# PoW PoW!

At the time of writing, the volume of searches made through Google for ’what is bitcoin’ has almost quadrupled during the last year.

Bitcoin is a proof-of-work cryptocurrency.

Very nice. What is a proof of work? Let’s ask Wikipedia.

“Proof of work is a form of cryptographic zero-knowledge proof in which one party proves to others that a certain amount of computational effort has been expended for some purpose”.

Forming an understanding of that text, for the uninitiated at least, must itself be a proof of work.

Looking elsewhere we find a more accessible definition as “a piece of data which is difficult (costly and time-consuming) to produce but easy for others to verify”.

‘PoW! PoW!’ is an algorithm that takes data from an arbitrary Bitcoin transaction and shapes it into a 3D model. Another piece of software then renders this model into an animation. This animation is itself a proof of work, something very time consuming for the computer to produce and something we can easily verify (is this an animation? yes, it’s an animation).

Therefore ‘PoW! Pow!’ is a proof of work of a proof of work.

The production and placement of the work within the above video player effectively creates a proof of work of a proof of work of a proof of work.

The compressed version of the work we see above is therefore, at the very least, a proof of work of a proof of work of a proof of work of a proof of work.

Featured as part of:

*— Philosophy of Photography*

*— The Terminal: The Human Shaped Hole*