Proof-of-work, the algorithm that underpins the mining process in Bitcoin, is a key element in ensuring the security and integrity of the network. By requiring miners to perform complex calculations, proof-of-work creates a system of economic incentives that helps to protect the network from malicious actors.
One of the key features of proof-of-work is that it is costly to perform. Miners must invest in specialized hardware and pay for electricity to run their equipment. This creates a barrier to entry for potential attackers, as they would need to invest a significant amount of resources in order to mount a successful attack on the network.