The Evolution of Consensus Mechanism and the introduction of D-DPOS

What is it all about this so called Consensus Mechanism that seems to be extremely important aspect of Blockchain?

The Consensus Mechanism might be the most crucial aspect of Blockchain which have had people discussing whether or not the current Consensus Mechanism truly allows the network to become decentralized and democratic.

What is it and how will the future of Consensus Mechanism look like to enable a decentralized and efficient network? Let me introduce D-DPoS.

But first, let’s start from the beginning.

Consensus Mechanism

Consensus — is the “general agreement” of the blockchain technology. Instead of having a central authority keeping accounts in a single entity, like a bank, blockchains use a public ledger to record all information. However if the Blockchain does not have a central authority that protects the users from malicious attacks and frauds, how can it ensure the safety of the Blockchain? That is where Consensus Mechanism comes in. All consensus mechanisms aim to secure the network by making it expensive to attack the network and more profitable to help protect it.

Bitcoin and PoW

Bitcoin introduced the famous Consensus Mechanism Proof of Work (PoW). In PoW, computers in the network (miners) work to solve very difficult mathematical puzzles (cryptographic). The one who can solve it first gets the chance to process the transaction and add it to the blockchain which they earn rewards for.

Since this process requires an immense amount of energy and computational usage, not only it becomes financially disadvantage to try do malicious attacks or make fraudulent transactions, but also extremely hard.

PoW has become rather unpreferred due to PoW is regarded as too slow; energy inefficient; and not really decentralized with organizations affording faster and more powerful processor power have a better chance of getting the reward than the others.


Proof of Stake (PoS) doesn’t require computers to perform repetitive computations thus being more environmentally friendly. PoS replace miners with validators where they will lock up some of their coins as stake (deposit) for the chance to process a transaction and add it to the blockchain, and gain rewards for the work. A group of validators takes turns proposing and voting on the next block, and the weight of each validator’s vote depends on the size of its stake (more tokens they have staked, more rewards they can earn). Anyone who holds the tokens can become validators by locking up their tokens in the network.

Daniel Larimer, creator of Bitshares and Steemit, proposed a new consensus mechanism that allowed the network to become much faster and efficient. It’s called Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS). Instead of everyone can validate the transactions, using DPoS the users of the community votes for a group of nodes that will act as Witnesses or Block producers that will manage the transactions of the network. Users get a number of votes proportional to the tokens they own, alternatively voters can choose to allow another voter to elect a block producers in their behalf. Most cases it is 21 Block producers elected among 100 nodes. The 21 nodes with the most votes will become Block producers which receives rewards based on how much tokens they own (their stake).

People’s vote strength is determined by how many tokens they hold. This means that people who have more tokens will influence the network more than people who have very few tokens.

If a Witness/Block producer starts acting bad, or stops doing a quality job securing the network, people in the community can actively remove their votes, essentially firing the bad actor and another node among the 100 can be elected as new Block producer. Hence, the quality and security of the network are dependent on how active the community is in the election of these Block producers. Unfortunately we can see today the elections in most communities have very low participation among its users which is very bad for decentralization and security.

As you can see, DPoS is a protocol that sacrifices decentralization for increasing the efficiency due to the low number of block producers. Many experts have criticised DPoS’ lack of decentralization. Vitalik Buterin have even argued the protocol incentives ballot rigging and bribing voters.

D-DPoS — The latest evolution of Consensus Mechanism

Although DPoS was great to improve efficiency, it sacrificed decentralization and increased the security issues by making ballot rigging and briberies possible. The

problem lies in a complex voting process which leads to a very low participation among all voters. That opens up opportunities for a few individuals to use bribes for ballot rigging in order to become Witnesses/Block producers and take control over the network. Or they can easily aim at specific block-producing nodes to seek a chance to attack.

Data-based Delegated Proof of Stake (D-DPoS) which is developed by DBX Foundation built on DBXChain uses a very different approach to enable the efficiency and speed of DPoS, but ensures the network to be safe from malicious attacks or network rigging by introducing so called passive voting and random selection of the witnesses/Block producers.

How D-DPoS works:

The role of Witness (which in DBXChain is called Trinity Nodes) not only handles the bookkeeping and generating blocks, but also executes DApps (Decentralized Applications) built on DBXChain, hence their role is much diversified than in DPoS. The Trinity Nodes are not elected based on their amount of votes like in DPoS, but rather based on a combination of their historical performance, computing power and random selection. First of all, the election takes into account a node’s past performance and good behavior. Secondly, all nodes will have to do a test to confirm their computing power to rank them according to their suitability of handling the DApps and bookkeeping. Then based on a function published by the Policy-making Commission of DBXChain ecosystem, there will be a sum-up score for all the nodes, among which the first 101 nodes will be regarded as Trinity candidates. In the end, 21 of 101 will be elected randomly to become Trinity Nodes. Therefore it becomes very difficult to predict which Trinity Node will be picked in next round of block producing, hence difficult and costly to do malicious attacks. It also makes ballot rigging and briberies difficult to execute due to the users are not actively voting on the Trinity Nodes.

Like mentioned before, the Trinity Nodes not only serve as bookkeeping nodes, but also to execute the DApps (different types of Smart Contracts) on DBXChain. Therefore a high network speed and efficient computing resource directly affect how fast a Trinity Node conduct a smart contact and write its result into a new block. In that way the ranking of Trinity Nodes also includes the computing power of the nodes. Moreover, if a DApp would require more computing power, the random selection of Trinity Nodes for next bookkeeping can dynamically prioritise a Trinity Node’s computing power in the ranking to ensure the DApp runs as fast as possible.

Lastly, instead of demanding the whole community to actively vote on the Witnesses like in DPoS (remember it has very low participation rate), D-DPoS has built in the user election of Trinity Nodes directly in the daily operation. If a Trinity Node would fail to live up to its role when processing a transaction (for example process something wrong or falsely) or failing to generate blocks, it will be substituted by other candidates (the remaining 80 of 101) in real time. In reverse, if a Trinity Node performs well, it will improve its position in the ranking and increase its chance to be randomly selected for bookkeeping and get the rewards as Trinity Node.

D-DPoS on DBXChain is the next evolution of Consensus Mechanism to improve the decentralization and security of Blockchain and ensuring efficiency and speed. If you want to learn more about DBX and its goal to become the Blockchain for real world apps, please check and follow us on Twitter @DBXFoundation.

About DBXChain:

DBX — The Blockchain Built for Real World Apps
Since launching in 2016, DBX have developed their own blockchain which is designed for the big data era with 3000+ TPS. The primary goal is to build a highly efficient and safe blockchain network which encourages strengthened data exchange and data value mining. Data connections that were previously not able to release value have been made able to with this new blockchain operation system. As a result, this gives blockchain far more “real world” relevance than was previously possible.

Unique Technical features of DBX Blockchain:
*Reach real 3000+ TPS & 1,000,000 TPS (theoretical) in Parallel Side-Chain
*D-DPoS Consensus Mechanism with Real-time and unpredictable Trinity Node election procedure to avoid bribery
*DBX Virtual Machine with WebAssembly integration
*Data Storage Side-Chain making data easily accessible
*Brand new smart contract consensus mechanism with data verification


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