A consensus method, or consensus mechanism, is used in blockchain protocols to reach agreement on the state of the blockchain as new transactions are validated and recorded on-chain. There are many different consensus methods, and most of the protocols supported on Bison Trails utilize Proof-of-Stake and Proof-of-Work, the two most common consensus methods.
There are many specific implementations of Proof-of-Stake (PoS) - the umbrella term, PoS, refers to the concept of a node becoming eligible to validate block transactions and produce blocks in exchange for rewards, according to how many tokens are staked to it.
Proof-of-Work (PoW) means solving simple but computationally expensive mathematical problems in order to validate transactions or produce blocks in exchange for rewards. This is also referred to as mining.