What is Proof-of-Assignment?

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We’ve had Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake and now we have Proof-of-Assignment (PoA) to add to a perhaps growing list of blockchain consensus algorithms. But what does this latest term mean and how will it operate?

In short, it is an attempt to address the issues in the other two ‘Proof’ algorithms. We don’t know yet whether it will be successful, but it does have some interesting features.

Crypto expert JP Buntinx says: “Proof-of-Assignment works very differently from Proof-of-Work or Proof-of-Stake. It is designed to require far less computational power compared to traditional cryptocurrency mining. In fact, it may very well become possible to mine cryptocurrencies using this protocol using household appliances.”

However, it may be less robust than the other two Proofs. Yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has no potential. It is faster for a start, and that could answer some of the scalability problems pressing on blockchain developers. Buntinx cites the example of one project currently making use of PoA that goes by the name of IOTW. IOTW claims that achieving a throughput of over 1 million transactions per second should be possible with PoA. However, this is just one project and we need more to make a proper assessment.

But, PoA is also compatible with Internet of Things devices, which could be a winning feature and it’s an algorithm that could have a lasting impact on cryptocurrencies. As Buntinx says: “If any algorithm could bring much-needed competition to Visa’s throughput, it may very well be PoA.” However, more research and development is required before we can say with any certainty that PoA is going to stay around for the long-term.

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