A simple explanation of the IOTA Coordicide
The full article was originally published by Markus on Medium. Read the full article here.
In the last few days a lot has been said and speculated about Coordicide. Maybe not every person knows exactly what the Coordinator and the Coordicide is and what kind of implications arise. We want to provide education with this little essay.
In order to protect the Tangle in its early phase attacks, IOTA uses the review so called “Coordinator” (also: “Coo”). The Coo is a special node operated by the IOTA Foundation. He regularly publishes zero-value transactions that perform a checkpoint function on Tangle. These transactions, also called “milestones”, determine the direction in which Tangle is being spun. A transaction is only valid if it is confirmed by the coordinator directly or indirectly with a “milestone”.
The use of the coordinator often meets with criticism in the crypto scene, because in principle he gives the IOTA Foundation the last word on the status quo of the network. Although the Foundation can not retroactively invalidate transactions; however, it could de facto freeze deposits of participants in the network where the coordinator does not take their transactions into account when publishing new milestones. In addition, an attack on the coordinator could paralyze the whole Tangle. Last but not least, the use of the coordinator curtails the scalability of IOTA, which is actually one of the greatest strengths of the protocol.
The above criticism can be summed up in one word: centralization. The criticism does not fall on deaf ears at IOTA, on the contrary: The Coo was provided from the beginning as a temporary solution. On the question of the end of the coordinator, the IOTA Foundation writes in its blog:
“The short answer is that the coordinator can and will be removed if our research team is convinced that we sufficiently understand the coordinator-free Tangle.“
That’s why the IOTA Foundation plans to launch a coordinator-free testnet. Within this testnet, various theroetic approaches will be tested, which should make IOTA a long-term decentralized IoT platform without any scaling problems.