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Did IOTA Just Solve the Blockchain Trilemma?

  • IOTA released its Growth Network (DevNet), nicknamed Nectar which is a working demonstration of the protocols IOTA plans to make use of to solve the Trilemma upon its mainnet.
  • IOTA believes this is “the most effective implementation of a feeless Dispersed Ledger protocol. ”


Vitalik Buterin, the particular founder of Ethereum, gave the term “The Blockchain Trilemma. ” It refers to three pillars of blockchain technology: decentralization, scalability, and safety. “Choose any two” is what creates the dilemma.

Image resource: https://modex.tech/a-brief-overview-of-the-scalability-trilemma/

Security is an complete must, so a project is pretty much left emphasizing that it is secure and decentralized (but not scalable), or protected and scalable (but not decentralized). No project continues to be able to optimize in each of these areas. Most projects focus on decentralization, so are secure plus decentralized but not scalable (Bitcoin only confirms 8 transactions per second; Ethereum was crippled when Crypto Kitties became popular).

On 06 2nd, however , IOTA launched its Development Network (DevNet), nicknamed Nectar, which is a working demonstration of the protocols IOTA plans to use to solve the Blockchain Trilemma on its mainnet when it upgrades in order to IOTA 2 . 0.

IOTA is definitely known for taking a very different approach to distributed ledger technology. Contrary to blockchain technology, IOTA uses a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG), which they call the Tangle. In the Tangle, each new transaction confirms two some other transactions and does minimal evidence of work. This approach provides excellent scalability, since the more dealings there are, the more participants can confirm prior transactions, resulting in the particular network becoming faster since it grows (as opposed to the particular delays and bottlenecks seen in Bitcoin or Ethereum as the network becomes busy).

The low power required to run an IOTA node also ensures great decentralization since so many low-powered devices can act as nodes. The Tangle architecture also allows IOTA to be completely feeless, as there are no miners to pay to secure the network (essentially each participant is having a very small piece of the miner’s role).

Security will be multi-faceted (depending on the type of attack you are securing against), but the security of IOTA’s network has not been in question (there have been thefts of IOTA, but those have been via schemes to steal personal keys). So , in what way got IOTA not already resolved the Trilemma?

IOTA solves the blockchain trilemma

The great weakness just for IOTA has been the lack of decentralization – as part of maintaining its security it has a special node called the Coordinator which problems milestone transactions. A transaction must be referenced by a landmark transaction (currently issued every single 10 seconds) in order to be confirmed-hence the network has a single point of dependency and control, leading many in order to quickly dismiss IOTA as a centralized network. Hence, the particular Trilemma has foiled IOTA as well — at least until now.

Killing the Coordinator (“Coordicide”) has always been in the plans to get IOTA, but many have considered it a pipe-dream, requiring that there is no way IOTA can maintain its security without sustaining the Coordinator.

Upon June 2nd, IOTA launched Nectar, the IOTA 2 . 0 DevNet . It is “the first fully decentralized IOTA network without the need of a Coordinator. ” IOTA believes this is “the best possible implementation of a feeless Distributed Ledger protocol. ” It is an optimized foundation layer that will be capable of hosting smart contracts, DeFi platforms, and other second-layer applications.

As a bonus, IOTA second . 0 DevNet already contains IOTA’s Digital Assets framework, allowing anyone to create customized coins or NFTs along with absolutely zero fees (Dominik Scheiner, cofounder of IOTA, already minted 100 ZEN Bridal party ).

The goal of this DevNet is to thoroughly test just about all aspects of IOTA 2 . 0, strengthening the protocol within preparation for implementation upon IOTA’s mainnet, and allow programmers to build projects now that they know will be compatible with the last network solution.

ALSO READ: Building the future of IoT: An exclusive interview with IOTA Co-founder Dominik Schiener

How was IOTA able to remove the Coordinator?

It required a new consensus mechanism. General opinion is needed to determine what transactions are valid – this is of particular importance when you can find conflicting transactions, such as a double-spend: (Imagine I have 10 iotas and I send 9 of these to Alice and eight of them to Bob simultaneously… both of these transactions cannot be legitimate, but how do the nodes reach consensus regarding which usually to include? )

In Bitcoin and most other blockchains, the consensus mechanism can be “Proof of Work. ” Whichever node does the work to solve a block’s mining problem first gets to make the decision about which transactions to incorporate in the next block. When it comes to “Proof of Stake, ” the particular nodes holding the most tokens get the most voting influence within determining outcomes.

Within IOTA 2 . 0 they will discarded dependency on the Planner and instead use a leaderless consensus protocol called Fast Probabilistic Consensus (FPC) exactly where, in case of conflict, nodes take part in rounds of voting that involve selecting a random subset of neighbors to question. Each node changes its opinion based on the majority consensus until all agree. The DevNet is now live, operating with testnet tokens, since proof that FPC works.

However , IOTA must carefully test all aspects of this new network just before implementing the protocol on the mainnet in Q4 of the year or Q1 associated with next year. Developers are encouraged, however , not to wait until then to start developing apps — developing now around the DevNet will ensure an easy, rapid transition to having your product working on IOTA second . 0.

“ We didn’ to want to take any shortcuts” – IOTA developer

In a recent blog post , IOTA developer Hans Moog stated:

The reason why IOTA has taken so long to become decentralized is because we didn’t want to take any shortcuts. The particular network that we are going to style is not only going to be faster and simpler but also more efficient, more secure, more robust, more decentralized and more scalable than any kind of existing technology.

IOTA has now clearly demonstrated how the Tangle can run with no Coordinator — in other words, they have announced their solution to the Blockchain Trilemma! All are asked to challenge this DevNet, to exploit any weaknesses, and to decide for yourself whether the Trilemma has, in fact , been resolved.

To learn more about IOTA second . 0 and the exciting modules planned for it, to see the decentralized Tangle live, and to down load the DevNet wallet and obtain some test tokens on your own, visit https://v2.iota.org/ . The news is being favorably received – since the statement, the IOTA price has shot up over 25 percent.

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