What is proof of work in Blockchain?

Proof of work is currently very popular and has been the basis of the success of the most valuable and popular blockchains including Bitcoin and Ethereum. This consensus algorithm works by requiring users or network participants to use hashing algorithms to find the correct solution to a mathematical problem by allowing the participants to validate blocks by investing their computing power in return for Bitcoin. This creates a very elegant and efficient monetary and reward-based model for encouraging or incentivising people to participate in the network.