The proof-of-work concept was the original innovative idea that allowed decentralized cryptocurrencies to emerge. It allows network nodes to reach consensus on which version of the blockchain should be considered correct. However, since Satoshi implemented it in Bitcoin, a great number of new algorithms have been created, giving birth to numerous cryptocurrencies.
The brief history of all popular proof-of-work algorithms and their peculiarities was covered in the recent Bytecoin blog post by Ray Patterson, titled “The Proof-of-Work in Cryptocurrencies: Brief History.” The overview starts with the prerequisites that led to the invention of the concept and proceeds by explaining the motivation behind and the background of each popular algorithm in the market.
The author argues that the rationale for introducing each new proof of work was to diminish ASIC share, decentralize mining and promote the coin among ordinary PC users. He writes:
“Naturally, we could try to explain it by a common grudge or by a wish to ‘make a fast buck’: there were forks, pre-mines and pump’n’dumps before Tenebrix. But the arguments provided by supporters of the ‘ASIC-resistant’ functions are rational.”
Patterson explains sophisticated terms and tendencies in a clear and witty manner. The article covers in