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Proof of Authority (PoA)

Proof of Authority (PoA) is a consensus algorithm used in blockchain networks where transactions and blocks are validated by a set number of approved accounts, known as validators. These validators are trusted individuals or entities that earn the right to participate in the consensus process based on their reputation and identity.

Key Points:

  1. Identity-Based: Validators in a PoA network are chosen based on their identity and reputation. This often requires a thorough vetting process before being approved.
  2. Limited Validators: Only a select number of trusted entities or individuals can become validators, ensuring a controlled environment.
  3. No Mining: Unlike Proof of Work (PoW), PoA doesn’t require computational power to solve cryptographic puzzles. This makes it more energy-efficient.

How It Works:

  • Validator Selection: A central authority or a group of trusted entities selects the validators based on specific criteria, often involving identity verification and reputation.
  • Block Validation: Validators take turns in a rotating order to create and validate new blocks. If the majority of validators agree on the validity of a block, it’s added to the blockchain.
  • Penalties: Dishonest or malicious activity by validators can lead to them losing their validator status and reputation.

Benefits:

  • Speed and Scalability: PoA networks can achieve faster transaction times and higher scalability compared to PoW.
  • Energy Efficiency: Without the need for mining, PoA is more energy-efficient.
  • Predictable Block Times: Due to the rotation system, block times are consistent and predictable.
  • Reduced Risk of Centralization: Since validators are pre-selected, there’s less risk of network centralization compared to PoW, where mining power can become concentrated.

Challenges:

  • Centralization Concerns: Even though PoA reduces the risk of mining centralization, the fact that validators are pre-selected can lead to concerns about network control and governance centralization.
  • Trust Dependence: The system’s security and integrity heavily rely on the trustworthiness of the validators.

Examples in Cryptocurrency:

  • VeChain: Uses a PoA consensus mechanism where 101 known validators participate in block validation.
  • Kovan and Rinkeby: Both are Ethereum testnets that use PoA for consensus.

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CryptoCurrencyUSDChange 1hChange 24hChange 7d
Bitcoin67,850 0.33 % 2.13 % 3.75 %
Litecoin85.83 0.23 % 0.74 % 4.37 %
XRP0.5302 0.06 % 0.44 % 2.63 %
Ethereum2,197.2 0.23 % 0.67 % 2.46 %
Dogecoin0.1548 0.37 % 0.09 % 7.69 %
Solana172.67 0.28 % 3.22 % 7.74 %
USDC1.000 0.10 % 0.02 % 0.08 %
Cardano0.2543 0.15 % 1.68 % 3.38 %
Tether0.9990 0.10 % 0.04 % 0.02 %
Binance Coin (Wormhole)222.47 0.38 % 4.71 % 3.08 %