Bitcoin Global News (BGN)
December 14, 2018 -- ADVFN Crypto NewsWire -- A Proof of Work based network is not really decentralized. Miners can theoretically control most of its’ hash power. In most cases, because of this fact, critics suggest using Proof of Stake consensus algorithms as a viable alternative. What many of them refuse to admit or even fail to realize is that PoS does not lead to true decentralization either.
Therefore without specialized technical knowledge related to cryptography, it is hard to think of what sort of algorithm might serve this purpose. Through a quick analysis of one blockchain network’s technical foundations however, an alternative comes to light that is easy to understand.
If you have been in the blockchain industry for any length of time longer than a few days, then you have likely heard something about the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s importance to the space. In an overarching sense, they represent the top candidate for a trustworthy university at which to learn the ins and outs of the industry. This is by no means by accident, but due to the wealth of MIT research that has added to the blockchain space’s growth over the last few years.
Dr. Silvio Micali’s project called Algorand, which plans to launch in 2019, might be the one to lead MIT into true blockchain stardom due to its’ usage of a novel consensus algorithm. In understand this algorithm’s key differentiator, it is easier to believe in this possibility.
According to a Medium post by Algorand’s Head of Cryptography, Sergey Gorbunov, this comes down to using a PoS algorithm that may be considered "pure," which in turn refers to the level of decentralization it is able to uphold.
Gorbunov claims that Algorand can bring about full decentralization of a blockchain network through a specific feature called player replaceability, which means that the block producers are secretly selected on a round by round basis. Understanding zero-knowledge proofs as well as Delegated-Proof-of-Stake can help in this case for two simple reasons.
First, Algorand splits all the work that is done to add blocks to its’ main chain into rounds. Then the block producers for that round are randomly chosen by the network’s principal consensus algorithm. In Algorand’s case, this also involves notifying each of these users with a special certificate. Because of this, only each individual who is chosen knows that he or she will have this responsibility. Therefore, their identities are never released to any other member of the community.
As this process repeats in perpetuity, Gorbunov and the Algorand team seem to claim that it secures the network against any sort of hack that it is possible to execute. In other words, anyone who wants to take control of the Algorand chain will have no way of knowing who its’ most important nodes are because they change consistently, while retaining anonymity.
Finally, even if Algorand’s chain never scales to widespread institutional adoption as it aims to, it just may act as the catalyst that ends our dependence on traditional PoW and PoS.
By: BGN Editorial Staff