The difficulty of the puzzle is adjusted regularly to ensure that new blocks are added to the blockchain at a steady rate.
PoW is a probabilistic algorithm, meaning that there is a small chance that two miners could solve the puzzle at the same time. When this happens, the blockchain splits into two competing branches, and the longest branch is considered the valid one.
The security of the PoW consensus algorithm is based on the fact that it is economically infeasible for any single entity to control more than 50% of the network's computational power, known as a 51% attack.
PoW was first used in the Bitcoin blockchain, which is the most well-known cryptocurrency that uses this consensus algorithm.
PoW is a slow and resource-intensive process that limits the number of transactions that can be processed per second. This has led to the development of alternative consensus algorithms, such as Proof of Stake (PoS), that are faster and require less energy.
Nearly $8.5 million was moved from the protocol, and as a result, the Platypus USD (USP) stablecoin depegged from the U.S. dollar, dropping to $0.33 at the time of writing.