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Consensus Protocol

What is it and what purpose does it serve?

Introduction

The definition of SAR Consensus is "Agreement produced by consent between all members of a group or between multiple groups".Suppose a law or rule is presented to three different parties. All parties must vote and decide whether they agree with the rule that has been presented to them. This is the consensual process, and is an essential component for blockchain or blockchain technology. Without consensus, it is impossible for a blockchain to achieve decentralization. Therefore, it is necessary to understand this topic.

Purpose of Consensus in Blockchain.

As we already know, blockchain is a decentralized database capable of storing any type of transaction log. These records cannot be modified or altered once registered. Therefore, it is crucial to verify each of those transactions before they are recorded and therefore enter the blockchain. However, no node in the chain knows the other nodes, and none nodes can be granted full trust. This lack of trust is the reason for the importance of consensus.

Anyone present on the network can log transactions in the blockchain. Therefore, certain network operators (miners9 are responsible for filtering genuine records and discarding forged (false) records that may enter the blockchain. This procedure is performed using a specialized algorithm designed for that purpose.

In essence, the consensus protocol has two fundamental purposes:

 

1.- Decentralization.

This ensures that the blockchain is not controlled by either party or authority.

2.- Dialogue.

Without a consensus mechanism, blockchain could not be updated because new blocks could not be added to it.

 

Working with the Consensus Protocol

Any blockchain consists of multiple blocks, each block being an ordered set of transactions. It can be considered as a page in a distributed ledger. Miners must propose a new block to the blockchain network. These new blocks are free, they are simply containers or empty pages.If the entire network approves the block, the miner receives a reward. There are several types of consensus protocols to give validity to those transactions. Let's look at the most used ones today.

Some of the most widely used consensus protocols and their corresponding cryptocurrencies

Proof of work (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin)

Proof of stake (Dash, Stellar, Cosmos)

Delegated Proof of Stake (EOS, Cardano, Tron)

Proof of Activity (Decred)

Proof of Burn (Slimcoin)

Each of these types of protocols differs in the methods it uses to validate transactions and each has its pros and cons. Fundamentally, however, they all address the need for record validation.

Conclusions

The fundamental advantage of blockchains is their decentralization. Being a global and distributed network implies the need to be authentic and accurate. Without a consensus protocol, a blockchain cannot reach the above properties. That said, the protocols described have their negative points. That is why there is a constant evolution and development of these algorithms to make them more effective and efficient.

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