An easy approach to how IOTA Foundation will decentralize its consensus mechanism.
The full article was originally published by Daniel De Michele on Medium. Read the full article here.
This article aims to explain in an easy and very simplified fashion, how the IOTA Foundation Research and Engineering teams are working towards the goal of removing the Coordinator and, therefore, achieve complete decentralization in terms of consensus. Keep in mind that Coordicide is a dynamic project and some of the items explained in this post may change in the coming weeks.
IOTA Current state
As we all know, IOTA is a revolutionary DLT that utilizes a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) called the “Tangle” as data structure instead of the well-known blockchain. The reason for this is, mainly, the limitations in terms of scalability that blockchains have: every block on the chain can carry a limited amount of transactions. Apart from this, blockchain based DLTs rely on consensus mechanisms, that require some sort of mining, which leads to the necessity of a fee per transaction to pay miners work.
At the time of writing, IOTA is decentralized in regards to its Ledger: just like Bitcoin the IOTA network consists of thousands of full nodes communicating messages using the Gossip Protocol. Each node uses this protocol to validate that their copy of the ledger is consistent with the rest of the network.
The way consensus finality is achieved in the Tangle today is centralized. A set of the transactions added to the Tangle’s DAG are selected as valid by a centralized special node called Coordinator, while other conflicting transactions are left behind, never confirming.
The next big step for IOTA is to find a way to have a consensus mechanism that do not require centralized entities, fees or miners.
This article will explain in a simple way, how this will be achieved.