We did this! Apollo Updater Live on Mainnet

Apollo is solving the problem of blockchain hardforks

On Monday, the Apollo Foundation presented a mechanism for secure updates of blockchains with the release of their Updater. Apollo’s project is designed to avoid hard forks and to ensure the stability and smooth operation of each node contributing to the blockchain.

On Monday, the Apollo Foundation released a pivotal update with its introduction of a mechanism to aid the secure apprising of blockchains, the Updater.

The Updater guarantees stability and uninterrupted operation of each node on a network and avoids hard forks. A hard fork is a process of splitting a blockchain, making it necessary to update the software for the blockchain to be able to recognize new blocks in the network. Apollo believes that if their new innovation were implemented in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, then, most likely, they would have avoided the hard forks of their given blockchains.

Viktor Konovalov, Director of the Apollo Foundation, spoke briefly about the capabilities of its product: “This update will allow us to quickly and efficiently integrate smart contracts, as well as add new features to blockchains. For us, the Apollo Foundation Updater is something that will help achieve all of our long-term goals without having any problems with splitting the product into old and new versions. The Updater will allow streamlined updates into the existing blockchain model,” said Victor.

In order to assess the importance of the Apollo Foundation’s invention, it’s worth it to imagine what would have happened if the Updater were used in other blockchain projects. For example, Bitcoin’s hard fork was associated with a change in the size of the blocks. The use of the Updater’s secure update mechanism for blockchains may have avoided the situation altogether. Every time the cryptocurrency protocol type changes, for example, if anonymity is added, the Updater can prevent any associated network problems and ensure its integrity.

According to the authors of the research study “Financial Cryptography and Data Security” by Jeremy Clark and Sarah Mucklejohn, Ethereum may run the risk of encountering another hard fork if some of the nodes refuse to switch to the new Proof-of-Stake (PoS) network security algorithm. Proof-of-Stake or proof of the share of possession is a method of consensus formation in cryptocurrency, in which the probability of the participant forming a block in the blockchain is proportional to the share of coins from their total number. This method is an alternative to the method of confirming the performance of work in which the probability of creating the next block is higher for the owner of more powerful equipment. If some of the Ethereum nodes do not switch to PoS, then the blockchain may be forced to undergo another hard fork. In this case, according to Apollo’s technical experts, their upgrade tool could automatically perform the transit of all nodes and save Ethereum from problems.

When talking about the need for the development of the Updater for Apollo’s goals, the CTO of Apollo Sergey Rohvarg stated, “With the help of the Updater, we added digital signatures to our network. Thus, we prevent the network from being overloaded with fake signatures and transactions. In addition, the Updater allows us to update even critical parameters without hard forks (for example, block speed), which speeds up the blockchain. We can safely change the protocol and segment the blockchain. The Updater mechanism allows us to avoid errors when launching the automatic update algorithm, which is included in the transaction from the nodes of the Apollo system. We can now check and compare versions of updates and configuration changes with a digital signature. This protects us from hacker attacks and any unauthorized updates from unauthorized sources. Finally, thanks to the Updater, Apollo was able to implement the mechanics of digital signature packages by the developers with a full history of changes,” said Sergei.

The Apollo fund launched the first all-in-one cryptocurrency focused on the integration of the useful functions from its initial cryptocurrency while it combined those features with unsurpassed confidentiality. Apollo aims to become the most multifunctional cryptocurrency on the market. Soon the authors of the project will release their second major update in the form of Hermes 1.0, making Apollo one of the fastest available cryptocurrencies.

Although the market already has anonymity protocol coins, few of them are truly invisible. These coins still allow for the possibility of public access to such important information as the user’s IP address and their physical location. However, these tokens may also not support the possibility of public transactions. As such these alt coins lack a number of additional functions, such as voting, messaging, marketplaces, etc. Apollo seeks to create a completely confidential currency by developing functions that could make the platform theoretically unregulated and untraceable. At the same time, the creators of Apollo promise to save almost all the main functions of the leading cryptocurrencies. The Apollo Foundation knows that the ability of a user to buy, sell, trade and send funds anonymously is vital to many industries who would like to maintain censorship resistance and freedom of transitions.

So just to summarize:

We are introducing the Updater — a mechanism for secure update of the blockchain, which makes it possible to avoid hardforks, it will guarantee stable and continues work of each node.

We believe that if such thing was implemented in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency most likely it would allow to avoid the hardfork of the blockchain. This update will allow us to quickly and efficiently carry out the integration of smart contracts as well as adding new features. For us in Apollo Foundation the Updater is something that will help to achieve all of our long-term goals, without having any problems with separations.

Here are few use-cases of Updater, if it was available in other projects:

1. The hardfork of Bitcoin was associated with the modification of the blocks’ size. Updater could have prevented the hardfork. 
2. Whenever a cryptocurrency wants to change the protocol type, for example add anonymity, the updater would prevent all problems within the network and guarantee integrity.
3. Etheruem is planning to change the consensus and move form Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake and they might be under risk of having another hardfork if some of the nodes reject to proceed to PoS. The updater is there to automatically transit all the nodes.
4. With the help of updater, we’ve added digital signatures to our network. With this move we prevent network congestion with fake classifieds and transactions.

Here is a short list of main reasons to develop an updater:

1. It allows us to update nodes without a hardfork, while updating critical parameters (like block speed), so it speed up blockchain
2. It allows us to change protocol version without a hardfork
3. It allows us to develop sharding without a hardfork
4. It allows us to avoid errors on updating, cause of it’s automated update algorithm launched by a transaction from Apollo’s system nodes
5. It allows us to check and compare update versions and configuration changes using digital signature, that protects us from hackers attacks and any unauthorized update from other nodes
6. It will allow us to implement a mechanic of digital signing for packages by developers, and with a complete history of changes