Consensus: Consensus refers to the process employed by a network of peers or nodes within a blockchain network to reach an agreement on the validity of transactions submitted to the network. It is a fundamental mechanism that ensures the integrity and security of a blockchain by requiring the majority of participants to agree on the accuracy of a transaction before it is added to the blockchain’s ledger.
In the world of blockchain technology, achieving consensus is crucial for maintaining a decentralized and trustless network. There are several dominant consensus mechanisms, with the most notable ones being Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS). In a PoW-based consensus, network participants, known as miners, compete to solve complex mathematical puzzles, and the first one to solve it gets the authority to validate and add a new block of transactions. PoS, on the other hand, determines block validators based on the amount of cryptocurrency they hold and are willing to “stake” as collateral.
Consensus ensures that all network nodes come to an agreement regarding the order and validity of transactions, preventing double-spending and ensuring the overall security and immutability of the blockchain. It is a foundational principle that underpins the functioning of blockchain networks and enables trustless peer-to-peer transactions.