The rapid development of the crypto asset industry has spawned many changes and innovations, one of which is Proof of Authority (PoA).
PoA is an advanced consensus mechanism from the previous consensus, namely Proof-of-Work (POW) and Proof-of-Stake, which were already popular.
Proof of Authority is a reputation-based consensus algorithm capable of providing a practical and efficient solution to blockchain networks.
It is important to note that in blockchain technology, the consensus mechanism is very important because its role is to ensure the blockchain network’s security, integrity, and reliability.
Therefore, the consensus mechanism is one of the main pillars of blockchain technology.
So, to better understand what a Proof of Authority (PoA) consensus is, its working principles, and its benefits, consider the following review.
What is PoA (Consensus Proof of Authority)?
The definition of PoA is a consensus mechanism that entrusts selected groups or individuals to validate transactions and create new blocks in a blockchain network.
Proof of Authority is an advanced consensus mechanism aimed at companies or private organizations that wish to build their blockchain network, which is closed and does not require the involvement of the general public.
When compared to other consensus mechanisms, such as PoW (Proof of Work) and PoS (Proof of Stake), Proof of Authority (PoA) is a consensus mechanism that utilizes the identity value of a group of verified and trusted validator nodes.
This validator is also selected according to its authority or reputation on the network, unlike PoS, which looks at the economic aspect.
Therefore, PoA is more suitable for blockchain networks aiming to gain predetermined speed, scale, and trust.
Proof of Authority (PoA) Working Principle
After knowing the definition or understanding, now is the time to understand the working principle of Proof of Authority (PoA).
This understanding is important to know how a blockchain network’s PoA consensus mechanism operates.
The reason is this is related to transaction validation, the authority’s role, and the security risk in it.
PoA will use trusted authorities or stakeholders to validate transactions.
It works by selecting several authorities or authority nodes that are authorized to validate and authorize transactions.
This group of authorities is typically an entity that individuals, groups, organizations, or companies can trust.
In the PoA consensus mechanism, when a user submits a transaction, one or a number of these randomly selected authorities will be responsible for validating that transaction.
Later, if the validation is successful, the transaction will be immediately added to the new block.
Besides that, the task of the authority nodes is also to create new blocks and add them to the blockchain network.
Advantages and Disadvantages of PoA
Furthermore, it is also important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of Proof of Authority (PoA) in blockchain technology.
This will allow users and developers to evaluate the PoA to the needs and goals or vice versa.
This understanding allows users and developers to make better decisions regarding the appropriate consensus mechanism.
There are several advantages of PoA, including high transaction speed and low transaction fees.
This high transaction speed can occur because the process of validating transactions and creating blocks in PoA will be carried out by a group of validator nodes previously appointed.
Unlike Proof-of-Work (PoW), which requires mining for a long time, transactions on PoA can be executed quickly.
Meanwhile, transaction fees can be low as there are no fees associated with mining or validation, which require high computational power and energy in PoA, as is the case with PoW consensus mechanisms.
On the other hand, the weakness of PoA can be seen in its vulnerability to attacks from within if the authorities are not honest.
This can happen because the trust in PoA is placed in a group of validators appointed beforehand.
Therefore, if one of these validators is dishonest, for example, committing corruption, he can manipulate transactions, even causing the network to stop operating.
Example of PoA Implementation
After understanding the working principle and its advantages and disadvantages, it’s time to find examples of PoA implementations.
This is also important to understand because it will provide knowledge regarding how PoA is applied in practice.
Apart from being an example of a real implementation case, understanding the example implementation of this PoA can also help evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of this consensus mechanism.
The following are examples of PoA on blockchain platforms that use it as a consensus mechanism, including:
1. Ethereum Proof of Authority (Ethereum PoA)
Ethereum Proof of Authority or Ethereum PoA is an advanced form of the Ethereum network that uses the PoA consensus mechanism.
In this one example, a group of validators who have been authoritatively appointed will validate transactions and produce new blocks.
Examples of implementations on this platform include the Rinkeby and Kovan networks used to test and develop Ethereum applications.
2. Hyperledger Fabric
The second example is the Hyperledger Fabric, a blockchain network framework used to build solutions for blockchain-based businesses and applications.
In Hyperledger Fabric, PoA, in this case, is a group of validators who have been authoritatively appointed to validate transactions.
In conclusion, PoA is a consensus mechanism that entrusts selected groups or individuals to validate transactions and create new blocks in a blockchain network.
Proof of Authority can be called an advanced consensus mechanism aimed at companies or private organizations that wish to build their blockchain network, which is closed and does not require the involvement of the general public.
PoA works by choosing a number of authorities or authority nodes that are authorized to validate and authorize transactions.
When a user submits a transaction, one or a number of these randomly selected authorities will be responsible for validating that transaction.
It should be noted that selecting a trusted authority in a PoA network is very important because this authority will be responsible for validating transactions and network security.
This is important for transaction reliability, network security, and to increase user reputation and trust in this one consensus mechanism.
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