Distributed Consensus

Understanding Distributed Consensus

Distributed consensus is a crucial concept for the proper functioning of decentralized networks or machines.

While consensus between two parties is relatively easy to achieve (e.g., Alice inviting Bob to her house and Bob agreeing), achieving consensus becomes increasingly challenging as the number of parties or nodes in a network grows.

Distributed Consensus Algorithms

For distributed consensus to be established, every node in the network (or every participant in a blockchain network like Bitcoin) must maintain an identical copy of the ledger, and there must be agreement that each node’s version is accurate.

Distributed consensus algorithms are used in blockchain projects to achieve this.

Consensus Mechanisms in Blockchain

In the Bitcoin blockchain, consensus and coordination are achieved through the Proof-of-Work mechanism proposed by Satoshi Nakamoto.

Other consensus mechanisms, such as Proof-of-Stake and Delegated Proof-of-Stake, also exist.

Key Properties of Distributed Consensus Mechanisms

Most distributed consensus mechanisms share common properties.

They are typically based on a stake, which represents a store of value that a proposer puts up, such as currency or computing power.

These mechanisms also involve rewards for validation, often in the form of native coins specific to the blockchain.

Transparency is another key aspect, allowing other users to detect any attempts at cheating or fraudulent behavior by validators or proposers.