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This is the reason why POW is better than POS

I have seen people debate about it a lot. I got to learn recently why POW is better than POS and this Twitter thread explains it so well.

Edit: wanted to add this to the criticism that miner control everything about BTC:
No no and big no.

I don’t know why this lie got out like this.

Node is the basically the backbone of the rules through which bitcoin is running.

It is so much misunderstood that Bitcoin is running because of miners but no, it is running because of nodes that support the protocol and safeguards it’s governance and rules.

If there are very less miners in the world and we keep the nodes exactly the same. Bitcoin will still run exactly the same just the network difficulty will decrease for that small group of miner getting the btc rewards and fees.

But this can’t be said vice versa. Example BCH and BSV, they all died because they require heavy nodes.

Read about blocksize wars and you will get it.

Edit 2: Another criticism:
If I control 51% hashrate, I can create a fraudulent block and become rich (obviously paraphrasing from comments)

If you control 51% of the hashrate and put any transactions ( may be made up or fraudulent) other than mempool transactions in each and every node out there. When you will broadcast that block as mined, all the nodes will reject that block and won’t add it to the chain of events aka blockchain.

Only your nodes will accept it and you branch off the main chain and there goes your 51% hashrate. Enjoy a branched off blockchain version which no other nodes identify as the real truth aka bitcoin.

Edit 3: adding a comment that resonated with me a lot from the thread below:
“Absolutely. And it’s pretty ingenious in hindsight. Not sure if it’s all planned according to Satoshi’s infinite wisdom or if a bit of luck was involved.

Surely the bitcoiner at the time didn’t understand it well, not until the history panned out.

Our tiny little $100 raspberry pi turn out to be the masters of everything, and all the super high powered X kW set up turns out to be just our security guards.

The people hold the power and the “powers” bow down to the people. It’s just beautiful. But also frustrating that people don’t understand the implications of it. It’s so often misunderstood, you’re right everyone should read The Blocksize War.”- u/savinelli_smoker



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26 Comments

  1. PoW is the essence of Satoshi’s innovation. The shitcoin PoS narratives completely miss the point of what makes bitcoin tick in the first place. Reverting to PoS negates the point of blockchain. Who needs blockchain if it’s controlled by selected few?

  2. Absolutely. And it’s pretty ingenious in hindsight. Not sure if it’s all planned according to Satoshi’s infinite wisdom or if a bit of luck was involved.

    Surely the bitcoiner at the time didn’t understand it well, not until the history panned out.

    Our tiny little $100 raspberry pi turn out to be the masters of everything, and all the super high powered X kW set up turns out to be just our security guards.

    The people hold the power and the “powers” bow down to the people. It’s just beautiful. But also frustrating that people don’t understand the implications of it. It’s so often misunderstood, you’re right everyone should read The Blocksize War.

  3. PoS is the equivalent of PoW, but the validators & miners are the same party.

    PoS has very low energy & hardware requirements.

    Only requirement: A lot of (shit)tokens.

    I wouldn’t say it’s insecure per se, but it’s about a factor 1000x less secure than a properly decentralized PoW system like Bitcoin. And because there is often a main figure or company behind PoS systems, it’s much easier to corrupt/coerce etc. PoS will work great 99.9% of the time, but it is much more likely to go off the rails in case of some sort of Black Swan event.

    It’s ab-so-fucken-lutely not something you would want at the base layer of the world economy. Unless, of course, you are one of the few with power over said system.

  4. Maybe I’m just dumb, but wouldn’t same argument apply for POW? Instead of largest coin holder, the control goes to whoever can build the most sophisticated/powerful mining rig?

  5. Depends , for Bitcoin which aims to be the new “standard” pow is making it more scarce and powerful. I mean no whale has a big voting power than can change the protocol drastically. POS blockchains on the other hand don’t share the same vision with Bitcoin. Some of them have some “scarcity” but their focus is towards defi and smart contracts . So I think it’s right for Bitcoin being “new gold” ,or better, to have high energy emissions while blockchains where defi platforms operate to have low energy emissions or be carbon negative.
    P.s. Sorry for long reply

  6. To be fair, that’s not how a 51% attack works.

    A miner that acquires 51% of the hash rate can start their own, heavier chain, in secret. They don’t broadcast it.

    They do some transactions on the “real” chain, that all nodes agree on.

    Later they publish their secret, heavier chain, making all their recent transactions on the other chain nullified, and restoring all the btc they “spent”.

    All of the transactions that take place are completely valid.

    However, the scale required to do this is ridiculous. These days. Even if you were able to acquire the hardware to do so, you also need the electricity to power it all, and the infrastructure too. You basically need to build a nuclear power plant, or two, first, a factory to make the ASICs, etc. etc. etc. etc. A *very* large, and wide, technology stack.

  7. Just typed “why pro…” into Google and it auto completed “why proof of stake is bad”.

    Top article explains it very well

    https://medium.com/@BobMcElrath/whats-wrong-with-proof-of-stake-77d4f370be15

    TL;DR
    The whole idea of Proof of Stake seems to rest on circular logic, logical fallacies such as “Absence of Proof is Proof of Absence”, and a misunderstanding of fungibility and forks. These are fatal flaws that will not be fixed by rearranging security deposits. In other news, I hear the deck chairs on the Titanic were very neatly organized. Furthermore, even if Proof of Stake worked, such a coin would have no anchor in terms of real-world value. It would have zero cost and zero value. The correct application of technology in these cases to use a BFT database and recognize the fact that the assets being represented are IOU’s.

  8. Everything you’ve said applies to PoS as well though.

    Block producers (people with lots of money) have a lot of power on both PoW and PoS but it’s the full nodes that maintain the correct state of the ledger.

    If the hashrate drops to very low numbers bitcoin doesn’t remain the same, regardless of how many nodes are on it, it indicates a fundamental issue – why aren’t people mining it? You have to understand that the security of these systems is nothing but a well though game: the cost to attack should be high enough that it stops all bad actors from doing it.
    A low and centralized hashrate could prevent more hashrate from joining the network through force, it can censor transactions that they don’t like, it can double spend – it’s good to think of miners not as good people but as reasonable people, they will take bribes if the reward of attacking is higher than what they stand to lose.

  9. I don’t understand. Basically, PoS is shit because people with money can control the chain, is what they said.

    But people with money (the most hashrate) control the chain on Bitcoin and can make changes.

  10. So, I was literally reading introductory books on logic just yesterday, and now these Twits appear sharply to me as invalid arguments:

    1. 3/ “#Bitcoin created a triple-entry [ledger] from the old double-entry [ledger] and the ledger self-audits and writes on-chain.

    2. It’s an immutable ledger entry that can never be altered.

    3. That’s the best accounting technology that’s ever been created by humans.”

    4. 4/ “So anything that lives on top of this #Bitcoin network will be better than the legacy system that it replaces.

    5. And it is only because of PoW that you’re able to have this immutable ledger and all the other layers for financial and economical freedom.”

    2 appears to be a false statement insofar as it can be altered if enough hash power is obtained, right?

    3 appears to be an opinion, not a statement has been shown to be true.

    4 is a false premise. It does not follow that something built on tech with more features will be better. One could have a poor designer, for example; or a feature could have unintended adverse consequences.

    5 is either an uncertain premise or a circular fallacy, depending on how you interpret it.

    Twitter is not a suitable medium for explanation or discussion, because of the character limitation (and hypocrisy of the administration).

  11. Just out of curiosity, is there any blockchain that utilities a PoS consensus system that allows for their validator’s hardware to be as light as a bitcoin node?

  12. POW can be used by new nodes to distinguish the genuine blockchain from fakes.

    POS can’t, requiring new nodes to use other, probably less secure, methods of blockchain authentication.

What do you think?

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