Proof-of-Stake Consensus Mechanisms for Future Blockchain Networks: Fundamentals, Applications and Opportunities

Publication Type:
Journal Article
IEEE Access, 2019, 7 pp. 85727 - 85745
Issue Date:
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© 2013 IEEE. The rapid development of blockchain technology and their numerous emerging applications has received huge attention in recent years. The distributed consensus mechanism is the backbone of a blockchain network. It plays a key role in ensuring the network's security, integrity, and performance. Most current blockchain networks have been deploying the proof-of-work consensus mechanisms, in which the consensus is reached through intensive mining processes. However, this mechanism has several limitations, e.g., energy inefficiency, delay, and vulnerable to security threats. To overcome these problems, a new consensus mechanism has been developed recently, namely proof of stake, which enables to achieve the consensus via proving the stake ownership. This mechanism is expected to become a cutting-edge technology for future blockchain networks. This paper is dedicated to investigating proof-of-stake mechanisms, from fundamental knowledge to advanced proof-of-stake-based protocols along with performance analysis, e.g., energy consumption, delay, and security, as well as their promising applications, particularly in the field of Internet of Vehicles. The formation of stake pools and their effects on the network stake distribution are also analyzed and simulated. The results show that the ratio between the block reward and the total network stake has a significant impact on the decentralization of the network. Technical challenges and potential solutions are also discussed.
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