Proof of Authority (PoA)

Proof of Authority (PoA)

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PoA consensus mechanism first conceived by Ethereum developers is an alternative version of the Proof of Stake (PoS), but instead of wealth at stake, the authority’s identity is put up front at stake (no anonymity). Mostly suited for private blockchain networks.

It all started with Proof of Work (PoW), which is a vehicle by which minerscan effectively prove to you they have engaged or worked a significant amount of computational effort and this is inefficient in terms of energy consumption to validate blocks, and it also lowers incentives.

Proof of Stake (PoS) on the other spectrum comes along to solve the energy consumption problem, and it has nothing to do with mining but validating. Validators must own a certain amount of stake (wealth) within the network which they would use to vouch for transactions. Supposedly that should reflect their “interest” in their network´s success, and so the more you have the more you´d get to validate, and that became a problem as well because it started centralizing power, plus having a certain amount of a coin does not necessarily reflect legit interest.

· In Proof of work (PoW), trust is attached to the amount of computational effort from miners.

· In Proof of Stake (PoS), trust is attached to the validators highest collateral, their own wealth is at stake.

· In Proof of Authority (PoA), trust is attached to an authority´s proven reputation and identity, their own identity is at stake.

“Proof of Authority (PoA) is a modified form of Proof of Stake (PoS) where instead of stake with the monetary value, a validator’s identity performs the role of stake.” — POA NETWORK

Image credit: POA NETWOK

With Proof of Authority, authorities have to earn the right to validate transactions by maintaining a squeaky clean reputation. And to verify the legitimacy of identities companies like POA Network in the U.S. authorities are required to acquire a notary public license.

Trusted individuals become eligible by presenting proof of address, and no criminal records. All authorities are known people, again, no anonymities.

· “Identity must be true: meaning there needs to be a standard and robust process of verifying that validators are indeed who they claim they are.

· Eligibility for staking identity should be difficult to obtain: so that the right to be a validator becomes earned, valued, and unpleasant to lose.

· The procedure of establishing the authority needs to be the same for all validators: to ensure that the network understands the process and can trust its integrity.” — POA NETWORK

Misconduct from authorities are exposed, and the member is explicitly banned from the network, meant to incentivize all others to maintain a clean identity.

“You can’t buy a good reputation; you must earn it.” — Harvey Mackay

PoA is proven to have a much faster mechanism which clears blocks in an average of 5 seconds.

Some may be apprehensive about identity theft but authorities operate in an open-source, and no one would be able to keep using another person´s identity without being exposed of a location.

“Even if one steals a license and somehow becomes a validator pretending to be someone else, the fact that staking is public will expose a nefarious actor. A single actor with a hacked authority does not have the capacity to overwhelm the network and revert all transactions. Therefore, requiring validators to have a public notary license makes identity impossible to conceal, while a concerned party can easily cross-verify identity in publicly available open databases.” — POA NETWORK

So guys what do you think of PoA? Would you be willing to place your identity at stake?

Let us know what your thoughts are!

The Winco Team


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