Emin Gun Sirer Unveils ‘Simple Yet Powerful’ Consensus Protocols

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A pseudonymous developers team have created a family of new consensus protocols for blockchains. Cornell University professor and blockchain researcher Emin Pier Sier announced the new protocols Thursday at Token Summit III in NY, explaining that they combine what he referred to as the classical consensus and Nakamoto consensus models in blockchain network decision making. The way this protocol works is incredibly simple, but incredibly strong, he said. Sirer and his team have been working on a white paper for this protocol family for months, he said, however it was developed by a pseudonymous team called Team Rocket after the Pokmon characters.

Referred to as Snowflake, Snowball and Avalanche, the protocols randomly sample network participants, and eventually choose a single result, Sirer said. They rely on randomness plus they rely on arbitrary interactions and yet they ensure after the interactions everybody has decided the same thing.”. In accordance with the white paper: Inspired by gossip algorithms, this new family gains its safety through an intentionally metastable mechanism. Particularly, the system operates by repeatedly sampling the network at arbitrary, and steering the right nodes towards the same result.”. Nakamoto consensus protocols require miners to agree to a specific decision before it may be enacted, while a classical consensus requires a two thirds plus one majority, Sirer said during his talk.

Nevertheless, not everybody agrees that this is a new breakthrough. Ethereum developer Vlad Zamfir said on Twitter that because of the nature of the protocol, it fails to combine the best of Nakamoto’s consensus with the best of classical consensus as Sier claimed. Zamfir, who’s the leading researcher behind ethereum’s upcoming proof-of stake protocol Casper CBC, said the new protocols combine the worst of both worlds, because of aspects of the code which can lead to a weakened security. It isn’t asynchronously safe and it is probabilistic, he said, later adding do not get to take a probabilistic model of the network for granted .”. William Mougayar and Emin G&uuml, n Sirer image by Nikhilesh De for CoinDesk. The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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gossip algorithms
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