Proof-of-work - explained
Before transactions can be added to a blockchain, they need to be validated with a hash-code. The code is unknown, and the only way to figure out the code is by guessing.
The reward for guessing correctly is being paid with the blockchain’s coin - such as bitcoin. Naturally, people are very eager to be rewarded with that.
Only one person can guess correctly and get the reward. That’s why there’s also a fight to be the first to guess correctly.
In turn, it also means that several supercomputers around the globe are running around the clock to crack the correct code. That takes up a lot of energy.
In the end, only one of the supercomputers will be rewarded for cracking the code - even if there may have been thousands of computers using power to figure out the code.
That’s how proof-of-work validation works.
Proof-of-stake - explained
Proof-of-stake validation works differently. Every participant in the network also participates in a raffle or draw to be responsible for finding the next code. Like that, there won’t be thousands of different computers trying to crack the same code. Here, there’s only one person/computer per block, which makes proof-of-stake less energy-intensive than proof-of-work. “Stake” refers to a ticket in the raffle or draw. The more stakes you have, the bigger your chances are of winning the draw. Stakes are based on how many coins or tokens you have - the more matics you have, the more stakes you have in the draw. When a person is selected to validate a transaction, they will charge a fee - a gas fee - for their work.
So, the motivation for participating in the draw is the collection of gas fees.
Reward for proof-of-work: Here, participants are rewarded with new crypto coins, and are expanding the amount of existing coins at the same time.
Reward for proof-of-stake: Here, participants are rewarded with a cost fee - a so-called gas fee - the accumulated amount of coins or tokens are decided internally by the developers of the blockchain.