Jude C. Nelson sharply criticizes pure PoS consensus on HN
For the uninformed, what mathematical guarantees does POW have that POS doesnât?
PoW is open-membership, because the means of coin production are not tied to owning coins already. All you need to contribute is computing power, and you can start earning coins at a profit.PoS is closed-membership with a veneer of open-membership, because the means of coin production are tied to owning a coin already. What this means in practice is that no rational coin-owner is going to sell you coins at a fast enough rate that you'll be able to increase your means of coin production. Put another way, the price you'd pay for the increased means of coin production will meet or exceed the total expected revenue created by staking those coins over their lifetime. So unless you know something the seller doesn't, you won't be able to profit by buying your way into staking.
Overall, this makes PoS less resilient and less egalitarian than PoW. While both require an up-front capital expenditure, the expenditure for PoS coin-production will meet or exceed the total expected revenue of those coins at the point of sale. So, the system is only as resilient as the nodes run by the people who bought in initially, and the only way to join later is to buy coins from people who want to exit (which would only be viable if these folks believed the coins are worth less than what you're buying them for, which doesn't bode well for you as the buyer).
One important difference in favour of PoS that isn't brought up often is the financial cost to pull off an attack. Pulling off an attack in most PoS protocols results in coin slashing for the attacker ("deletion" of coins used in the attack) and on top of that can (and likely will) result in coin devaluation a...