What is a consensus mechanism?
Consensus refers to the act of coming to an agreement among individuals or groups. A consensus mechanism is the method by which decentralized networks agree on which transactions are valid before being confirmed as legitimate across the network.
A good consensus mechanism allows for decentralization, immutability, permissionless participation and trustlessness. Typical consensus mechanisms found in blockchains are Proof-of-Work (PoW), Proof-of-Stake (PoS), or delegated Proof-of-Stake (dPoS). There are novel, hybrid approaches combining PoW with PoS, in addition to lesser known ones such as Proof-of-Space-and-Time (PoST) or Proof-of-Capacity (PoC).