There was another summit in NY, less spoken about than Consensus 2018.
Token Summit III in New York, U.S. was a stage where the revelation of modern consensus protocols for blockchain technology was revealed. The summit was held on Thursday evening, 17th May, 2018. Emin Gun Sirer, professor at Cornell University and a prominent blockchain enthusiast and researcher, held the presentation and explained a series of new consensus protocols.
While speaking at the summit, Sirer stated that consensus protocol is a blend of “Nakamoto consensus” and ‘classicial consensus.”
The developers of the protocol used a Pokemon characters pseudonym for themselves, similar to the move Nakamoto made with his invention of bitcoin. The developers’ team dubbed themselves “Team Rocket.” The protocols are Pokemon-motivated as well, named as Snowball, Avalanche and Snowflake.
“Inspired by gossip algorithms, this new family gains its safety through a deliberately metastable mechanism. Specifically, the system operates by repeatedly sampling the network at random, and steering the correct nodes towards the same outcome.”
Nakamoto consensus protocols (of which bitcoin is the best known) require miners to agree to a specific decision before it can be enacted, while classical consensus requires a two-thirds plus one majority, Sirer said during his presentation.
However, not everyone is on board with the new consensus models.
Ethereum developer Vlad Zamfir said on Twitter that due to the nature of the protocols, they fail to combine “the best of Nakamoto consensus with the best of classical consensus” as Sirer asserted.
Zamfir, who is the head researcher on ethereum’s upcoming proof-of-stake protocol Casper CBC, said the Sirer’s proposed protocols combine “the worst of both worlds,” due to aspects of the code that could lead to weakened security.
“It’s not asynchronously safe and it’s probabilistic,” he said, later adding “We don’t get to take a probabilistic model of the network for granted [in my opinion].”
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