The beginning of the year following the $4 million seed round of financing, the blockchain agreement this month Algorand announced $62 million in equity financing.
Do not consider the previously filled bubble ICO, the chain in the public field is still a lot of financing. This is not only a huge amount of financing, investment institutions including USV, CMB international, new capital, Pai 32 (see official website). Besides the block chain is long winter break, exchange project, difficult to continue. In fact, two months ago, the financing of circles has been heard, then Algorand is the hottest time.
Why can Algorand into 420 million yuan?
Angel investment is nothing more than to see the team. Silvio Micali is the founder of MIT, put forward a joint professor of zero knowledge proof, for outstanding contributions in the field of cryptography in 2013 received the Turing award. Due to the outstanding academic achievements of the founder of Algorand, has attracted many attention at the time of the birth of a large number of articles, analysis and analyzing its consensus algorithm, the logo investment institutions can be filled with Yiping. Even on the academic team entrepreneurship has always been a number of questions, or institutions are not willing to miss this project.
“Impossible Triangle” is a chain technology bottleneck industry had the largest number of Algorand, but also to solve the problem. Light can solve the “Impossible Triangle” can not let it become the next generation of public chain. In technology, application case design, incentive mechanism and community construction, the appropriate personnel, is placed in front of every public chain team issues.
Recently, the daily planet Odaily interviewed on these issues Chen Jing, chief scientist at Algorand, referring to the latest progress of Algorand and future planning. Chen Jing graduated from MIT, mainly distributed on books and game theory, currently president of Stony Brook University (Stony Brook University) assistant professor.
Algorand first revealed an interesting point, this is in the forefront of technology team, in the “prevention of votes (stake) centralized” incentives, but not simply rely on the code, and may also reward offline behavior. This seems to make us reflect the popularity of the Code, the usual is law “, is not to go faster than the times?
Fast key: local secret ballot, bifurcation resistance
The first is about the latest technology. In view of the fact that Algorand is hardly unknown in the public project chain domain, familiar readers are advised to skip this part.
For a male chain, regardless of its location is a digital currency account, or application platform, need to address the underlying consensus algorithm, which is one of the common chain extension limit. The beginning of the heart which is Algorand — solve the bitcoin consensus mechanism, is the problem existing in PoW, including congestion, energy consumption, and a centralized force.
In Chen Jing explained, Algorand block process is not complicated. Simply select a small number of people running a high-speed Byzantine agreement reached a consensus on the block. Under normal circumstances, each round of three draw:
The first step in the whole network of local secret ballot elected dozens of a nominee (block proposer), they are packed together with their blocks drawn out.
Step two the whole network draw selected by the verifier, will give the block nominees sort, find the minimum draw people as this round of a person. Most people agree to verify, verify people will run a Byzantine agreement. Chen Jing said, the number of users to vote expected value is 1000, but the specific number system according to the number of nodes and the safety evaluation, choose how many people can make the risk probability is low enough, so is the other steps.
The third step draw selected node, will make the final confirmation of this block, to determine whether there is enough users to vote it is accepted, otherwise the null value investment.
Using VRF to reduce the communication cost and power consumption
The so-called lottery, who got the chance to work in this step. This is the biggest characteristic of Algorand – VRF (verifiable random function. The user to enter a specific parameter (seed) + private key will be the one and only random output, and that. The use of zero knowledge proof of Micali was put forward, it is magic that I don’t know what you enter, but can prove that you are not false (explained reading this).
The random draw alone is not enough to block the chain, otherwise easy to encounter Sybil Attack (witch attack). The attacker on the Internet can be a key to control any, if the probability of each public key is selected is the same, may cause the most selected public key is malicious. So it is necessary to consider the probability of adding the weight of each selected, with the number of token users have related (Algorand token named as Algo), as long as no more than 1/3 malicious stake can work normally. This is a bit like PoS and Micali, or even think that this is the most pure PoS.
In fact, PoW also has the draw, it is often said that the problem for solving the problem guessing, so who in the same number of time to guess (is) much more likely to guess, guess a lucky guess a few times on. The calculated force competition makes the energy consumption become large. VRF draw power consumption is very low and in the local operation, do not need to communicate between nodes, so the speed is very fast. Chen Jing said, even the ordinary notebook computer can be a node.
Bitcoin in order to prevent the bifurcation, block time limit within 10 minutes, do six times to confirm the transaction, a transaction would not slow to. The Algorand protocol can resist bifurcation, even if the network is divided into two parts. The communication between the two parts completely controlled by the attacker, there is no splitting.
If the system in the investment of 100th blocks, due to the presence of malicious nodes, such as block proposer transmitted to the different users of different blocks; or the attacker divide the network into several parts and temporary control of the communication between users.
In different attack scenarios, there may not be any a block in the third step a sufficient number of signatures, may also have a block with enough signatures but the attacker through control of the network the hidden signature. A normal user can not immediately distinguish these two kinds of situations. At this time, the system will enter the formation of 100th blocks of second cycles.
Chen Jing said: “this time you have to cast new No. 100th block, be careful. Especially in the second case, must ensure that second cycles generated before the block is enough of a signature.”
Algorand was able to do in the strong network attack is still not forked, Chen Jing explained, a method is determined for each user subsequent cycle at the front of his own vote period to see the contents of the two is VRF; the selection of the user, can avoid the conflict of a sufficient number of signatures in parameter design.
In addition, different from the general Byzantine agreement, every step of the Algorand participants may be completely different, with the use of VRF. Even if lots of people themselves, only know whether they are selected, and do not know other people. The attacker is difficult to know which machines should attack, even if later, or verify information has been packaged and zero knowledge proof to broadcast out, it is very difficult to do evil. Even if such a situation will cast an empty block, in the new period.
“Trilemma” outside the difficult: Sustainable Development
The Impossible Triangle, also expressed as trilemma (Trilemma). “Although called trilemma, but there is no strict proof of impossibility.” Chen Jing does not think this triangle can not eat. Regardless of the presence or absence of Trilemma dispute, we talk more is the design of outside technology, such as incentive mechanism, community construction, talent recruitment.
This is sustainable, Chen Jing, a word most frequently mentioned in the interview.
The design of incentive mechanism, financing released from the fund-raising, to recruit team, the team hopes to achieve this point.
ICO has no choice and the choice of financial equity, is considering sustainability; future choice and public financing team information, public incentives and other technical documents of the plan, and so.
The incentive mechanism of risk: Alienation of bitcoin
“Motivation is the most difficult.” The first Micali show Algorand mechanism in Malta 2017 financial data encryption machine security conference, said.
There is no incentive mechanism is the most controversial subject. According to Coindesk reports, when Micali said: “we must use the incentive mechanism as a last resort. I believe I can (make up algorand operation in the absence of incentive mechanism, but I did not prove) the exact method I can.” Many people think that Micali is too idealistic, Algorand has no incentive mechanism or the issuance of digital encryption currency.
In the opinion of Chen Jing, and that Algorand is too idealistic to design incentive mechanism, as they are too cautious to the incentive mechanism has not been released. The Algorand consensus agreement due to not based on PoW, the user cost is very small in the consensus agreement. This makes the incentive mechanism of the consensus protocol itself than on the PoW system that has a decisive role. But the Algorand ecosystem based on blockchain incentive mechanism, the team was clear from the start.
“In fact, we are at the beginning of the design of the incentive mechanism.” At the same time, Chen Jing also admitted that the design of appropriate incentive is too difficult. “Like bitcoin, once the incentive mechanism, you don’t know how users will find ways to make money through various loopholes.”
Bitcoin, the global market capitalization of the first public chain, can be described as also the incentive, incentive failure.
A bitcoin is the threshold is very low, but the incentive mechanism to make democratic oligopoly. “Now the situation has bitcoin and contrary to the center,” she says, a large number of stress concentration in the mine pool, miners and ordinary users of both groups are not coincident. Micali also expressed similar views.
The code can not solve everything, both online and offline incentive
Algorand don’t want to create a centralized cash share, or cash become another monopoly.
Bitcoin lesson is that code can not solve the human nature. After studying for a long time in the token distribution, the Algorand is in the forefront of technology team, in the “prevention of votes (stake) centralized” means, but not only rely on the code, also to the line.
1, I hope to help the community construction through incentives, including the developer community and the user community. “Our team members of his former school are very emotional. We think highly of university cooperation, both as a user, or to the token distribution, are very important.” Algorand will invite top universities become a node in the global scope, do research and application in the network, the Algorand foundation will be part of the token configuration to university program. “We think the University of social welfare look againer, they do research in the above, may motivate people to do more more in-depth exploration on the block chain, at the same time, the university is a good way to connect to the community.”
2, do not necessarily have a reward in line, the line may also be rewarded. In bitcoin, accounting only have a reward, in order to compete for a piece of the right lead users to continuously improve work force. To avoid making the same mistakes, Algorand award will run the program itself, regardless of whether they were drawn are likely to be rewarded, a bit like a personal version of the cloud computing vendors. At the same time, to participate in community building activities, and the behavior of application development under the line can be rewarded. The Algorand foundation holds part of the ALGOS is dedicated to community construction, through design etc..
3, the establishment of an auction mechanism, to keep the attention of the community. “We don’t want to do ICO, token sold out, then you lose attention, nor to provide long-term effective reference price discovery. We will be in their own home by auction (auction) way to distribute out the part of the token, such as a daily auction, has been 5 years.” I feel that with EOS a year long ICO is a bit like. The difference is, Chen Jing told me that Algo’s auction on-line synchronization, and the grid will not advance; and the auction has been carried out in the main.
She did not disclose too many details of the incentive mechanism of the future. In addition to considering the release rhythm, one of the incentive mechanism is too easy to be copied is the team’s concerns.
Such concerns also exist in the underlying technology research. The open source community should make collective sharing and improve the software, the word plagiarism is a pseudo proposition. Block chain is a source, we have no way to prevent others with your things to do other things, and others to use our technology but also for our approval.” Algorand balancing approach is to choose the hash value of the public technology, and then gradually open technical details.
To solve the consensus mechanism, further adding smart contracts
The Algorand is a “distributed books”, which can transfer, without intelligent contract function. The test network has been on the line, 2019 line network planning.
The first version is mainly to solve the consensus problem, ensure to the center of the structure of a bottom, there will be a virtual machine full state. Since then, the platform will according to industry demand gradually launched new functions, such as digital assets function for the financial industry. With the increasing application of token platform, the value of circulation increased, may need a more stable value. This is also the team will consider the future.
Finally, I and Chen Jing also talked about the configuration of the team. Algorand now has about 35 people, is still in the expansion phase, looking for China community Operations Manager (as well as other engineers and researchers and other positions). “There are a lot of community Chinese blockchain is very interested in technology and love people.” Algorand used to Chinese to held three meetup, the depth of the enthusiasm and thinking participants made her very happy. “Can be seen from many participants, many people are really on our system.”
I’m Odaily the daily planet editor Lu Xiaoming, exploring the real exchange block chain, broke the news, please add lohiuming, please note Name, unit, position and reason.
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