## What Is The Merge, Proof-of-Work?

**What Is The Merge, Proof-of-Work?**

A proof-of-work consensus is one consensus mechanism used in blockchain technology, and it has been used to power Bitcoin since its launch.

Proof-of-work is essentially a race between computers (the nodes) to be the first to solve a mathematical puzzle. The puzzle can be solved only through brute force computation; there is no knowledge or technique that can be used to increase the odds of any one computer winning the race by being the first to solve the puzzle.

When there are enough new transactions on the chain to form a new block, the nodes race against each other to solve a new proof-of-work puzzle. The node that wins the race receives a reward and is declared the authoritative block (think of this as the “official” copy of the ledger), while the other nodes then work to verify the winning node’s work.

For its trouble, the winning node receives a reward, usually a crypto token or two. The other nodes copy the “winning” node’s block, then the process repeats to “mine” a new block in the chain.