Our regular readers may remember that over the past week or so, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) dev community has been abuzz because the much-awaited pre-consensus protocol called ‘Avalanche’ has finally been implemented within the currency’s framework.
More on the Matter
From a technical standpoint we can see that the Avalanche proof-of-concept is basically a consensus algorithm that makes use of Byzantine fault tolerant proofs. This gives the native-network-nodes the ability to distinguish between conflicting transactions with ease.
To be even more specific, the protocol helps in data-relay between nodes in real time (so as to bring about consensus in an efficient/hassle free manner).
Avalanche is devised to send out queries on behalf of various network nodes. It then helps the ecosystem come to a pre-consensus if there are two conflicting transactions looking to seek approval.
Some Confusion Still Persists in Relation to the Avalanche Protocol
A lot of folks are still confused regarding the operational capabilities of Avalanche, since the protocol is also being used in relation to a proof-of-stake (PoS) project that has been devised by Emin Gün Sirer of Cornell University.
However, when talking about Avalanche from the perspective of BCH, it is being used solely for “pre-consensus related matters”. Not only that, the protocol also runs in conjunction with the original proof-of-work consensus mechanism.
Last but not least, discussions pertaining to Avalanche have also gained immense traction over the past week so— particularly since the protocol went live on the BCH mainnet. The BCHD version of Avalanche on the Github repository contains the following note:
[The following specification] is not intended to be a final spec and is likely not compatible with the implementation being developed by Bitcoin ABC — The primary purpose is to give other developers something tangible to look at, think about, and discuss.
Ok avalanche proof of concept officially running on mainnet. https://t.co/tRqmCf4ifZ
Spec here: https://t.co/2KMZwTubxa
— Chris Pacia (@ChrisPacia) February 8, 2019
Other Key Details Worth Noting
In addition to the details that have been presented thus far, it should also be remembered that quite recently, Bchd has provided independent developers with full-fledged access to an Avalanche transaction explorer.
A closer look at the BCHs tx history shows that the currency is able to process native transfers at an amazing speed of around 2-3 seconds. What these figures also point to is the fact that the transactions listed on the Avalanche explorer have reached a point where they can no longer be reversed by a double spend — despite the tx’s being unconfirmed by miners.
“If used this way, it would give Bitcoin Cash the equivalent of nearly instantaneous confirmations while improving mempool synchronization and reducing the financial incentive to 51% attack. As you can see, at present most transactions become irreversible after just a couple seconds — To take this from proof-of-concept to an actual consensus rule will require lots of testing, experimentation, data collection, code review, and soft fork activation rules.”
In closing out this article, it should be remembered that the aforementioned data points to the fact that BCH’s finality speeds are now 6-10x faster than those delivered by the Ethereum network.
Not only that, Avalanche is also designed to make synchronization operations more efficient and streamlined. On the matter, a Bitcoin ABC developer recently released a post wherein he mentioned that not only does Avalanche make
“transaction finality faster, but it also provides a good mechanism for post-consensus defense against blockchain reorganization attacks.”