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There are suggestions that blockchains concept can go beyond crypto currency such as votings etc. My question is that in those cases how could a “proof of work” is enforced? I guess adding any new blocks to the chains always require various kind of “independent” check. Without any incentives how could pow be done fairly?

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Most current such systems (Ethereum, Neo, WAVES, etc.) rely on proof of work to secure the blockchain and issue the native token (ether and waves are issued, Neo was all generated at genesis).

The incentives in these cases are:

  1. Transaction fees gained by executing contract transactions
  2. Block reward, if it exists

There are also a number of private blockchain systems, such as Hyperledger, where the incentive is that the businesses maintaining the network will presumably reap some benefit from its continued functioning.

  • Thanks for the answer. I agree that for bitcoins, there always ways to collect fees. My question is for something not relating to bitcoins, for example votings, or health cares. As the blockchains grows, especially for health cares, proof of work may require significant resources —- and to be fair and accurate it will need to have many minners to work independently—- who will be paying the fees? (Patient?, hospitals?) – Y Lee May 14 '18 at 12:42
  • Using a proof of work system for a healthcare blockchain is beyond ridiculous. Proof of work is a (partial solution) to the consensus problem, which instead turns it into an economic incentive. If you can't reward miners with valuable tokens, you get no solution. Furthermore, healthcare doesn't need a consensus system. – Pieter Wuille Aug 13 '18 at 14:27
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Enterprise blockchains do not rely on Proof-of-Work (PoW). For example, Hyperledger Sawtooth uses Proof-of-Elapsed Time (PoET), which is a Nakamoto-style consensus algorithm without the energy-wasteful "mining" PoW algorithm and without miners or digital currency.

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