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Author Topic: [2018-07-13] Has Cardano's Blockchain 'Solved' Proof-of-Stake?  (Read 22 times)
Portal_Network
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July 13, 2018, 03:06:19 AM
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Even in an industry that's seen no shortage of grand proclamations, those words, issued by entrepreneur Charles Hoskinson in April, grabbed attention.

The CEO of blockchain firm IOHK (and one-time CEO of Ethereum), Hoskinson was seeking to send a message about a new research paper, one he believes proved that the company's novel twist on how blockchains come to consensus, called Ouroboros, had addressed long-standing concerns about whether the model can sufficiently secure investor funds.

Given the size of the claim (and its impact), it's an assertion that sparked doubt from cardano's more prominent competitors. However, months later the team at IOHK maintain Ouroboros may be the answer to one of crypto's most divisive questions – whether so-called proof-of-stake systems offer solutions to some of the industry's pressing problems.

So far, the market appears to be interested in the opportunity to support the thesis.

Soon to power the public blockchain cardano, Ouroboros may one day support the world's eighth-largest cryptocurrency, with its 25 billion ADA tokens worth $3.3 billion. And a look at the history of proof-of-stake systems perhaps showcases why so much money is on the line.

First pitched by developers Scott Nadal and Sunny King in 2012, proof-of-stake offers what is claimed to be a more sustainable alternative to proof-of-work, the consensus method underlying the world's biggest blockchain by market cap, bitcoin.

Allowing users to vote or "stake" their coins on a transaction history in exchange for rewards (instead of burning computational energy), it's relatively untested, having so far only been adopted in hybrid, small-scale or delegated formats.

So, while bitcoin's security is comparatively proven (its blockchain is currently sustaining $114 billion and has held up for years), many crypto coders believe proof-of-stake is necessary to transition the industry into the next phase, in which users no longer have to own hardware in order to claim a blockchain's rewards.

The trouble is, no one can agree on how this should be done.

"Different consensus algorithms do well in different environments," Nate Rush, a proof-of-stake researcher for ethereum, told CoinDesk, "If the assumptions that some protocol is 'solved' under turn out to break or be unrealistic, then this protocol can fail."

Still, the team behind cardano, IOHK, have worked to secure academic partnerships, as well as relationships with researchers in the field distributed computation in an effort to prove the proof-of-stake model can be achieved.

Taking the security of bitcoin as its starting point, the chief scientist behind the protocol, Aggelos Kiayias, has created formal proofs for each step of the protocol's design, used to dispel doubt as to the algorithm's ability to protect assets.

Kiayias told CoinDesk:

"Contrary to [other proof-of-stake protocols], we developed Ouroboros together with a formal proof of security that the protocol indeed captures the security properties of a robust transaction ledger like bitcoin."

See more: https://www.coindesk.com/a-3-3-billion-claim-has-cardanos-blockchain-solved-proof-of-stake/
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