At the heart of every successful public blockchain is a solid consensus protocol. A consensus algorithm determines how the users of a blockchain agree on its current state. It is the consensus algorithm that keeps blockchains free from central governing authorities.
Please Note: This is a Press Release
But not all algorithms are created equal. As such, each has its set of advantages and disadvantages. Here is a brief rundown of the most popular consensus protocols and why Proof of Ambassador is a worthy new entrant:
Proof of Work
This is where it began. The Proof of Work algorithm was devised by Satoshi Nakamoto and first implemented in the Bitcoin blockchain.
In PoW, miners or validators compete to solve cryptographic puzzles to create blocks and earn rewards. But as the puzzles get harder, it requires a lot of time and computational power to solve them, which eventually results in slow throughput and high energy consumption.
To overcome the limitations of PoW, a new system was introduced known as Proof of Stake consensus.
Proof of Stake
Unlike PoW, Proof of Stake works by having users put their own coins at stake to validate transactions. If the transactions are legitimate, minters or validators are rewarded with tokens; if not, they lose the coins that they had ‘staked’.
This system is much more energy efficient (as it does not require solving complex puzzles), more decentralized, faster and much more expensive to try to fool. But it’s also prone to flaws like ‘nothing-at-stake’ and long-range attacks detailed here.
This is where Proof of Authority comes in.
Proof of Authority
Proof of Authority is a consensus algorithm powered by cryptographic signatures and enforceable business contracts, backed by a blockchain.
In PoA, transactions are validated by approved users, mostly on a private network. It works by placing trust in a few authority figures that can be held responsible for any discrepancy in the system.
The advantages of a Proof of Authority system include high throughput and scalability. However, it is not really optimized for truly decentralized networks (but instead for private, centralized ones).
Proof of Ambassador
The Proof of Ambassador protocol, introduced by the Bitcoin Origin project, builds on Proof of Authority by combining it with Proof of Stake elements. It works by assigning a reputation score to validators who are publicly identifiable, known as Ambassadors.
Ambassadors are chosen each month by users who stake their coins to cast votes. The consensus is based on pre-approved authoritative Ambassadors with a Proof of Authority approach.
Reputation is assigned to Ambassadors based on several criteria including continual predetermined set of activities like promotion and campaigning of the Bitcoin Origin project.
Other criteria that an Ambassador needs to satisfy are:
Proof of Capacity: Potential validators are provided with benchmarking tools to measure their current hardware capacity like network capacity and throughput, computational capacity and throughput, memory access speeds, available disk space and uptime capacity to ensure highest level of speed and scalability.
Proof of Environment: Servers are hosted in eco-friendly server farms with geo-location tracking. Special hosting packages are arranged at pre-approved hosting locations. To ensure there is no tampering of geo-location metrics, site visits are conducted at unscheduled intervals.
Proof of Identity: Domain registry information is required and DNS entries are added to prove ownership. WHOIS information must be publicly accessible and proof of ownership is required to confirm identity.
Proof of Stake: A stake of Bitcoin Origin Tokens must be staked by Ambassadors.
Proof of Community (Proof of Reputation): A secondary ERC20 non-tradeable reputation token is created that can only be minted or burned, called Community tokens. Community tokens are rewarded via the foundation for community contribution. A minimum participation amount will be required and would have to be burned to participate as a node.
Addressing this, the project’s Position Paper says:
“We understand that the requirements are extensive, however being a validator rewards 5% of all fees assigned to blocks. This is over and above the default reward dilution off of the foundation funds to reward community engagement. For this reason the vetting process is rigorous.”
To learn more about the project and the Proof of Ambassador consensus, visit https://bitcoinorigin.io/.
To read the Bitcoin Origin Position Paper, visit https://bitcoinorigin.io/pdf/BitcoinOrigin-PositionPaper.pdf