Some consensus mechanisms are more efficient than others. Proof-of-work is the consensus protocol currently in use on popular blockchain networks like Bitcoin. Although its proof-of-work consensus is secure, it is slow. That’s why many newer blockchain networks, such as Electra Protocol, favor the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. Instead of requiring miners to solve cryptographic algorithms using substantial computing power, proof-of-stake systems process and validate new blocks of transaction data based on participants staking collateral in the network.
Some blockchains also make use of shading. Sharding is a mechanism adapted from distributed databases that has become one of the most popular layer-1 scaling solutions, despite its somewhat experimental nature within the blockchain sector. Sharding entails breaking the state of the entire blockchain network into distinct datasets called “shards” — a more manageable task than requiring all nodes to maintain the entire network. These network shards are simultaneously processed in parallel by the network, allowing for sequential work on numerous transactions.