Delayed Finality In Blockchain
Public blockchains are distributed systems where decisions between differentparticipants are reached by following consensus protocols.
As described in Alexis Gaubas article on blockchainfinality, Proof-of-Work blockchains such as Bitcoin have probabilisticfinality where, as each new block is appended to the main chain, theprobability of having the transaction finalized increases. This is why somedelay is required before the transaction can be safely considered part of theblockchain ledger.
Parties interested in the finality of a transaction should therefore wait for anumber of additional blocks to be mined on top of the transaction block to besure that the payment is finalized. These blocks serves as confirmations, andexchanges working with Ethereum typically require 30 confirmations.
The distributed nature of the blockchain results in delayed finality of thetransactions.
When Does Truth Become Real
All that said, there is a funny thing with truth in a blockchain. Truth does not happen at once. It forms over time. The picture I painted above, where you add a block to the chain one at a time, is the ideal scenario.
In reality, disconnections happen, as well as timeouts and delays caused by distance and congestion. The set of nodes each member sees changes continually, nodes may become separated from another part of the chain and each subset ends up building parallel competing histories.
There is no real conflict while the sets of nodes remain disjoint, but when they reconnect all which version of Truth should they choose?
What Is Avalanche $avax
The quickest smart contracts platform in the blockchain industry, as measured by time-to-finality
Note: This is part of Nebeus new Coin Analysis series, where you can discover the latest crypto coin news.
Ava Labs’ Avalanche is a smart contract-capable blockchain technology launched in 2020. Avalanche intends to provide a scalable blockchain solution while retaining decentralisation and security, emphasising cheaper costs, faster transaction speeds, and environmental friendliness.
Avalanche is fueled by its native token Avalanche . In other words, the token serves as a form of currency inside the network, generally for fee collection in transactions, incentives, and a variety of other applications.
It is also used for AVAX staking, which helps to safeguard the network. After that, stakers are rewarded with extra AVAX. Some users stake AVAX to generate passive revenue on the network.
Unlike the bitcoin network, where computer “miners” compete to process transactions and receive a reward in a method known as proof-of-work, Avalanche is a proof-of-stake blockchain. Humans are given blocks to mine based on the number of tokens they own.
After receiving $6 million in a funding round, Ava Labs US deployed the Avalanche blockchain in September 2020. Their following private and public Avalanche crypto coin sales totalled $48 million.
You can view additional AVAX’s transaction metrics on their Snowtrace developer portal.
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What Does This Mean For The Average User
For the average user interacting with the blockchain, similar to how ownership of fiat assets stored in a bank work today, assets on a blockchain are merely records in a ledger. For fiat money in a bank, your ownership of your money exists because there are records in its centralized database attesting your balance. In blockchain, users only own their cryptoassets because the majority of a protocol accepts their ownership as being part of some hard truth . If tomorrow, the chain gets attacked and a deep block reorg happens without your transactions in it, your private keys and wallet are useless. Even if you have the coins, the majority of the protocol thinks you do not. Digital ownership on a blockchain carries a risk as big as the security flaws of its underlying protocol.
It is important to remember consensus is a social process, and even in blockchain, settlement finality is not 100% guaranteed. Blockchain finality, however, provides an important, new primitive that helps us question how we reason about digital ownership, security, and the social nature of consensus, both in traditional systems and in the bleeding edge of this new technology.
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An Introduction To Blockchain Finality
We do not truly own our digital fiatbanks do, but do we truly own our crypto assets?
Say you log in to your current bank account: you immediately see your checking account balance, your savings, how much you owe on your credit card, etc. You leave the app with a feeling of confidence that money is yours and any wire transfer or transactions from your cards will get settled by the banks the merchants without much risk. The system works and you trust in the system. But, do you truly own that money?
Digital ownership of assets is a concept deeply entrenched in our society since the roots of the Internet revolution. The concepts of a digital password and an email address as an identity have been accepted as standards for what were previously concrete, physical identity credentials. This phenomenon of digital ownership is not only quite artificial in nature, but it is also a highly social concept. Ownership of assets means nothing unless others recognize that ownershipnamely, others whom you may wish to transact with.
Blockchain technology has reshaped our notion of what digital ownership signifies. Instead of putting our hard earned assets into the a bank, we have the ability to control the keys to personal freedom, using strong cryptography to give us the ability to move cryptocurrencies in a ledger through our wallets. But even then, do we truly own that money? The answer, as is in the legacy financial system, is no.
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Tps And Latency: Different Use Cases Require Different Solutions
Its easy to get carried away in this whole discussion, and more often than not, as a community, we tend to fall into tribalism. We treat our favorite projects as we would sport teams. This misplaced rivalry forgets that the industrys future lies in a multichain ecosystem. In this multichain world, different blockchains specialize in their chosen area.
When we take this into account, we can conclude that an impressive TPS number is not necessary for every application. If that were true, Bitcoin would be a has been. Clearly not the case, as 13 years later, it remains the most popular cryptocurrency in the world. Bitcoin has excelled as a store of value and will continue to do so despite its limitations. Its reputation as digital gold has served it well. As the granddaddy of all cryptocurrencies, it still has a future ahead of it. We probably wont be building the Netflix of Web 3.0 on the Bitcoin blockchain, but it was never designed to do that.
Before getting carried away by the TPS hype train, we should first do our research on what the project intends to do and the use cases it is pursuing. We dont live in a world where one size fits all, and we are all the better for it.
Is It Possible To Create A Blockchain With Probabilistic Finality With Substrate
Substrate depends on finality for its block production by default. Looking also into the application database layer with blocks, it seems that block reverting isn’t normally possible with arbitrary depth. Does that mean it’s impossible to have probabilistic finality in substrate?
Context to the problem:
In Bitcoin, Ethereum and other probabilistic-finality-based chains, the chain can reorg with as many blocks as the system needs. It can even be thousands of blocks if need be. Consequently, the state transition function must be reversible. Hence, when a reorg happens, blocks are reverted in a way where , outputs are removed and inputs become unspent in the UTXO set.
In the most abstract form, this can be functionally represented as:
Apply -> StateBRevert -> StateA
This strictly requires that it’s known how a revert is done, given a block. In bitcoin, this is easily achievable as we know exactly how to “unspend” inputs and delete outputs by a simple database change.
The current situation in substrate :
This question is based on the requirement of building a substrate-based blockchain that follows bitcoin.
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How Many Avax Coins Are There
$AVAX, like $BTC, is a fixed capped supply token that creates scarcity and does not suffer from constant dilution through inflation, as other staking systems do.
Max Supply: 720,000,000Circulating Supply : 245,296,916Currently, approximately 64.9% of the total supply is already in circulation.
Note: We gather our information from CoinGecko. The numbers written are correct at the time of writing.
Who Are The Founders Of Avax
In May 2018, a pseudonymous entity named Team Rocket published basic protocol details on the InterPlanetary File System.
The technology was later created by a group of Cornell University academics led by Emin Gün Sirer, a computer science and software engineer professor who has published dozens of research papers and is the Former Co-Director of the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts. Maofan “Ted” Yin and Kevin Sekniqi, two doctorate students, aided him.
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Title: On Finality In Blockchains
Abstract: There exist many forms of Blockchain finality conditions, from deterministicto probabilistic terminations. To favor availability against consistency in theface of partitions, most blockchains only offer probabilistic eventualfinality: blocks may be revoked after being appended to the blockchain, yetwith decreasing probability as they sink deeper into the chain. Otherblockchains favor consistency by leveraging the immediate finality ofConsensus-a block appended is never revoked-at the cost of additionalsynchronization. In this paper, we focus on necessary and sufficient conditionsto implement a blockchain with deterministic eventual finality, which ensuresthat selected main chains at different processes share a common increasingprefix. This is a much weaker form of finality that allows us to provide asolution in an asynchronous system subject to unlimited number of byzantinefailures. We study stronger forms of eventual finality as well and show that itis unfortunately impossible to provide a bounded displacement. By boundeddisplacement we mean that the number of blocks that can be revokedfrom the current blockchain is bounded. This problem reduces to consensus oreventual consensus depending on whether the bound is known or not. We also showthat the classical selection mechanism, such as in Bitcoin, that appends blocksat the longest chain is not compliant with a solution to eventual finality.
Disassembling The Tps Mythos
and so the TPS Wars began with blockchain after blockchain competing for supremacy in this field. Over the last decade, several blockchains have come forth claiming that they have reached figures that could directly compete with Visa. More often than not, these figures were pipe dreams. They relied on clever marketing and repositioning the goalposts of what a transaction actually is. Many of these impressive results occurred solely in test environments that were not always disclosed as such. These sterile laboratory conditions do not represent real-world performance. We must understand these test results as what they are: test results.
One of the most significant industry challenges is the blockchain trilemma, a balancing act of delivering a protocol that is secure, decentralized, and scalable. Security and decentralization are equally, if not more important than TPS. In the arms race for superior TPS, we have seen the rise of projects that, although fast, have lost touch with other key features of blockchain tech.
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What Is Grandpa Protocol
GRANDPA Protocol is used to decide the final block that has to be added on the blockchain. It is called as the finality gadget of Polkadot. It is designed in a manner where it decides which block and which changes are final. It is not responsible for block production but only imports the produced blocks from the validators on the network and finalizes the block to be added.
Unlike other , in GRANDPA protocol, validators vote on chains rather than blocks. The GRANDPA algorithm finds the highest block number with maximum number of votes and considers it to be final. Because of the isolation of block production and block finalization, GRANDPA is able to finalize multiple blocks at once.
When Final Isnt Actually Final: Cracking Blockchains Consensus Conundrum
The need for transaction finality in the business world is almost always non-negotiable so we need to be very careful when marrying the exciting world of blockchain with the world of business.
What if pieces you thought were locked into place suddenly became unlocked..?
I caused some controversy on Twitter recently when I got into a debate with members of the Ethereum community about the nature of probabilistic consensus. Exciting way to spend a Friday evening, right? It sounds like an arcane debate but, as that exchange revealed, the finality promises made by different blockchain platforms are not obvious and they have profound implications for the unwary.
Businesses really dont like transactions that have a chance of being reversed. Transactions that can go from confirmed to unconfirmed can cause utter chaos. Imagine handing your car keys to a buyer after checking their payment had hit your account, only to discover later that what the bank meant to say was that the money had probably arrived and, upon closer examination, they subsequently determined that it hadnt.
Youd probably be quite annoyed.
The myth of immutability
You may think this set up to an article is an absurd strawman.
Why is Richard inventing a nonsense scenario and then inviting you to agree that it is indeed nonsense? Blockchain transactions are immutable!
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The Finality Of Different Consensus Mechanisms
According to the current research, we have evaluated the finality of various consensus mechanisms.
For example, PoW does not have absolute finality, only probabilistic finality BFT has absolute finality, so does Casper FFG. YeeCos Tetris consensus also has absolute finality.
Why do different consensus mechanisms have different levels of finality, and what are the factors responsible for that?
Tps Is Not What It Seems
The first mistake to focus on before moving to any other points is that we often mistake TPS for speed. When we hear the phrase transactions-per-second, our instinct is to equate that with velocity. TPS has more to do with the throughput of the blockchain! If we want to discuss how quickly a blockchain completes our transaction, the notion of latency is closer to the truth.
Anyone with access to the internet can marvel at the unnoticeable latency through which messages are sent, money transferred, and information accessed. The amount of transactions per second a given network can handle is TPS. To some extent, this can be interpreted as the number of users simultaneously engaging with said network. It wasnt always the case for the Internet to be capable of hosting billions of users, instantly catering to their every whim. If we look back just 25 years, well see that even accessing a website often took minutes due to high latency and low throughput.
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How Does Grandpa Protocol Work
-In the GRANDPA protocol, every node/participant votes on the highest block they consider to be valid from their previous round.
-Every validator then submits a âpre-voteâ for that particular block. If that particular block has more than 2/3rd of votes in the network, then the chain is extended further and a proof of finality is produced.
-Based on these pre-votes, every validator calculates the highest block to be finalized. If the new chain is longer than the previous chain, then the validator broadcasts a âpre-commitâ to the chain.
-Once each validator obtains sufficient pre-commits, they submit a commit message for that particular block on the chain.
On Finality In Blockchains
There exist many forms of Blockchain finality conditions, from deterministicto probabilistic terminations. To favor availability against consistency in theface of partitions, most blockchains only offer probabilistic eventualfinality: blocks may be revoked after being appended to the blockchain, yetwith decreasing probability as they sink deeper into the chain. Otherblockchains favor consistency by leveraging the immediate finality ofConsensus-a block appended is never revoked-at the cost of additionalsynchronization. In this paper, we focus on necessary and sufficient conditionsto implement a blockchain with deterministic eventual finality, which ensuresthat selected main chains at different processes share a common increasingprefix. This is a much weaker form of finality that allows us to provide asolution in an asynchronous system subject to unlimited number of byzantinefailures. We study stronger forms of eventual finality as well and show that itis unfortunately impossible to provide a bounded displacement. By boundeddisplacement we mean that the number of blocks that can be revokedfrom the current blockchain is bounded. This problem reduces to consensus oreventual consensus depending on whether the bound is known or not. We also showthat the classical selection mechanism, such as in Bitcoin, that appends blocksat the longest chain is not compliant with a solution to eventual finality.
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Parallel Worlds And Parallel Timelines
The explanation above is the key to the parallel universes metaphor. We can see each version of the blockchain as the history of one universe. A different chain gives a different account of the historical events after the fork point.
Like a newspaper, each block is just a neat packaging for events that happened over the last hour, day, or week, etc. What matters is what occurred. This is recorded in transactions, and because these happen in a different order in each chain, even though they are alike and have the same inputs, the state when they are executed is different and so the result may be different.
Unlike quantum universes, there is no randomness in blockchains. The reason the result of a transaction differs is not that a quantum experiment has an essentially random outcome, but rather because what has gone before is different.