What are the biggest hurdles (technological or otherwise) that the Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm must overcome to become the de facto consensus algorithm for blockchain? Or put differently, what's stopping PoS from becoming a reality, right at this moment?

And furthermore, in what ways is it so much more difficult to implement than a Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm? (I am assuming it is much more complicated by virtue of the years and years of R&D required to make it a reality, relative to PoW which was implemented 10 years ago now by one man, or perhaps a small team of people, depending what you believe)

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it appears to mostly be about Ethereum
    – G. Maxwell
    Mar 14 '19 at 17:20

PoS will not become the defacto standard because Bitcoin is the defacto standard, and it is based on PoW.

PoS has a different risk/reward tradeoff to PoW, because funds are not irrevocably committed to securing a block, and reward is guaranteed for being honest, assuming that honest stakers remain the majority.

PoW irrevocably commits funds in the form of energy consumed to perform proof of work. You can never get these funds back. The reward is also psuedo-random, it depends on the unpredictable output of secure hash algorithms, and so you can only have a probabilistic measure of reward at best.

For a PoS stake system to achieve the same, you would need a perfect oracle, which can randomly pick winners from those who irrevocably risk their own funds into securing the chain in hope of a reward which is not guaranteed.

PoW is probabilistic gambling (where the probability is out of human control), and PoS is rent-seeking for the biggest stakeholders.


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