Signum Hard Fork: A new consensus for Burstcoin and much more

Published in
4 min readMar 28, 2021


Burstcoin is the pioneer of the “Proof of Capacity” (PoC) consensus algorithm, a green alternative to Proof of Work. First developed in 2014, Burst has been at the forefront of blockchain technology with the first implementation of smart contracts. Since 2019, the Burst Apps Team has been preparing the Burst blockchain for the next decade.

With this upcoming Signum hard fork, a clear signal is set — PoC was the starting point and now a new consensus is built for a glorious future of Burstcoin.


  • Extended Reed-Solomon Address Format (CIP-26)
  • Proof of Commitment (PoC+) consensus (CIP-27)
  • Updated smart contract max steps and API (CIP-28)
  • Minimum mining incentives (CIP-29)
  • A lot of code optimization (shown in the change log of the new BRS 3.0)
HDD-Mining is sustainable


With the upcoming hard fork at block 875500 (around 24th of April 2021), Burstcoin will get a new consensus called “Proof of Commitment” or POC+ in short.

PoC+ (Proof of Commitment) is a hybrid method combining Proof of Capacity (PoC) and Proof of Stake (PoS) into a new sustainable and secure algorithm for the Burst blockchain. In this new consensus, miners that commit both a balance (stake) as well as capacity have a better chance of mining blocks and earning improved mining rewards.

  • The details of the change are described in CIP-27.
  • An article about POC+ can be found here.
  • A new mining calculator for POC+ can be found here.

For any questions or feedback we have created a new ”Signum” Telegram Group. Join us there to get the latest information, updates and chat directly with the main developers.

Minimum Mining Incentive

Along with POC+, a minimum mining incentive of 100 Burstcoins per block is also planned. It would be activated around January 2022 when the block reward is scheduled to be less than 100 BURST.

Burstcoin is very close to having all the original supply mined. No mineable coin has reached the state of zero block rewards and an alternative path is proposed in CIP-29. It consists of a minimum mining incentive of 100 BURST per block that should strike a good balance between miner incentives and inflation rate. This will amount to less than 0.6% of the circulating supply in the first year and less than that in subsequent years. This will be beneficial to miners allowing them to better plan for long-term resource allocation.

Extended Reed-Solomon Address Format

From the very beginning, creating accounts on Burstcoin has not been entirely intuitive, and the process suffers from the chicken-and-egg problem: For an account to be stored on the blockchain, there must be at least one transaction involving the named account. However, a problem arises from the theoretical possibility of a collision in Account ID or the Reed-Solomon representation, since the address space is smaller than that of the public key. Therefore, an account without a link to the public key is considered insecure while inactive. For outgoing transactions, the public key is implicitly linked, but not necessarily for incoming transactions. But in order to execute an outgoing transaction, the owner needs some Burstcoins to pay for the transaction fees. To do this, the owner must somehow obtain Burstcoins, often done by asking for a small donation in the community, or by using a working faucet service. Alternatively, an incoming transaction can include the public key along with the Account id. In this case, the account will also be secured or activated. However, it is currently not user-friendly to get the public key. With CIP-26, a simplification of the account activation process is described, which is based on an optional extension of the Reed-Solomon address by the public key.

Real World Example

Updated smart contracts maximum steps per block

Burst smart contracts became much more useful with CIP-20. However, it became evident that, for more complex applications, the maximum number of steps a contract is allowed to run would need to increase. This is a simple proposal increasing the maximum number of steps a contract can run in a single block to 1'000'000. An active example of a smart contract which reached the current step limit can be seen with Cryptoball.


Burstcoin has a long standing history and was the first PoC coin on the planet. With the upcoming Signum hard fork, Burstcoin will once again be at the forefront of new consensus technology and will usher in a more secure and capable network for the future.

The Signum hard fork sends a strong and clear signal to the community.
We will continue evolving Burstcoin to make it the most wanted blockchain in the near future.