Dogecoin transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake: Why is it important?

Dogecoin transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake: Why is it important?

In recent days, there has been much discussion in crypto circles about whether Dogecoin (DOGE) is proof-of-work (PoW) or proof-of-stake (PoS). In a “random Twitter experiment” comment in September 2021, none other than Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin set tongues spinning when he speculated that DOGE could be moving from PoW to PoS.

Though initially dismissed as wishful thinking, the subject resurfaced as a crypto potboiler in December 2021 when Dogecoin posted a revised trail map outlining a plan for Dogecoin’s transition from PoW to PoS.

This essay will delve into Dogecoin’s move from PoW to PoS, examining what led them to undertake such a difficult transition.

Consensus mechanism in crypto projects

For transaction processing, decentralized ecosystems such as blockchains require a consensus mechanism. To ensure the security of a distributed database, entries must be validated. To put it another way, users must agree on the legitimacy of proposed transactions. The term “consensus” refers to the circumstance in which all nodes agree on the status of the network.

What is proof of work in crypto?

Proof-of-work is the original consensus mechanism used since the creation of cryptography. It is so named because it needs the network to have a large amount of computing power.

Virtual miners from all around the world compete to be the first to solve a cryptographic challenge using powerful computers to validate transactions. The winner sends a block of the most recent verified transactions to the network, and the network awards them with a predetermined quantity of the corresponding native coins.

PoW does provide a strong set of benefits for blockchains. Because proof-of-work systems need a massive amount of processing power, anyone attempting to interfere with the blockchain is unlikely. Growth in the value of the cryptocurrency encourages additional miners to join the network, making it more secure.

Flip sides of PoW 

The PoW consensus approach has some downsides, which are discussed in the sections below.

Energy-guzzling equipment

With mining being a highly profitable way of making money, the amount of computational power needed by proof-of-work protocols has reached record levels, prompting calls for crypto to be banned entirely.

Erik Thedeen, the vice-chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority, recently told the Financial Times that crypto mining jeopardises the Paris Agreement’s climate change aims and urged for a ban on PoW for transaction verification.

Following China’s ban on cryptocurrency mining, miners were compelled to seek sanctuary in nations with abundant wind and solar power, such as Sweden and Norway. They didn’t find much relief, though, as there were concerns about the increasing quantity of renewable energy required to power cryptocurrencies and the “questionable” societal benefits of crypto as an asset class.

According to Swedish regulations, mining a single unit of Bitcoin consumes the same amount of energy as driving a medium-sized electric car less than 2 kilometers, citing research undertaken by the University of Cambridge. According to the analysis, Bitcoin consumes about 0.5% of total world electricity usage, which is more than the Netherlands.

Such statistics are bound to make headlines. If the price of Bitcoin unexpectedly rises in the next few days, power usage will rise as well, attracting harsher criticism and potentially punitive actions from governments.

Scaling issues that hamper growth

Proof-of-work protocols are similarly difficult to scale. Bitcoin’s average TPS (transactions per second) is approximately five. Solana Blockchain, sometimes known as the Visa of crypto networks, has a staggering TPS of 65,000. Scaling has emerged as a fundamental obstacle to the expansion of blockchain projects.

These difficulties could not be swept under the rug. As a result, blockchain designers sought solutions, the most popular of which was PoS.

What is proof-of-stake in crypto?

Proof-of-stake protocols replace the traditional paradigm of resolving cryptographic puzzles with one in which native cryptocurrency holders stake a fixed number of coins for a set length of time in exchange for the ability to create their own validator nodes.

Miners must stake digital currency before they may validate transactions in proof-of-stake protocols. Their validator capability is determined by the number of coins staked and the amount of time they have been validating transactions.

Validators who have invested more coins receive higher weightage from the algorithm. To validate each set of transactions, the algorithm selects a different group of miners based on their relative power. Validators are in charge of providing transactions finality and establishing new blocks.

The algorithm rewards validators who propose additional blocks. Validators who attest to malicious blocks can lose their entire stake or a portion of it.

Why is the Transition to Proof-of-Stake Important?

Energy Efficiency

Proof-of-Work is an energy-intensive process that requires miners to compete against each other and solve complex mathematical problems. This process consumes a significant amount of energy and contributes to the overall carbon footprint of the cryptocurrency industry. Proof-of-Stake, on the other hand, is much more energy-efficient as it eliminates the need for mining.

Security

Proof-of-Work is vulnerable to 51% attacks, where a malicious miner can control the majority of the network’s mining power and manipulate the blockchain. Proof-of-Stake is less vulnerable to 51% attacks as it is more difficult for a single validator to control the majority of the network’s stake.

Scalability

Proof-of-Work has limited scalability due to the computational power required to validate transactions. Proof-of-Stake, on the other hand, is more scalable as it requires less computational power, allowing for more transactions to be processed per second.

Conclusion

The transition from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake is a significant step for Dogecoin and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole. It is an important step towards creating a more sustainable, secure, and scalable cryptocurrency ecosystem. By making this transition, Dogecoin is positioning itself as a leading player in the industry and setting the standard for future developments.

 

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