Consensus Mechanism: Types, Pros, and Cons.

Consensus mechanisms (also known as consensus protocols or consensus algorithms) allow distributed systems (networks of computers) to work together and stay secure.

For decades, these mechanisms have been used to establish consensus among database nodes, application servers, and other enterprise infrastructure. In recent years, new consensus mechanisms have been invented to allow crypto-economic systems, such as Ethereum, to agree on the state of the network.

A consensus mechanism in a crypto-economic system also helps prevent certain kinds of economic attacks. In theory, an attacker can compromise consensus by controlling 51% of the network. Consensus mechanisms are designed to make this “51% attack” unfeasible. Different mechanisms are engineered to solve this security problem in different ways.

Types of Consensus Mechanisms

They have a different kind of algorithms and work with different principles

  1. Proof-of-work (PoW)- This is the mechanism that allows the decentralized network to come to a consensus, or agree on things like account balances and the order of transactions. This prevents users from “double spending” their coins and ensures that the blockchain is tremendously difficult to attack or manipulate.

Pros and Cons of Consensus Mechanism


  1. Forms agreement foundational to the crypto-market: Consensus mechanisms synchronize data between all participating users and enable trust in a blockchain.


  1. May be energy-intensive: Proof-of-work is extremely energy-intensive and requires as much electricity as many countries.



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Adegbite Mubaraq

Blockchain Copywriter and Marketer |Technical Analyst |Budding Financial Engineer