The purpose of this article is to provide a high level description of platform functionality only.
Advanced technical topics concerning the content are not included, nor are any implementation specific details or attack analysis and solutions discussed. Mathematical notation is kept to a minimum, and general non-technical language used wherever possible to ensure a wide audience.
Future articles and whitepapers of a more technical nature will contain content which is more suited to advanced readers.
This article is also available for download in PDF form from for general distribution.
Consensus within a trustless environment is a hard problem to solve: There are seemingly endless forms of attack vectors, side channel exploits and network management issues to consider, all of which can have a major effect upon the operation of the consensus algorithm. Solutions to solve this problem are available, the most well known being “Proof of Work” which is used primarily within block chain technologies. Another popular candidate of choice is “Proof of Stake”. Other notable solutions are “Proof of Importance”, and Ripple’s “Ledger Consensus”.
While these technologies do indeed provide solutions to the trustless consensus problem, they are not without issues which may hinder them in the long term. In fact some of these solutions have already succumbed to minor failures or have operated within scenarios where they would be vulnerable to malicious attacks and bad actors. These solutions are also called into question regarding long term efficiency, scalability and performance, of which there are concerns that they may not be able to meet mass market demands, nor be sustainable in the long term.
I’m not going to cover any of the above within this article, there is plenty of material already available which does a sterling job of investigating these issues and challenges, along with many discussions covering all sides of the topic on various forums. It remains though that these current technologies are not sufficient for large scale, long term commercial grade applications, thus an alternative solution is required. Continue reading