A consensus mechanism, or consensus algorithm, is the system used by blockchain network participants (validator nodes) to come to agreement on what information will be permanently stored in the blockchain. The consensus mechanism defines how participants verify transactions, in order to achieve distributed (group) consensus on the validity of the data stored in the blockchain.
As most blockchains are managed by a decentralized network of computers, rather than by a central authority, all computers in the network must have a single method by which to determine agreement on the validity of the data recorded in the blockchain. That group consensus mechanism is generally defined by the protocol (the predefined set of rules governing the blockchain).
The consensus mechanism tells the whole system how to comply with protocol rules in order to determine the validity of transactions and blocks and secure the blockchain from fraudulent attacks. Common consensus mechanisms include proof of work and proof of stake.
→ View more terminology.
Bison Trails is a blockchain infrastructure platform-as-a-service (PaaS) company based in New York City. We built a platform for anyone who wants to participate in 21 new chains effortlessly.
We also make it easy for anyone building Web 3.0 applications to connect to blockchain data from 33 protocols with Query & Transact (QT). Our goal is for the entire blockchain ecosystem to flourish by providing robust infrastructure for the pioneers of tomorrow.
In January, 2021, we announced Bison Trails joined Coinbase to accelerate our mission to provide easy-to-use blockchain infrastructure, now as a standalone product line. The Bison Trails platform will continue to support our customers. With Coinbase’s backing, we will enhance our infrastructure platform and make it even easier to participate in decentralized networks and build applications that connect to blockchain data.