Miners Versus Validators

Last Modified:
May 1, 2024

What are miners?

Miners are participants in a Proof-of-Work blockchain like Bitcoin who are responsible for adding new blocks of data to the blockchain. In this system, miners compete with each other to be the first to solve complex math problems and find a hash, which is a special cryptographic number that is needed to verify each new block. The first miner to solve the hash receives a reward in Bitcoin. 

Since the computations are very complex, mining requires miners to use specialized computers which use a lot of electricity. Because the process of mining is very energy-intensive, many blockchains prefer to use other consensus mechanisms like Proof-of-Stake, which requires much less energy consumption and less advanced hardware.

What are validators?

In Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchains like Ethereum, validators rather than miners are responsible for maintaining and adding more blocks to the network. Instead of competing with each other to be the first to validate new blocks, validators are chosen based on the amount of coins they have staked on the network. Their role is to check transactions, create and verify new blocks, and maintain records. Instead of mining rewards, validators collect transaction fees as compensation for their work.

In summary, miners compete with each other to unlock tokens in a Proof-of-Work system, while validators stake crypto for the chance to get chosen to unlock tokens in a Proof-of-Stake system. Both are crucial in keeping their respective blockchain networks safe.

Find out more in our other short guides:

Bitcoin Versus Ethereum

Proof-of-Work Versus Proof-of-Stake

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