IOTA plans gradual abolition of coordinator

IOTA, the DLT platform with focus on the Internet of Things (IoT), wants to get rid of its centralistic legacy, the “coordinator”. For this purpose, the Berlin-based IOTA Foundation has assembled a special team to initiate steps for the “Coordicide”, the death of the coordinator. The organisation has now explained on its blog what these steps look like.

Bitcoin profit is certainly one of the buzz words of the (expiring) year

The decentralized, public and unchangeable Bitcoin profit transaction history was made prominent by the Bitcoin protocol. In addition to blockchain technology, there are numerous other ways of decentralized accounting which is not a scam according to onlinebetrug. The term Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) thus encompasses much more than just the blockchain. One of the best known blockchain alternatives is IOTA’s “Tangle”.

Unlike the blockchain à la Bitcoin, the Tangle has no miners and therefore no transaction fees. If you want to carry out a transaction in the tangle, you must confirm at least two previous transactions before the transaction itself becomes part of the tangle. Unlike a blockchain, transactions are not grouped into blocks and chained together in a row. Instead, each transaction becomes part of a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) of the tangles. New, unconfirmed transactions become “tips” of this graph until they are confirmed by subsequent transactions. A nice visualization of this tangle can be found here, for example.

Overall, the consensus procedure for IOTA’s tangle is much slimmer and more scalable than for a blockchain. However, the system only works if the number of “honest” transactions is significantly higher than the number of transactions carried out by malicious actors. The more participants the network has, it is assumed, the greater the number of honest transactions. Conversely, this means that a young network with relatively few participants becomes more vulnerable to attacks.

The role of the “coordinator” in the Bitcoin profit

In order to protect the Tangle in its early attacks, IOTA uses the so-called “coordinator” (also called “Coo”) to check: The Coo is a special node operated by the IOTA Foundation. It publishes zero-value Bitcoin profit transactions at regular intervals that fulfill a checkpoint function for the tangle. These transactions, also called “milestones”, determine the direction in which the tangle is spun. A transaction is only valid if the coordinator confirms it directly or indirectly with a “milestone”.

In the crypto scene, the use of the coordinator often meets with criticism, as it basically gives the IOTA Foundation the last word on the status quo of the network. Although the Foundation cannot retroactively invalidate transactions, it could de facto freeze deposits from participants in the network where the coordinator does not take their transactions into account when publishing new milestones. In addition, an attack on the coordinator could paralyze the whole tangle. Last but not least, the use of the coordinator limits the scalability of IOTA, which is actually one of the protocol’s greatest strengths.