Blockchain Tech: Tendermint
Recently, news about “Tendermint” has been popping up around the web, and more importantly around the cryptosphere. Being an active community member within said cryptosphere, I took it up as a challenge to read about, understand, and then publish an article regarding Tendermint.
Therefore, this article serves to inform (as I understood it) what Tendermint is, and furthermore why it is important to know about it.
Tendermint is a consensus. Don’t worry about what that means just yet, we will get there.
The project Cosmos, a protocol for cross blockchain communication was the first who put Tendermint in motion as their underlying technology, so to understand what Tendermint is, we’ll first have to look into Cosmos.
At its core, this project wants to solve one rather large issue: blockchain clunkyness. By this, I’m referring to the fact that blockchains are hard to scale, slow-moving and most importantly, they don’t interact with one another. What Cosmos is trying to do, is turn blockchains into what they call Hubs and Zones.
You can think of a Zone as a single blockchain, each with its own consensus and governance. A Hub, on the other hand, is just a much larger zone where Inter Blockchain Communication (IBC) takes place. Basically, it allows blockchains to communicate with one another.
Lightning and the Tender!
Now, back to the topic at hand, the default consensus of Cosmos, the very software it is built and runs on is called Tendermint. This software is faster than any other decentralized system, as it can handle a myriad more of transactions per second (TPS). Tendermint makes use of what they call dPoS, delegated Proof of Stake.
Whereas the Ethereum network uses validators to push blocks forward and confirm that they are legitimate, Tendermint adds in another factor: delegators.
Delegators are able to decide who the validators are, and do so by staking their coins. The moment they have chosen a validator, or a pool of validators, their coins may not be used at this point. If said validator is acting maliciously, or goes offline for an extended period of time, then the delegator’s coins are “slashed” (a small portion is destroyed). So, what do delegators have to gain from this whole deal? They are rewarded in fees for choosing legitimate, good validators. Due to this system, Tendermint is able to push forward and validate blocks while having one third (1/3) of the whole validator network become dysfunctional. All these factors coming in together allow Tendermint to create instant transactions, removing the need to wait 20, 30 or 100 blocks to confirm a single transaction.
Sentinel is one other project which is planning to implement and make use of the Tendermint consensus. Through this, the Sentinel Group hope to achieve what many other projects have promised in the past:
- Seamless blockchain interaction
- Fast moving TPS
- A truly decentralized exchange (DEX)
- A true atomic swapper
To truly achieve a decentralized system, Sentinel could make use of Tendermint in order to allow 2 parties from two different blockchains to communicate with one another (IBC) thereby removing the need for these parties to connect to a single larger entity (centralized exchange) in order to conduct business. This, paired with liquidity and market-makers could lead the cryptocurrency industry to its first truly decentralized exchange, and atomic swaps.
Technology and achievements isn’t all that Sentinel Group would benefit from by using the Tendermint consensus.
Now, using the underlying Tendermint technology Sentinel will be able to host its own Hub and collection of zones within this system. If people much prefer the rules and governance set by Sentinel over Cosmos for example, that will give $SENT token more value. Why? This all ties back to the delegator system, whereby they get to choose who the validators are by staking their tokens. In the Sentinel Hub, the tokens staked will be $SENT, driving the value up. There is not one reason why anyone shouldn’t want to stake their tokens in order to receive fee rewards from the system… right? So according to basic economics, the supply of Sentinel on the markets will decrease, as less people will be willing to sell their $SENT, and would instead stake it on the delegator network.
TL;DR: Tendermint makes projects rich.
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