Inside The Cryptocurrency Revolution | VICE on HBO

Bitcoin’s emergence as a global digital currency has been as revolutionary as it has been erratic. But while fledgling investors obsess over every fluctuation in the cryptocurrency market, nation-states are more interested in the underlying blockchain technology and its ability to revolutionize how business is done on the internet and beyond. VICE’s Michael Moynihan travels to Russia with Vitalik Buterin, inventor of the Ethereum blockchain, to get a front-row seat to the geopolitical tug of war over Internet 3.0.

Vitalik Buterin: Proof of Stake vs Proof of Work

In this brief video, Vitalik Buterin describes the difference between proof of work and proof of stake and why he considers proof of stake to be a more efficient consensus mechanism.

Proof of stake  is a type of algorithm by which a blockchain network aims to achieve distributed consensus. In proof of stake, the creator of the next block is chosen via various combinations of random selection and wealth or age (i.e., the stake).

Proof-of-work uses mining; which requires solving computationally intensive puzzles to validate transactions and create new blocks.  This uses a tremendous amount of energy.

Proof of stake requires much less energy consumption.

Consensus is fundamental to a blockchain. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires consensus of the network majority.

Consensus algorithms are in continual development to increase performance and efficiency.

Vitalik Buterin is a Russian-Canadian programmer and writer primarily known as a co-founder of Ethereum and as a co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine.

Vitalik Buterin Explains Ethereum

In 2014, Vitalik Buterin explained decentralized applications (dapps) and Ethereum. He notes that dapps reduce costs, remove points of failure, prevent censorship, promote transparency and trust.

Ethereum borrowed the concept of distributed consensus and cryptographic proof that makes cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin so effective in trustless payments. Ethereum then extended the use of these technologies to trustless agreements (Smart Contracts). This allows developers to easily build innovative, new products on a collusion-resistant foundation without censorship.

In brief, Ethereum is a platform that makes it possible for any developer to write and distribute next-generation dapps.

Vitalik Buterin is a Russian-Canadian programmer and writer primarily known as a co-founder of Ethereum and as a co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine.