What is Proof of Space (PoSpace)?

Did you know that the Signum (formerly Burstcoin) was the first to use Proof of Space (PoS) blockchain in 2014? This new way of doing things has brought a lot of interest. It offers a greener option compared to the old Proof of Work (PoW) model.

Proof of Space (PoSpace) is a way for blockchains to agree on things without using a lot of energy. Instead of racing to solve hard math problems, people show they care by using a lot of their storage space. This makes the network safer and more secure.

Back in 2013, some smart folks came up with the idea of PoSpace. They wanted a fairer and greener way to make blockchains work. PoSpace uses storage in a smart way, which means it doesn’t use as much energy as the old PoW method.

Key Takeaways

  • Proof of Space (PoSpace) is a blockchain consensus mechanism that uses storage capacity instead of computational power to validate transactions and secure the network.
  • PoSpace was first introduced in 2013 as a more sustainable and equitable alternative to the energy-intensive Proof of Work (PoW) model.
  • PoSpace participants demonstrate their commitment to the network by allocating a significant amount of their disk or memory space to solve a challenge presented by the service provider.
  • PoSpace is considered more environmentally-friendly than PoW, as it requires significantly less energy to operate.
  • The Signum (formerly Burstcoin) was the first practical implementation of PoSpace blockchain technology in 2014.

Introduction to Proof of Space (PoSpace)

Definition and Origins

Proof of Space (PoSpace) is a consensus algorithm that proves you have a real stake in a service by using memory or disk space. It was first thought of in 2013 by Dziembowski et al. and Ateniese et al. Unlike Proof of Work (PoW), which uses computer power, PoSpace uses storage to earn cryptocurrency.

After Bitcoin came out, people looked for other ways to make blockchain work better. PoSpace was seen as a fair and green option compared to PoW’s high energy use. It’s good for storing data and uses less energy, making it a top choice for blockchain.

Consensus MechanismDecentralizationEnergy EfficiencyScalability
Proof of Work (PoW)513
Proof of Stake (PoS)444
Proof of Space (PoSpace)444

This table shows how PoSpace compares to other blockchain methods on decentralization, energy use, and scalability. PoSpace looks like a strong choice, balancing these important factors well for blockchain use.

PoSpace algorithm

“Proof of Space is a very interesting alternative to Proof of Work, as it promises to be more energy-efficient and fairer, while still maintaining a decentralized consensus mechanism.”

How Proof of Space (PoSpace) Works

PoSpace is a new way to secure blockchains that doesn’t need lots of energy or special computers. It uses the extra storage space of users to keep the network safe and check transactions. This is different from old ways that used a lot of energy and special computers.

PoSpace uses “proofs of space” to work. Miners, called “farmers,” give a part of their storage to the network. These proofs show the farmer has space without sharing what’s stored there.

Key Components and Processes

PoSpace has several important parts and steps:

  1. Storage Commitment: Farmers save a certain amount of storage on their devices for mining.
  2. Proof Generation: Farmers make proofs of space. These are secret messages that show they have space without sharing what’s in it.
  3. Verification: The network checks the proofs from farmers to make sure they really have the space they say they do.
  4. Block Creation: Farmers with good proofs can try to add new blocks to the blockchain.
  5. Blockchain Mining: PoSpace uses this method to mine new blocks. Farmers with the most storage space have a better chance of adding a block.

PoSpace is different from old ways because farmers compete to give the most storage space, not solve hard math problems. This method tries to use less energy and doesn’t need special computers.

PoSpace Consensus MechanismProof of Work (PoW)
Uses unused storage space to secure the network and check transactionsNeeds lots of energy to solve hard math puzzles
Farmers commit some storage space to the networkMiners try to solve complex math puzzles
Farmers make proofs of space to show they have spaceMiners use special computers to solve puzzles
Farmers with more storage have a better chance to add a blockMiners with more power have a better chance to solve puzzles and add a block

PoSpace uses storage to make mining easier and greener. It tries to reduce the need for lots of energy and special computers.

PoSpace consensus mechanism

Advantages and Drawbacks of Proof of Space (PoSpace)

Advantages of PoSpace

Proof of Space (PoSpace) is seen as a fairer and more energy-efficient way to validate transactions compared to traditional Proof of Work (PoW). It uses storage space instead of energy-hungry computers to validate transactions. This makes it better for the environment since it uses less energy.

One big plus of PoSpace is how it helps decentralize the network. It lets anyone join, not just those with expensive mining gear. This makes it fairer for smaller miners to play a part in the network.

Also, PoSpace is useful for more than just cryptocurrencies. It can help prevent spam, stop denial-of-service attacks, and detect malware. This shows its wide range of uses across different industries.

Drawbacks of PoSpace

Despite its benefits, PoSpace has its own problems. A big worry is the “storage arms race” where miners buy lots of storage to get ahead. This could make the network unfair and centralized, with big players taking over.

Another issue is the high write activity needed for plot generation. This can shorten the life of solid-state drives (SSDs) and cause them to fail early. This is a concern for the long-term health and upkeep of PoSpace blockchains.

Also, PoSpace might struggle with scalability. As more people join, the storage needs grow fast. This could slow down the adoption and use of PoSpace blockchains.

In summary, PoSpace has its upsides like being energy-efficient and promoting decentralization. But, it also has downsides that the blockchain community needs to think about and fix.

PoSpace advantages and drawbacks


Proof of space (PoSpace) is a new way to secure blockchains. It’s different from old methods that use a lot of energy. PoSpace uses how much storage space you have instead of how fast your computer works.

This makes it fairer and better for the planet. Blockchains like Signum, SpaceMint, and Chia are already using it. But, they might face issues like a “storage arms race” and worries about how long storage devices last.

As technology gets better, PoSpace is still being looked at closely. It could help make blockchains more green and fair. By using Proof of Space and Proof of Time together, it makes blockchains safer and more reliable.

In short, PoSpace is a big step forward for blockchains. It tackles the problems of old methods. As we move forward, PoSpace could help make blockchains better for everyone.


What is Proof of Space (PoSpace)?

Proof of Space (PoSpace) is a way to secure networks by using storage space to validate transactions. It’s different from proof of stake.

How does PoSpace work?

PoSpace lets users show they’re serious by using a lot of memory or disk space to solve a challenge. This idea started in 2013 by researchers like Dziembowski et al. and Ateniese et al.

How is PoSpace different from Proof of Work (PoW)?

Unlike proof of work (PoW), PoSpace uses storage to earn cryptocurrency, not just computation. It’s considered more fair and eco-friendly because storage is versatile and uses less energy.

What are the advantages of PoSpace?

People like PoSpace because it’s fairer and better for the planet. Storage is versatile and uses less energy than proof of work.

What are the drawbacks of PoSpace?

PoSpace tries to be fair and open, but some worry about a “storage arms race”. Miners might buy lots of storage to get ahead. Also, the constant writing for PoSpace blockchains like Chia could shorten the life of solid-state drives.