In today’s networking world, there are both longstanding and fresh solutions to the problems of securely storing data. In recent articles we have addressed why cloud storage poses difficulties that blockchain-enabled storage companies can improve upon. Within the field of blockchain and cryptocurrencies and tokens, there are many projects armed with diverse approaches for organizing and keeping data. Genaro has consistently claimed to be in the business of making a transformative set of tools to disrupt how both external data storage and blockchain work and evolve. So in the changing and often competitive (as well as cooperative) world of blockchain, how will Genaro achieve this ambitious aim?
To sum up, there are three ways Genaro stands out from the crowd: The consensus mechanism (SPoR+PoS) used by Genaro Network makes it unique, sustainable and secure. It can: 1) solve PoW energy waste problems; 2) solve the security problems of consensus based solely on a PoS mechanism. The result is a platform built around the first Turing-complete public chain with an integrated peer-to-peer storage network. With Genaro, blockchain developers will have a one-stop solution to deploy advanced smart contracts and store data simultaneously.
Let us explain these advantages one-by-one.
- A Sustainable Consensus Mechanism to Effectively Solve PoW Energy Waste
Before getting to know the Genaro Network’s consensus mechanism (SPoR+PoS), let’s first look at what the consensus mechanisms known as PoW and PoS are.
- PoW (Proof of Work): This is the consensus algorithm of Bitcoin and Ethereum. It uses hash computation as a proof of workload to compete for ledger keeping rights.
- PoS (Proof of Stake): This is the equity calculation method, which involves a certain amount of token bets to compete for ledger keeping rights. PoS is a consensus algorithm that is now applied to many public chains and can be used as an alternative to the PoW algorithm.
Compared to PoW, which uses a lot of computing power to calculate hash in a process known as known as “mining”, PoS can be described as a kind of virtual mining. To give a simple example, in PoW, a user can spend $2,000 on a computer, join the network to create a new block, and receive a reward. In PoS, users can use the same funds to buy cryptographic tokens and place these tokens as deposits in the PoS, so that they have the opportunity to create new blocks and be rewarded. What if the user spends $3,000? In PoW, he can buy a better computer to get twice the power to mine and so receive twice the reward. Similarly, in the PoS mechanism, investing twice as much as a deposit means that the odds of him generating a new block and getting a reward are also doubled. In PoS, the probability that a verifier with a deposit of 2,000 tokens is selected by the system to generate the next block is 10 times bigger than that of a 200-token verifier.
Why replace PoW with PoS?
Obviously, PoW has many advantages, such as its track record in establishing the strength of Bitcoin and its good fault tolerance. However, if more than 51% of nodes are attacked successfully, the network will fail. Other shortcomings are also very obvious: First, the performance is relatively low, even as it consumes a lot of resources — it currently takes about 10 minutes to generate just one block. Second, the speeds and resource consumption worsen exponentially over time as the blockchain grows larger.
A British study showed that the amount of electricity used in Bitcoin mining in 2017 exceeded 29.05 TWh (1 TWh = 10⁹KWh), which exceeds the annual average electricity consumption of 159 countries. The electricity consumption of Ireland (4.77 million people) a year is only 25 TWh. This year’s latest estimates show that the figure is now close to the electricity consumption of Colombia, having reached 59.6TWh. It can be assumed that if there is no fundamental change in the mechanism, the electricity used for the PoW calculation will sooner or later exceed the annual average electricity consumption in any country in the world. What’s more, electrical energy is a secondary energy source, and the consumption of primary energy (such as coal, petroleum, water, natural gas) for generating electricity is even more difficult to count. Over time, as various interests push for greater adoption of Bitcoin, if most of the world’s energy looks like it will be used for mining his creation, one can easily imagine ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ regretting the invention of Bitcoin!
A PoS system has several major improvements over PoW: First and foremost, with a 50% error-tolerant rate, there is no longer a need to consume large amounts of physical resources, which greatly improves performance.
For example, when performing PoW calculations, all miners perform the same mathematical operations before a block is mined, regardless of whether 90%, 70%, or 10% have been completed. Apart from the miners rewarded by the block, all the resources used by other miners who invested in calculating the hash are unrecoverable. The design of the PoS allows miners who have made bets but do not have the right to generate the next block to ‘take back’ their bets, so that resources can be reused and will not be wasted. For example, the current EOS project uses DPoS and further proxy voting bets on the basis of PoS. Therefore, processing speed and efficiency are significantly higher than PoW.
- A Safe and Efficient Consensus Algorithm
However, the PoS consensus mechanism is not perfect and can even be insecure. This is because the lack of PoW computing power means that a malicious node’s ‘attack cost’ is greatly reduced.
For example, there are two famous forms of attack: “Long-range attacks” and “Nothing at stake”.
- Long range attack
A user has the right to withdraw the security deposit. This means that the attacker can create a fork from any distance without fear of being cut out. Once the PoS deposit is released, there is no incentive to move forward from the current block. When two-thirds of the verifiers are unlinked and they collectively return to past blocks and maliciously recreate a chain, the original chain will fail.
- Nothing at stake
A verifier can effectively break the security of the main chain by paying multiple bets at a given height for multiple conflicting blocks without paying any price (as shown below).
The Genaro Network’s hybrid consensus mechanism uses SPoR to screen the trusted nodes, which requires the consensus node to pay a certain price (storage and power), that is, a minimum stake, so the power of ‘nothing at stake’ is broken. In addition, if the attacker participates in a ‘long-range’ attack, when the GNX binding is released and returns to the past block to attempt to make a new chain, the network will judge that it is not the longest chain and will directly neutralize it. This is because this node does not have subsequent stored information (the ‘sentinel’), meaning the storage network cannot be restored, and the block cannot be pushed towards the highest current level.
What is SPoR?
PoR, the full name of Proof of Retrievability, is way of proving to a client that a target file exists and has not been damaged. SPoR, or Sentinel Proof of Retrievability, is an improved algorithm for traditional PoR. It sets up a “Sentinel” structure to detect data retrievability. When the file is divided, each fragment will generate a hash value. Sentinels are file detectors dispatched to randomly selected nodes. These nodes are then called “challengers”. When a client reads a file, the sentinel in the challenger node conducts a data retrievability certification calculation, and randomly the selected challenger avoids malicious destructive calculations based on game theory. This method can greatly improve the speed of the calculation when a file is read.
For example, if a file is divided into six parts and the redundancy is stored on different nodes, then the function of SPoR is equivalent to the number of the six files and their backup numbers (1–6). Together with the file, a hash value (1x-6x) is stored on the node. When the file needs to be retrieved, the randomly chosen challenger first verifies the hash value (1x-6x) provided by the node. When this value is correct, it can be proven that the file is complete and has not been damaged maliciously; only with this number can you reassemble the complete file, just like the code on the back of a puzzle that indicates the location of the puzzle pieces.
Therefore, SPoR is equivalent to performing meaningful mini-PoW calculations, and by maintaining the amount of information entered into the system, the stability of the chain’s operations is ensured. This is a meaningful calculation because the hash is used for retrieving the file rather than being just a randomly generated hash function, as with standard PoW.
In actual operation, when the data is read, the competitive nodes perform PoS. First, the node will complete the challenge in the SPoR step as a challenger to achieve data retrievability proof. When the data storage transaction record is placed on the blockchain, the committee elects a block node, which is a challenger in the storage and is identified as a trusted node because of its excellent performance in SPoR.
- An Integrated Solution
A public chain with its own storage network allows data to be stored and retrieved more quickly and with better compatibility.
The Genaro Network may be the first in the world to propose a programmable public chain that combines peer-to-peer storage networks. The programmable public chain is also called a ‘Turing- complete’ public chain, which means that global developers can write DAPPs on the chain, just as they do on Ethereum, to achieve different purposes.
Why is Genaro designing a programmable public chain with its own storage network?
An analogy helps to illustrate this: If the public chain is compared to a CPU, then the consensus mechanism is like an operating system, and the storage network is like a hard disk, and the Genaro Network is really creating a fully functional whole, a one-stop, integrated solution for users.
This ambition invites comparison with projects that look somewhat similar to the Genaro Network, such as Sia, IPFS, Storj, etc., Sia is committed to creating a more secure decentralized storage network platform; IPFS (Interplanetary File System) is a new protocol system which can support the storage of DAPPs and is considered a project that can replace the current Internet https protocol. Storj is similar to Sia and is also a decentralized storage network. The difference is that Storj has different ways of encrypting and decentralizing files. It can be seen that all these companies have solved only part of the problem — either changing the way files are stored (similar to hard disks) or the consensus mechanism (similar to running systems). Only the Genaro Network has a comprehensive layout. A programmable public chain that incorporates a storage network is like a computer that is really equipped with a hard disk, CPU and operating system. Data can be extracted and stored faster, and there is no compatibility problem between different systems. For users, it’s like buying a computer. You don’t necessarily need to know how it works internally — you can just use it. Because of these overlapping aims, Storj and Genaro Network reached a strategic cooperation agreement in 2017.
It is important to note that the current storage network and public chain are two separate components. The Genaro Network’s original hybrid consensus mechanism combines two parts closely, namely, recording data transactions into the blockchain and replacing high energy use with SPoR, improving PoS speed and security.
Finally, the Genaro Network has also made a lot of efforts to promote social awareness. For example, the entire ecosystem includes the circulating GNX, the gateway software (Genaro Eden) as well as the Genaro Hub and Genaro Ventures — all of which include plans for the development of physical resources as well as being structured in favor of the underlying technology and academic study of the field. Genaro is working long-term and in depth on cooperation with many universities around the world. In its agreement with Storj and others, the Genaro Network is also in the process of in-depth cooperation with the wider blockchain community. Another such collaboration will be officially announced within the month.
Finally: Just as the updated version of Sherlock Holmes has claimed, “Brainy is the New Sexy”!
For the Genaro Network, a technology company that is constantly striving for technological innovation and trying to change the world, how much the sexy ‘index’ is, only time will tell.
Let us wait and see.
- About Genaro Network -
The Genaro Network, the creator of the Blockchain 3.0 Ecosystem, is the first Turing-complete public chain that incorporates a decentralized storage network. Genaro’s original SPoR (Sentinel Proof of Retrievability) with PoS (Proof of Stake) mixed consensus mechanism aims to create a blockchain platform with a processing speed of tens of thousands of transactions per second, which opens the way for the technological shift to move data from centralized clouds to blockchain with decentralized storage. Genaro offers developers a one-stop combined platform for deploying smart contracts and storing the data needed for DAPPs, while also providing everyone with a more trustworthy Internet and a sharing community.
Official Website: www.genaro.network
Telegram Community: t.me/GenaroNetworkOfficial