How Proof-Of-Work Is Useful Beyond Bitcoin

Anyone who has studied bitcoin for a while knows that proof-of-work in bitcoin mining is the key to the security and to the unforgeable nature of the protocol. Bitcoin mining in 2021 requires that miners use purpose-built computers [called ASIC’s] to convert real-world energy [more than 50% of which is renewable and stranded energy] into encrypted digital monetary energy.

By using this proof-of-work and following consensus rules, bitcoin miners (and node operators) secure this decentralized network one block at a time approximately every ten minutes. Some have even called it triple-entry bookkeeping. And the system is designed to work in a way that makes forgery, hacking, theft, cheating or double-spending coins all but impossible. One metaphor that is used to describe this is adding a block to the bitcoin timechain is like adding a floor to a skyscraper. To fully understand how this works is far beyond the scope of this article but the key design of this system requires the use of real-world energy so you can’t cheat or game the system. By contrast, Jay Powell at the Federal Reserve Board can increase the U.S. money supply by the trillions, with a few keystrokes.



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