Snark: Consensus first protocol

Snark Network
May 29, 2018 · 2 min read

The block in blockchain, exists as a result of Proof of Work. If Proof of Work had to occur on a transaction level, we would have 1 transaction every 10 minutes (in Bitcoin). Instead we pack transactions into blocks, and apply Proof of Work to the block. This is a scaling mechanism for Proof of Work systems.

Proof of Work blockchains work off of economic detriment. You take a financial expense (electricity spent on Proof of Work) which assumes the incentive to be malicious is reduced.

Proof of Stake solutions replace Proof of Work solutions by assuming the cost incurred to stake offsets the benefit of being malicious. This statement is not true for systems that lack a punishment mechanism, slashing for Ethereum.

Current designs replace Proof of Work with Proof of Stake. Instead, we consider a new design.

The current flow can be described as; transactions received, transactions executed, transactions packed in blocks, blocks propagated into the network.

In Proof of Stake, as soon as a block has been voted on by 51% staked majority it becomes finalized.

Consensus first, stipulates that the consensus is the primary foundation.

Current P2P systems keep track of Node Info. We can describe this as a set of meta data, IP, name, other. Consensus first adds weight, reputation, stake, and transaction short codes to this Node Info.

This allows the system to be aware of two metrics. One, the total stake of all connected nodes. Two, the total stake attributed to a specific transaction. When the total stake for a specific transaction reaches 51% majority, it can be removed from the pool.

This allows finalization of transactions in a Consensus first approach, and this is the cornerstone behind Eventual Consistent Consensus.

Consensus as a first class citizen, not consensus as an arbitrator.

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