Home > Ixiac - Ixian's consensus algorithm
Ixiac - Ixian's consensus algorithm2020-05-04 18:22:40
A decentralized ledger relies on DLT nodes to reach consensus and propagate new blocks to the network. There are different approaches in the industry like Proof of Work and Proof of Stake. With Ixian, we wanted to create a new consensus model, which solves the power intensity/electricity usage of Proof of Work systems, and also avoid the issues associated with Proof of Stake models.
While Proof of Stake has its own benefits, the issues it brings with it are not entirely negligible. To name a few and their implications on Ixian:
- Proof of Stake often incentivizes holding of cryptocurrency and centralization instead of network utility/capability
Main purpose of any network should be to cater to users' needs. If the biggest incentive and the biggest return is generated simply by holding as much IxiCash as possible on a single node, it centralizes the network and reduces the number of users that the network can handle. Our model is adapted to incentivize running more nodes, which results in the network being able to handle a large number of users.
- Legal implications
To set up a node, you would first need to obtain some IxiCash. The more IxiCash you have, the more rewards you would be getting. Since the entry-barrier is obtaining IxiCash first, regulators might consider it as a common enterprise and as a result could violate the securities laws. This in particular can be very problematic in the near future, once the regulations are set in place.
- Potential operational issues depending on the implementation of a specific proof of stake algorithm
Although this is a very broad topic, one that we can’t cover entirely, it would suffice to say that these issues would range from network manipulation to selfish staking. A lot of information can be found online for those willing to do a more extensive research on the topic.
As a result we have designed Ixiac - a hybrid model, which employs Proof of Work for node authorization and a 75% consensus between last signing nodes, locked to 1000 signers (so the limit is 1000 signers per block). Ixiac isn’t fully implemented yet, that’s why there is currently a requirement of 2000 IXIs for running a master node. This will be completely removed in the next few versions, when Ixiac is fully operational. You can find more details about how Ixiac works in subsections “Generating New Currency”, “Block Acceptance Criteria” and “Ixiac Algorithm - Hybrid PoW” of section “4. High-Level Overview” and in section “7. Ixiac - Hybrid Consensus Algorithm” of the Ixian DLT Whitepaper, which can be found on https://docs.ixian.io/tech_docs/dlt_whitepaper.html.
We have designed Ixiac with the following things in mind:
The only requirement for running a DLT node is having hardware and internet connection capable enough to handle the network load (i.e. block processing, transaction processing, client request processing). There are generally no big investments necessary to operate a node until the network grows very large and anyone can set up a DLT without relying on ASIC mining/special hardware manufacturers for example.
Scalability is one of the key factors for effective blockchains. Explained in more detail in section “10. Scaling plans” of the Ixian DLT Whitepaper.
Ixian DLT nodes are constantly competing in how fast they can process blocks and transactions and how well connected they are to other nodes. If a node can’t process data fast enough, it will start lagging behind the rest of the network and if it’s not connected well enough, its signatures will propagate slower to the other nodes and won’t make it on to the block as there is a limit of 1000 signatures per block.
Since this is all quite technical, what needs to happen to avoid network stalling completely is full implementation of Ixiac and over 2000 DLT nodes running on the network. Do note that even in the current state if transaction and user activity increases, the slow nodes will start lagging behind so those that are running several nodes on low-end hardware will automatically drop off, forcing the network to reorganize so that only more capable nodes will push the network forward.
We believe that Ixiac is a truly innovative consensus algorithm, which solves many issues that blockchains are facing.