Adaora Anders
4 min readFeb 27, 2021

NervosNetwork: Its Proof of Work Consensus And The Advantages

Different blockchains have their attributes such as decentralization, transparency, and timeliness of operations enshrined in the chosen consensus. Also, the choice of consensus tends to influence the security of a blockchain and the level of interaction between nodes in the network.

In this piece, we intend to dissect the consensus of the NervosNetwork, and how this choice altered the functionality of this blockchain.

Introducing NervosNetwork

This is a blockchain network with a multi-layer structure, consisting of the Common Knowledge Base (CKB) and the generation layer. Using the CKB as a layer for storing assets, Nervos can provide security and trust for its entire architecture, including the generation layer.

With the division of duties between the layers, the Nervos Network functions optimally, breezing through impressive throughput while staying decentralized and secure.

Beyond the layered nature of the NervosNetwork, there’s the multi-chain advantage that makes communication across different chains possible. To actualize this interoperability feat, Nervos depends on its virtual machine and cells.

Why The Choice of PoW for the Common Knowledge Base (CKB)

The NervosNetwork’s CKB serves as the layer holding all sorts of assets both fungible tokens and their non-fungible counterpart, as well as other valuables.

To ensure the assets held in the CKB are actually ‘common knowledge’, communication across nodes is crucial. The Nervos Network can navigate the gridlock using an upgraded variant of the Nakamoto consensus, a PoW type.

The choice of the PoW is based on its less complicated setup and minim communication cost. Though being an upgrade on the Nakamoto consensus, CKB lacks some of its shortcomings, like the long block interval notorious for elongating the transaction time and the security threat linked to the NC. These improvements of the CKB’s framework ensure it’s the most worthy candidate for asset transfer and storage.

Comparing the CKB’s PoW to a PoS Consensus

There’s no perfect consensus system out there as the two forms of consensus PoW and PoS are riddled with frailties. But the architecture of the specific network decides the performance of the consensus system.

In a PoW Consensus, the huge mining cost can influence the number of miners that take on the role. For those not financially capable of footing the massive power bill, they might have no chance of participating in the PoW Consensus.

Unlike in the PoW system, participating in the PoS consensus is dependent on your staking. So while you don’t have to deal with significant energy and technological costs, digital assets have to be staked.

Despite the astronomical cost of the PoW system, it’s less susceptible to manipulations, which are quite commonplace and almost undetectable in the PoS consensus. Decentralization isn’t possible in the PoS consensus as participants are selected by the current group of PoS validators, so collusions and centralization attributes that negate the creation of the blockchain take place without any checks and balances.

One of the reasons why the PoS consensus has remained the backbone for many blockchains is the perception of a highly sought-after native token. For a short time, the craze of staking might make this appear to be true, but the hunger for the token eventually fizzles out as the long-term benefits of holding these tokens never appeal to most.

The CKB’s PoW Consensus lacks these nefarious PoS attributes while inculcating the permissionless participation capability of a true Proof of Work.

On the CKB, there are no restrictions regarding the node that calls a block, but there’s a guideline surrounding this process. To ensure a decentralized environment that’s true to the principles of the PoW, participants must solve complex computations with the solution conforming to the attributes of the block called.

To reduce the likelihood of luck or fraud taking place, Nervos CKB deploys unsoiled PoW functions for these computational puzzles, ensuring integrity is unmatched.

Unlike most blockchains, Nervos CKB uses a distinct hash function put together with the PoW consensus in the picture. In building the hash, a non-complex and secure framework that’s entirely original was visualized. Eaglesong is that hash function.

The unique thing about Eaglesong is that it embodies the values desired in a contemporary hash function without the fragilities visible in most.


To deliver a decentralized and secure environment for applications to thrive, the NervosNetwork uses the PoW for its asset layer, CKB. The advantages of this choice are numerous, especially in the face of more sophisticated attacks and unscrupulous individuals. Hopefully, more developers get to see Nervos for what it’s truly worth: priceless!

To learn more about NervosNetwork, check out their website here:

I am a crypto enthusiast interested in how blockchains can maximise the potentials of different sectors. You can follow me on Twitter: