bloXroute For PoS and Hybrid Frameworks – bloXroute Labs

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By bloXroute Labs Marketing & PR Associate Brooke Walter

PoW, PoS, Po-Whatever. bloXroute’s Blockchain Distribution Network (BDN) can help all blockchain projects, no matter their consensus mechanism. That’s why a while back we published a Twitter series describing how bloXroute’s BDN can benefit various Proof of Stake and Proof of Stake hybrid frameworks including Cosmos, Tezos, Polkadot, Decred, and Ethereum 2.0. The series stirred up a lot of interest and questions, so we wrote a blog post to summarize and elaborate how the BDN will help projects like these achieve scalability, allowing for lower fees for users and more block rewards for proposers. In this post, we also included two of our new blockchain partners, Ontology and Qtum, who both operate with a PoS framework.

Ontology

What’s the problem: Ontology is a public blockchain and distributed collaboration platform that uses multi-layers, multi-chains, and aims to deploy sharding to build blockchain frameworks, extensions and infrastructures. Although this approach does slightly enhance throughput, the individual multi-chains will still suffer from the scalability bottleneck, placing a ceiling on block propagation speed.

How we can help remove the scalability bottleneck: Multi-chain architectures divide the main chain into smaller versions. The BDN can remove the bottleneck for each of these individual pieces of the blockchain. Advantageously bloXroute can work in tandem with any consensus mechanism to bring multiplied scalability improvements and helps with decentralization, given that the entire network, and any sub-network, can grow much bigger thanks to bloXroute.

Qtum

What’s the problem: Qtum uses PoS verification by combining Ethereum’s smart contracts with Bitcoin’s blockchain. Decentralization is one of the core characteristics of Qtum. They are building a global open-source community by bridging existing communities together. A patchwork of decentralized ecosystems requires a robust network to support speedy communications. The length of this process is dependent on the speed of confirmations ie. block propagation.

How we can help remove the scalability bottleneck: The BDN can speed up the blockchain and therefore reduce the length of time it takes for communication amongst decentralized peers. This can enable further decentralization without compromising performance.

Cosmos

What’s the problem: Multiple rounds of block proposition slows down the blockchain. The State Machine is the engine that runs Cosmos and determines how blocks are committed to the blockchain. Ideally, the block committal process follows a Propose, Prevote, Precommit, Commit process, however it can take multiple rounds which slows down the blockchain. This can happen for various reasons. For example, absent designated proposers, invalid block proposals, slow block propagation, slow prevote receival, voting error, and other variables can slow down the procedure.

How we can help remove the scalability bottleneck: The factors mentioned above can be greatly reduced by speeding up communication between the participants in the State Machine.

The BDN can speed up each round of block proposal and commitment, allowing more blocks to be communicated and voted on and allowing block proposers to make more money by sending the proposed blocks fast and signing and receiving signatures faster, allowing them to get a bigger bonus.

Tezos

What’s the problem: A randomly assigned Baker has just one minute to create and broadcast their block to the rest of the network or else they lose their turn. As you can imagine, creating large blocks is risky since they take longer to propagate and increase the probability of turn loss. Thus, the size of the block a proposer is willing to produce is limited by the speed the data can be communicated to other network participants.

How we can help remove the scalability bottleneck: The BDN can allow block proposers, called Bakers, to create larger blocks and broadcast them quicker, without putting the block reward at risk.

Polkadot

What’s the problem: Polkadot participants include Validators, Nominators, Collators, and Fisherman who work together to agree and approve block candidates as well as monitor for bad behavior. With so many working participants relying on each other to commit blocks, any communication bottleneck can slow the entire process.

How we can help remove the scalability bottleneck: The BDN can speed up the broadcasting between participants to allow GRANDPA, Polkadot’s consensus algorithm, to achieve supermajority votes in order to finalize blocks, as well as propagate blocks quickly on behalf of block proposers.

Decred

What’s the problem: In the Decred system each block must be mined and ratified by at least three verifiers (out of five which are randomly selected each round) to be added to the blockchain. This means PoW miners not only need to hear about previous blocks, but also need to broadcast their work to their peers, until it reached the verifiers. This process heavily depends on quick propagation of blocks, and leaves a lot of opportunity for congestion and impediments. Without an optimized network infrastructure the throughput for the entire system is limited.

How we can help remove the scalability bottleneck: The BDN can speed up Decred’s verification process by using an optimized P2P topology to allow quicker broadcasting between the verifiers. By improving their communication, each block can be more quickly be mined and ratified.

The fact that 5 tickets (i.e., validators) are selected at random from among all tickets means blocks must be propagated across the slow P2P in order to reach said 5 validators, which are not known in advance.

Correction: Our previous Twitter post mentioned that the BDN’s faster block propagation also reduces the length of Decred’s improvement voting process since a vote lasts 8064 blocks. Due to further inspection we are not clear this is true since voting includes other factors, such as the number of votes collected threshold. Please bear with us as we are going through many protocols and may miss some nuances at first glance.

Ethereum 2.0

What’s the problem: In ETH 2.0, validators are randomly picked from the beacon chain to form a committee who work together to stake ETH, attest to correct blocks, confirm block validity, and propose new blocks. However, broadcasting data between the committee members can be slow and cause communication bottlenecks. Despite the use of sharding, which divides Ethereum’s Global Root into various shards to achieve some scale from a multiplication effect, the problem isn’t solved, it is duplicated. The individual shards still suffer from the original problem of slow block propagation. Sharding may increase scalability but it is suboptimal given the infrastructure layer is unaddressed.

How we can help remove the scalability bottleneck: ETH 2.0 has many upgrades, including sharding and moving from PoW to PoS. bloXroute can help with both of these changes. The BDN can allow ETH 2.0 committee members to optimally broadcast data amongst each other to attest, confirm, and propose blocks faster: this removes the bottleneck for each of the individual shards and can bring multiplied scalability improvements. In ETH 2.0 just like in any other PoS system, a block must be propagated to 2/3rds of validators and have them sign the block to be accepted. If validators were to produce blocks twice as large, they would require twice as long to reach the other validators, thus requiring twice as long to have supermajority sign blocks. Simply put, ETH would produce x2 larger blocks, but x2 less frequently, ending up exactly where it started.

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