Blockchain Proof of Work is a Decentralized Clock

“This explanation rests on illustrating a few interesting properties of how Proof-of-Work is used in the blockchain that are not immediately obvious and sometimes are rather counter-intuitive, for example how participants collectively solve a problem without ever communicating .” – grisha

While we incessantly focus on the side-effects of the proof-of-work system in Bitcoin, the security it attributes to the Bitcoin history, the incentive structure it enables, etc, we can often forget the reason Satoshi himself stated for its use: to enable a distributed timestamp server. i.e. a decentralized clock.

An epic piece from @humblehack posted back in January 2018 on his blog at Check out the original and many other works at the link below:

Other great reads to dig further into the concepts:

The Drunkard’s Walk :

Fooled By Randomness :
Bitcoin Astronomy :—Bitcoin-Astronomy-Part-1—Dhruv-Bansal-e6eqo5

Thanks to Marty & Chris from TFTC for bringing this to my attention again:

Episode 188:

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