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Bitcoin Halving and Consensus Algorithm

Bitcoin Halving and Its Affects

Every 210,000 blocks, or approximately once every four years, Bitcoin undergoes a halving event where the mining rewards are cut in half. The current block reward is 12.5 BTC/block, and the next halving is expected to take place on 12 May 2020. From block number 630,001, the block rewards will be reduced to 6.25 Bitcoin. This process is supposed to continue until the last Bitcoin has been mined.

Halvings are done to preserve the value of Bitcoin through the laws of supply and demand. If Bitcoins are mined too quickly, and there is insufficient market demand, their value will drop. Historically, the halvings have always positively affected the price of Bitcoin in the months and years following the event when Bitcoin reached new all-time-highs.

What is Bitcoin Mining and How Does it Work?

Bitcoin is a decentralized currency. It doesn’t use the services of a bank or another central institution to transfer the assets. Instead, Bitcoin has a blockchain and its transaction records are stored for eternity.

The people who store these transactions on the blockchain are called miners. Miners are financially incentivized to confirm transactions. The confirmations are done by solving complex computational problems. Whoever solves the problem receives a fixed reward in Bitcoin.

Likewise, Bitcoin relies on a Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm. It bets on the strength and efficiency of the underlying hardware. PoW coins are mostly mined through GPUs and ASIC miners. In the past, Bitcoin could be mined with your PC’s CPU. The mining network wasn’t big, and the rewards were appealing. That is no longer the case. The mining difficulty has increased and today, mining is handled via countless expensive ASIC miners.

PoW mining is, therefore, profitable only to those who have made substantial hardware investments and not to the ordinary man. PoW consumes much electricity, and the Bitcoin network generates a block every 10 mins on average, which makes it more difficult for ordinary miners to get block rewards.

What is Proof of Formulation?

In the case of FLETA, it utilizes its own consensus algorithm: Proof-of-Formulation (PoF). This algorithm consists of 2 main actors:

  • Formulators — the block generators, the equivalent of PoW miners.
  • Observer Nodes — validate, confirm, and sign transactions in real-time, and prevent forks and double-spending.

Formulators

In contrast to PoW, where better hardware equipment is equal to bigger rewards, in PoF, all Formulators take part in block generation according to a pre-determined order. Once everyone has had their turn, a new mining phase starts, and all Formulators are arranged according to a new random sequence. No competition and equal mining opportunities for everyone!

To become a formulator, a user needs to register and stake 200,000 FLETA tokens at the FLETA Formulator Portal or FLETA Wallet. There is a maintenance fee to be paid every month. The mining is performed through FLETA cloud mining, and the user doesn’t need to set up a server on his own. Formulators can be upgraded for more efficiency and better performance. This is explained in more detail here.

Observer Nodes

Observers secure the network and prevent DDoS attacks. 5 Observers are assigned to each Formulator group. At least 3 of them are required to sign the transactions and include them in the blockchain. This system makes a fork impossible because the first block with three signatures will be included in the blockchain.

In the End

Proof-of-Formulation is fast, fair, and secure, thanks to the watchful eyes of the Observer Nodes, and their bond with Formulators. The results show that PoF allows 14,000 transactions/second and a block creation time of only 0.5 seconds/block.

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