn a number of coins, a share of the transaction fees contained within that block, or a combination of the two. This type of mining requires an investor to take an active part in mining data blocks, which helps verify transaction data and create new coins. With proof-of-work mining, if you don't put in the effort to mine, you won't earn anything extra.

Proof-of-Stake Mining. In the truest sense of the word, this isn't actually “mining” per se, since there isn't any additional work required on the part of the investor. All you have to do to earn with this method is to hold coins in a given type of digital currency. Your earnings are based upon the number of coins, or “stake,” you hold. The more you invest, the more you are likely to earn. The advocates of this method like to point out that it provides for higher currency security, for those who invest more heavily are more likely inspired to see it succeed. This method is very rarely used alone, for it doesn't provide for any actual mining to take place.

The digital currencies who use the proof-of-stake method almost always use it in combination with proof-of-work mining. Otherwise, the temptation to invest heavily, but not take an active role in mining data blocks, could result in extremely slow mining. This in turn could result in longer transaction times and lower transaction security, neither of which are healthy for an alternative currency.

Next Mining Topic:
SHA-256 and Scrypt Mining Algorithms

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