Here the link to the NIPoPoWs paper

The jargon and complexity of the topic is too difficult for me to parse.

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    Mar 15, 2022 at 3:18

1 Answer 1


By definition, NiPoPoWs are lightweight proofs for Proof-of-Work blockchains. In a nutshell, they operate by taking advantage of the fact that every so often, a block of highly unusual likelihood is mined. Here’s a quick summary:

In PoW, a miner is elected Block leader when they win a lottery by producing a block hash with a certain difficulty level. Let’s say (for arguments sake) the chances of producing such a block are 1/100. Every so often, a miner will produce a block hash with an unusually high unlikelihood (I.e. 1/10,000 chance). NiPoPoWs take advantage of this “super-unlikelihood” by recognizing these super blocks are produced at a regular cadence. So instead of validating the entire blockchain, one only needs to validate the superblocks, which may be a much smaller subset of the rest of the blocks.

Another way to think about this: lets say there is an engine running and you know that a every 1000 engine cycles, the piston makes an unusual noise. If I ask you to count how long 5000 cycles takes, instead of counting 5000 engine cycles, you can just count 5 of the “unusual” cycles.

Here’s a more beginner friendly article on the topic.

  • This is very surprising answer. Only in that in that it's so unexpected. Thank you!
    – Dale Botha
    Mar 18, 2022 at 10:37
  • This is an amazing explanation of what NIPoPoWs is. But I guess by superficial extrapolation it does answer my question ie. This sounds like a PoW version of PoS where stake pool with a small amount of delegation gets to create the next block. Is this resemblance superficial or could it be applied to PoS too?
    – Dale Botha
    Mar 18, 2022 at 10:45

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