Fetch.AI Solves ‘Blockchain Trilemma’ with Novel Approach to Reaching Consensus

Minimal agency consensus scheme preserves decentralisation in a high performance distributed ledger

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Fetch.AI has just revealed what they say is a technical breakthrough on the challenge of the ‘blockchain trilemma’, with a new radically fresh approach to consensus. The consensus uses a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) scheme that achieves strict transaction ordering, fast confirmation times and improved security compared to existing platforms.

Jonathan Ward, head of research at Fetch.AI commented:

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“Blockchain technologists have long understood the ‘trilemma challenge’ of achieving the correct balance of security, decentralisation and scalability. Our new approach to achieving consensus makes use of a decentralised random beacon, which in turn allows us to harness a truly decentralised DAG and deterministic transaction ordering for the first time. This means we can scale beyond today’s existing systems without compromising significantly on security or decentralisation”

Ward continued:

“This is a landmark achievement in the development of our technology. It’s going to be exciting to see the consensus implemented on our scalable ledger, which is capable of synchronising 30,000 transactions per second on a single shard.”

The novel approach to achieving consensus includes the following innovations:

  1. A Decentralised Random Beacon that elects a committee of nodes tasked with reaching agreement on the validity of a set of transactions. This adds additional cryptographic measures that ensure decentralisation whilst preventing individual nodes from being able to interfere with or delay the progress of the blockchain.
  2. A DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) but without the delay in reaching finality that is common to other DAG-based systems. Rather, the ‘leader’ of the committee (securely and randomly elected) is able to deterministically construct a strict ordering of transactions for the next block to be added to the blockchain from the partially ordered transactions contained in the DAG. The deterministic mechanism for achieving transaction finality combined with the scalability and transaction throughput of the ledger design will enable it to outperform existing systems.
  3. The overall design of the consensus mechanism, including the decentralised random beacon, collaborative block production and deterministic  block mapping, focus on achieving ‘minimal agency’, which contributes to improved security by reducing the influence any one node can have on the transactions that are entered into the blockchain.

Humayun Sheikh, CEO, Fetch.AI added:

“Any consensus mechanism needs to be specific for the purpose of its distributed ledger. Fetch.AI’s ledger underpins deployment of ‘multi-agent systems’ where AI agents undertake large numbers of low-value transactions (e.g. trading data from a sensor). We believe our new consensus mechanism makes a significant contribution to blockchain infrastructure, making DLT fit for purpose in high-performance use cases.”

Fetch.AI also recently made its test wallet available via both the Android and Apple app store. With the test wallet users can begin to make economic value transfers with test FET tokens.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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