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Proof of Work: Embracing the crunch

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The special sauce that holds Bitcoin together, Proof of Work (PoW) authentication was an essential part of early crypto use. This approach decentralizes the act of validation, acting as a deterrent for anyone keen to interfere with the blockchain. The “work” here takes the form of the computational power required to crack a mathematical puzzle that’s generated with the creation of each new block. Once a transaction is recorded in a blockchain, it is assigned to a block in the public ledger with a unique identifier, or ‘hash’. Generating this hash requires ‘work’ to be completed. This takes the form of miners crunching data to generate the desired value. Once cracked, this gives the individual or team solving it a reward in the cryptocurrency...unfortunately burning masses of energy while they do so. While these have arguably been supplanted by Proof of Stake (Pos) approaches, PoW is tried, tested, and exceptionally secure. This helps protect the network and adds incentives for miners working on the system.

This list includes the top ranking cryptos that use PoW. It does not include, however, hybrids of PoW and PoS models. As always, this set of symbols does not constitute advice, and you should always do your own research before placing a trade.