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Proof of Work (commonly abbreviated to PoW) is a mechanism for preventing double-spends. Most major cryptocurrencies use this as their consensus algorithm. That’s just what we call a method for securing the cryptocurrency’s ledger.
Proof of Work was the first consensus algorithm to surface, and, to date, remains the dominant one. It was introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto in the 2008 Bitcoin white paper, but the technology itself was conceived long before then.
Adam Back’s HashCash is an early example of a Proof of Work algorithm in the pre-cryptocurrency days. By requiring senders to perform a small amount of computing before sending an email, receivers could mitigate spam. This computation would cost virtually nothing to a legitimate sender, but quickly add up for someone sending emails en masse.
What is a double-spend?A double-spend occurs when the same funds are spent more than once. The term is used almost exclusively in the context of digital money — after all, you’d have a hard time spending the same physical cash twice. When you pay for a coffee today, you hand cash over to a cashier who probably locks it in a register. You can’t go to the coffee shop across the road and pay for another coffee with the same bill.
In digital cash schemes, there’s the possibility that you could. You’ve surely duplicated a computer file before — you just copy and paste it. You can email the same file to ten, twenty, fifty people.
Since digital money is just data, you need to prevent people from copying and spending the same units in different places. Otherwise, your currency will collapse in no time.
For a more in-depth look at double-spending, check out Double Spending Explained.
Why is Proof of Work necessary?If you’ve read our guide to blockchain technology, you’ll know that users broadcast transactions to the network. Those transactions aren’t immediately considered valid, though. That only happens when they get added to the blockchain.
The blockchain is a big database that every user can see, so they can check if funds have been spent before. Picture it like this: you and three friends have a notepad. Anytime one of you wants to make a transfer of whatever units you’re using, you write it down — Alice pays Bob five units, Bob pays Carol two units, etc.
There’s another intricacy here — each time you make a transaction, you refer to the transaction where the funds came from. So, if Bob was paying Carol with two units, the entry would actually look like the following: Bob pays Carol two units from this earlier transaction with Alice.
Now, we have a way to track the units. If Bob tries to make another transaction using the same units he just sent to Carol, everyone will know immediately. The group won’t allow the transaction to be added to the notepad.
Now, this might work well in a small group. Everyone knows each other, so they’ll probably agree on which of the friends should add transactions to the notepad. What if we want a group of 10,000 participants? The notepad idea doesn’t scale well, because nobody wants to trust a stranger to manage it.
This is where Proof of Work comes in. It ensures that users aren’t spending money that they don’t have the right to spend. By using a combination of game theory and cryptography, a PoW algorithm enables anyone to update the blockchain according to the rules of the system.
How does PoW work?Our notepad above is the blockchain. But we don’t add transactions one by one — instead, we lump them into blocks. We announce the transactions to the network, then users creating a block will include them in a candidate block. The transactions will only be considered valid once their candidate block becomes a confirmed block, meaning that it has been added to the blockchain.
Appending a block isn’t cheap, however. Proof of Work requires that a miner (the user creating the block) uses up some of their own resources for the privilege. That resource is computing power, which is used to hash the block’s data until a solution to a puzzle is found.
Hashing the block’s data means that you pass it through a hashing function to generate a block hash. The block hash works like a “fingerprint” — it’s an identity for your input data and is unique to each block.
It’s virtually impossible to reverse a block hash to get the input data. Knowing an input, however, it’s trivial for you to confirm that the hash is correct. You just have to submit the input through the function and check if the output is the same.
In Proof of Work, you must provide data whose hash matches certain conditions. But you don’t know how to get there. Your only option is to pass your data through a hash function and to check if it matches the conditions. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to change your data slightly to get a different hash. Changing even one character in your data will result in a totally different result, so there’s no way of predicting what an output might be.
As a result, if you want to create a block, you’re playing a guessing game. You typically take information on all of the transactions that you want to add and some other important data, then hash it all together. But since your dataset won’t change, you need to add a piece of information that is variable. Otherwise, you would always get the same hash as output. This variable data is what we call a nonce. It’s a number that you’ll change with every attempt, so you’re getting a different hash every time. And this is what we call mining.
Summing up, mining is the process of gathering blockchain data and hashing it along with a nonce until you find a particular hash. If you find a hash that satisfies the conditions set out by the protocol, you get the right to broadcast the new block to the network. At this point, the other participants of the network update their blockchains to include the new block.
For major cryptocurrencies today, the conditions are incredibly challenging to satisfy. The higher the hash rate on the network, the more difficult it is to find a valid hash. This is done to ensure that blocks aren’t found too quickly.
As you can imagine, trying to guess massive amounts of hashes can be costly on your computer. You’re wasting computational cycles and electricity. But the protocol will reward you with cryptocurrency if you find a valid hash.
Let’s recap what we know so far:
That’s where public-key cryptography comes in. We won’t go into depth in this article, but check out What is Public-Key Cryptography? for a comprehensive look at it. In short, we use some neat cryptographic tricks that allow any user to verify whether someone has a right to move the funds they’re attempting to spend.
When you create a transaction, you sign it. Anyone on the network can compare your signature with your public key, and check whether they match. They’ll also check if you can actually spend your funds and that the sum of your inputs is higher than the sum of your outputs (i.e., that you’re not spending more than you have).
Any block that includes an invalid transaction will be automatically rejected by the network. It’s expensive for you to even attempt to cheat. You’ll waste your own resources without any reward.
Therein lies the beauty of Proof of Work: it makes it expensive to cheat, but profitable to act honestly. Any rational miner will be seeking ROI, so they can be expected to behave in a way that guarantees revenue.
Proof of Work vs. Proof of StakeThere are many consensus algorithms, but one of the most highly-anticipated ones is Proof of Stake (PoS). The concept dates back to 2011, and has been implemented in some smaller protocols. But it has yet to see adoption in any of the big blockchains.
In Proof of Stake systems, miners are replaced with validators. There’s no mining involved and no race to guess hashes. Instead, users are randomly selected — if they’re picked, they must propose (or “forge”) a block. If the block is valid, they’ll receive a reward made up of the fees from the block’s transactions.
Not just any user can be selected, though — the protocol chooses them based on a number of factors. To be eligible, participants must lock up a stake, which is a predetermined amount of the blockchain’s native currency. The stake works like bail: just as defendants put up a large sum of money to disincentivize them from skipping trial, validators lock up a stake to disincentivize cheating. If they act dishonestly, their stake (or a portion of it) will be taken.
Proof of Stake does have some benefits over Proof of Work. The most notable one is the smaller carbon footprint — since there’s no need for high-powered mining farms in PoS, the electricity consumed is only a fraction of that consumed in PoW.
That said, it has nowhere near the track record of PoW. Although it could be perceived as wasteful, mining is the only consensus algorithm that’s proven itself at scale. In just over a decade, it has secured trillions of dollars worth of transactions. To say with certainty whether PoS can rival its security, staking needs to be properly tested in the wild.
Closing thoughtsProof of Work was the original solution to the double-spend problem and has proven to be reliable and secure. Bitcoin proved that we don’t need centralized entities to prevent the same funds from being spent twice. With clever use of cryptography, hash functions, and game theory, participants in a decentralized environment can agree on the state of a financial database.
TomoChain’s AMA with Binance was recently held on Oct. 19th, 2019 with CEO Long Vuong sharing all the latest updates about TomoChain’s products and potential future projects.submitted by alexngn201 to Tomochain [link] [comments]
*** Below is a brief recap of what happened during the AMA ***
Segment 1: Richie from Binance asked Long Vuong 5 questions.
Richie: Among different blockchains and cryptocurrency projects, what are some key features that set TomoChain aside? What does TomoChain have that other projects don’t?
Long: Some key features which set TomooChain aside include:
/ 2-second block-time and transaction confirmed within almost 4-second.
/ Significantly improvement of user experiences and adoption of blockchain.
/ 2From Tron to TomoChain: 8h.
/ TomoX — a secure and efficient relayer-masternode decentralized cryptocurrency exchange protocol that empowers a diverse system of relayers, MM providers, and independent projects to work together.
Long: Since our mainnet launch, TomoChain has continuously built our ecosystem strong and stable, resulting in:
Long: TomoChain aims to build a safe and credible DeFi system that everyone can benefit from globally, with our recent launch of TomoZ — fees by any token protocol, our decentralized exchange protocol TomoX coming in a couple of weeks, and many more projects in plan for the future.
TomoChain opens up a wide playground for developers to creatively build their own dapps and games. We have an enthusiastic high-tech team that can support you with problems you may have while creating your product. TomoChain’s most recent Dappathon Competition just ended, with 9 final contestants who’ve brought a whole new gaming experience for our community. Thus, many new games are coming up on our platform, encouraging even more developers and game lovers to join. So keep an eye out to try out some of our new games!
Richie: TomoChain has launched TomoZ’s mainnet in August. Can you elaborate on the product and comment on the amount of interest with individuals/businesses you’re seeing in this product?
Long: TomoZ — Zero Friction Protocol — provides inroads to mainstream users who find crypto to be unnecessarily complex. It is the first on-chain protocol that offers the ability for any user to pay transaction fees with the same token that the user is holding.
TomoZ removes the friction of having to hold native blockchain coins/tokens to send to other wallets or to interact with dapps. Users/customers of all businesses using our solution will have a smooth experience without even knowing that they are using the blockchain and cryptocurrency technology.
Tokens issued with the TomoZ protocol follow a new standard called TRC-21 (TRC is the abbreviation of TomoChain Request for Comments). Everyone can create a TRC-21 token on TomoChain in a few clicks using TomoIssuer — a user-friendly token issuance dashboard. No need to spend thousands of USD hiring blockchain developers.
For DeFi apps, TomoZ can be tailored for issuing stablecoins. Digital wallets and payment systems can be set up via TomoZ protocol very fast and cost-effectively.
Richie: The testnet of your flagship product — TomoX — the DEX protocol is to be rolled out soon. What sets TomoX apart from other DEX protocols?
Long: TomoX Testnet is to be launched in a couple of weeks. TomoX Protocol is our relayer-masternode decentralized cryptocurrency exchange protocol. Compared to the current state of the art DEX architecture, TomoX Protocol has quite a lot of advantages, which have been described in detail in our paper (http://bit.ly/33EgSl7), the most notable are as follows:
Q1: When was TomoChain listed on Binance?
August 24th, 2019.
Q2: Which TOMO trading pairs are available on Binance.com?
TOMO/BNB, TOMO/BTC, TOMO/USDT and TOMO/USDC.
Q3: What is the name of TomoChain’s consensus?
PoSV — Proof of Stake Voting.
Q4: Name TomoChain’s most recent product and its mainnet launching date?
TomoZ — August 20th, 2019.
Q5: The testnet of which TomoChain’s product will soon be launched?
SEGMENT 3 — Chat asked Long questions. 3 Rounds of questions opened up, and Long chose 5 questions from each round the answer. Below are some of the highlighted questions Long gave answers to:
Q1: Vietnam has very few successful projects, what is the problem? Does TomoChain have any plans to support other projects in Vietnam and contribute to building a stronger Vietnamese community?
Long: I consider TOMO and TomoChain being in a very good term right now, given that we have a strong and decentralized community of Masternodes and stakers securing the chain 24/24 every single day. Furthermore, good things take time to happen, even Bitcoin took a few years to create strong values. Comparatively, TomoChain would need more time to develop and mature, expanding our reputation and values to the world.
Q2: If Ethereum figures out their scaling issues, then projects like Tomo will not be able to compete. How will you respond to it?
Long: That’s no issue actually. There are other dimensions to compare that TomoChain still proves to have advantage on, such as blocktime. TomoChain has a 2 second blocktime while Ethereum’s is about 15s, which makes TomoChain more suitable for gaming and other activities that need fast interaction. Also, target audience and the community usage of the network can be very different too.
Q3: Among some technology key points such as: Sidechain, Privacy, Shardchain, how far are Tomochain going in each aspects at the moment? What are your main focus in terms of technology at the moment?
Long: Side-chain technology is doable (can be designed and built) but we focus on the mainchain at the moment. Sharding has some serious drawbacks as inter shard communication can break smart-contract composability and this is a very serious issue. The next major research area we are working on is privacy.
Q4: TomoChain has so many outstanding features in the form of TOMO WALLET, TOMO MASTER, TOMO SCAN, etc. to name a few. But, do you have real users and partners that use your services and what marketing strategies do you have to draw new users as without marketing no matter how good the product is nobody cares?
AIS-X generated its AIS token with the TRC21 standard on TomoChain. Can you elaborate more on this and its purpose?
Is the number 150 high-quality masternodes fixed or dynamic?
Long: We do have a variety of real users using our products on a daily basis. For example: TomoWallet has around 1000 daily active users, which mean around 1000 people open the app and do something every single day. The number has actually been quite stable for the last few months. Moreover, I feel that the crypto space is still very small, so TomoChain and other crypto and blockchain projects are trying our best to push the number of users. Of course the more the merrier. So my invitation to all of you to download the app and spend sometimes with TomoChain community :)
Q5: Ethereum developers seem to be loyal (or stubborn if you prefer) to Ethereum and might wait for Ethereum to scale because I haven’t seen any major ETH dapp switching to Tomochain (or other blockchain project), so how will Tomochain persuade/attract blockchain developers (solidity developers specifically) to build on Tomochain or migrate their dapps from Eth to Tomo? Assuming that the need for higher TPS in the dapps will trigger this onboarding of developers might not work necessarily and is too passive of a strategy IMO. For example, Thundercore protocol is also EVM compatible & faster (1200 TPS) than Ethereum but solidity developers are not building there either. So what’s Tomochain/Tomoteam strategy in this regard?
Long: I don’t believe in bribing or buying developers (from Ethereum or elsewhere) to build on TomoChain. It is not the way to build an authentic community. We want to build a community with real interests and determination to help grow TomoChain ecosystem. Thus, till now, we fortunately have been working with some awesome teams such as TomoSwap, PigFarm etc. Our goal is to continue to build reliable products, and increase users experience when it comes to blockchain in general, and join TomoChain specifically.
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