Consensus Mechanisms in Blockchain: What is it? Types, Benefits, Examples

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Hieu Tran

2024-06-06 10:02:15

gct solution consensus mechanism in blockchain

Consensus Mechanisms in Blockchain: What is it? Types, Benefits, Examples

Blockchain technology has the ability to disrupt industries as it is decentralized, transparent, and secure by design. Consensus mechanism, in fact, is the most basic component that allows blockchains to work properly. In this blog we look at what a consensus mechanism is, why it is important, what are the several types that exist, and real-life examples where blockchain uses these consensus mechanisms.


What is a Consensus Mechanism?

A consensus mechanism is a protocol used by blockchain networks to achieve agreement on a single data value or a single state of the network among distributed processes or systems. In simpler terms, it ensures that all participants in the network agree on the validity of transactions and the current state of the blockchain. This agreement is crucial in maintaining the integrity and security of the blockchain, especially in a decentralized system where there is no central authority.

Consensus mechanisms take care of double-spending problems and hence assure that information written on a blockchain is true and reliable. As the consensus-driven nature removes the requirement for third parties, the network verifies and validates each transaction to ensure that it is secure, fast, and most efficient in delivery.

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The Importance of Consensus Mechanism in Blockchain


The consensus mechanism is important for several reasons:

  • Security: Consensus mechanisms secure the blockchain by making it difficult for malicious actors to alter the data. This means that a record of a transaction placed on the blockchain cannot be edited or tampered with, once it has been placed. For example, Bitcoin was really secure by early 2019 when its network hash rate exceeded 170 EH/s.
  • Decentralization: This ensures that a decentralized network works without central authority.  In essence, decentralization supports the very nature of blockchain technology; it supports integrity and cannot be changed as a mechanism of corruption or fraud within a system. For example, by 2023, the number of nodes in the Ethereum network was more than 8,000, showing a very high level of decentralization.
  • Integrity: Consensus mechanisms maintain the integrity of the data by ensuring that all participants agree on the state of the blockchain. This is essential for the trustworthiness of the information stored on the blockchain. In fact, IBM once claimed that blockchain-based supply chain systems can cut errors by as much as 70% by 2020.
  • Efficiency: Given that consensus mechanisms facilitate the process of transaction authentication and validation swiftly, it thus follows that a system can be able to handle an enormously large number of transactions within seconds. For instance, an EOS blockchain mechanism using Delegated Proof of Stake can undertake a rate of 4,000 transactions in one second.


Types of Consensus Mechanisms

There are many consensus mechanisms—each having its characteristics and uses. Some of the most prominent are:


Proof of Work (PoW)

Proof of Work is the original consensus mechanism for Bitcoin. It goes down the line from the miners, enabled to solve a few mathematical puzzles of hard character, which directly allows them to be first in adding a block to the blockchain. This process becomes computationally intensive and energy-consuming.


- High security due to the computational difficulty involved.

- Proven track record with Bitcoin.


- Energy-intensive, leading to high electricity consumption. Bitcoin's annual energy consumption was estimated at around 110 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2021, comparable to the entire energy consumption of countries like the Netherlands.

- Slow transaction processing compared to newer mechanisms. Bitcoin handles about 7 TPS.


Proof of Stake (PoS)

Proof of Stake was developed as a more energy-efficient alternative to PoW. In PoS, validators are chosen to create new blocks based on the number of coins they hold and are willing to "stake" as collateral.


- More energy-efficient than PoW. For instance, Ethereum's switch to PoS with Ethereum 2.0 is expected to reduce its energy consumption by 99.95%.

- Faster transaction processing.


- Potential for wealth concentration, as those with more coins have more influence. 

- Requires complex protocols to prevent centralization.


Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS)

Delegated Proof of Stake is a variation of PoS. In DPoS, coin holders vote for a small number of delegates who are responsible for validating transactions and maintaining the blockchain.


- High transaction throughput. EOS, using DPoS, can handle thousands of transactions per second.

- More democratic and decentralized than PoS.


- Requires active participation from stakeholders.

- Risk of centralization if a few delegates gain too much power.


Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT)

PBFT is designed for systems that require high security and reliability. It works by having nodes in the network communicate with each other to agree on the validity of transactions. It is highly efficient and can achieve consensus with minimal latency.


- High security and reliability. For example, the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain employs PBFT, ensuring robust performance for enterprise solutions.

- Low latency, making it suitable for real-time applications.


- Requires a known and fixed set of nodes.

- Not suitable for highly decentralized networks.


Proof of Authority (PoA)

Proof of Authority is a consensus mechanism where a few nodes are given the authority to validate transactions and create new blocks. These nodes are usually reputable entities known to the network.


- High efficiency and speed. VeChain, using PoA, can process transactions with low latency.

- Lower computational requirements compared to PoW and PoS.


- Centralized nature, reducing the benefits of decentralization.

- Trust in the authorities is required.




Examples of Blockchains Using Each Mechanism


Bitcoin (PoW)


Bitcoin is the first and most well-known cryptocurrency, and it uses the Proof of Work consensus mechanism. Despite its high energy consumption, Bitcoin has proven to be highly secure and has set the standard for decentralized digital currencies. As of 2023, Bitcoin's market capitalization exceeded $1 trillion, reflecting its widespread adoption and trust.

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Ethereum (PoW transitioning to PoS)

Ethereum initially used Proof of Work but has been transitioning to Proof of Stake through its Ethereum 2.0 upgrade. This transition aims to improve scalability and reduce the environmental impact of the network. Ethereum handles around 30 TPS with PoW, but with PoS, it aims to scale up to 100,000 TPS.




EOS uses Delegated Proof of Stake, which allows it to achieve high transaction throughput. EOS has been successful in creating a scalable and efficient blockchain platform suitable for decentralized applications (dApps). EOS processes around 4,000 TPS, making it one of the fastest blockchain platforms.


Hyperledger Fabric (PBFT)


Hyperledger Fabric, a permissioned blockchain framework, utilizes Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance. It is designed for enterprise use cases, providing high security and reliability for business applications. Hyperledger Fabric supports modular consensus protocols, making it highly adaptable for various business needs.


VeChain (PoA)


VeChain employs Proof of Authority, which allows it to achieve efficient and fast transactions. VeChain focuses on supply chain management and has partnered with various companies to provide blockchain-based solutions. VeChain's PoA system processes transactions quickly, supporting a high number of TPS with low energy consumption.




How GCT Solution can help?

GCT Solution is a leading provider of blockchain technology solutions, specializing in helping businesses implement and optimize consensus mechanisms tailored to their specific needs. With extensive experience in blockchain development, GCT Solution offers a range of services to ensure that businesses can leverage the full potential of blockchain technology.


Services Offered by GCT Solution

1. Blockchain Consultation: GCT Solution provides expert consultation to help businesses understand which consensus mechanism is best suited for their use case. We assess the specific requirements and challenges of the business and recommend the most appropriate solution.

2. Custom Blockchain Development: The company offers custom blockchain development services, creating tailored blockchain solutions that integrate the chosen consensus mechanism. This ensures that the blockchain is optimized for performance, security, and scalability.

4. Training and Support: To ensure that businesses can effectively manage and maintain their blockchain systems, GCT Solution offers comprehensive training and ongoing support. This includes educating staff on the technical aspects of blockchain and providing troubleshooting assistance.


Why Choose GCT Solution?

GCT Solution stands out due to our commitment to innovation, quality, and client satisfaction. Our team of blockchain experts stays at the forefront of technological advancements, ensuring that they can provide cutting-edge solutions to their clients. Choosing GCT Solution, businesses can be confident that they are receiving the best possible advice, development, and support for their blockchain projects.


Final Thought: 

Consensus mechanisms ensure the successful and efficient functioning of decentralizing networks. In this way, if a company understands clearly the kinds and purposes of all those mechanisms, it will definitely decide on what kind of system to apply. GCT Solution can help you effectively deal with this tough landscape and harness blockchain technology to its full potential. Contact us now for a free blockchain consultation!

If you are seeking a seasoned IT provider, GCT Solution is the ideal choice. With 3 years of expertise, we specialize in Mobile App , Web App, System Development, Blockchain Development and Testing Services. Our 100+ skilled IT consultants and developers can handle projects of any size. Having successfully delivered over 50+ solutions to clients worldwide, we are dedicated to supporting your goals. Reach out to us for a detailed discussion, confident that GCT Solution is poised to meet all your IT needs with tailored, efficient solutions.

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