What is DFINITY
The Dfinity blockchain computer provides a secure, performant and flexible consensus mechanism. While first defined for a permissioned participation model, the consensus mechanism itself can be paired with any method of Sybil resistance (e.g. proof-of-work or proof-of-stake) to create an open participation model. Dfinity’s greatest strength is unfolded in the most challenging proof-of-stake case.
At its core, Dfinity contains a decentralized randomness beacon which acts as a verifiable random function (VRF) that produces a stream of outputs over time. The novel technique behind the beacon relies on the existence of a unique-deterministic, non-interactive, DKG-friendly threshold signatures scheme. The only known examples of such a scheme are pairing-based and derived from BLS.
The Dfinity blockchain is layered on top of the Dfinity beacon and uses the beacon as its source of randomness for leader selection and leader ranking. A “weight” is attributed to a chain based on the ranks of the leaders who propose the blocks in the chain, and that weight is used to select between competing chains. The Dfinity blockchain is further hardened by a notarization process which dramatically improves the time to finality and eliminates the nothing-at-stake and selfish mining attacks.
Dfinity’s consensus algorithm is made to scale through continuous quorum selections driven by the random beacon. In practice, Dfinity achieves block times of a few seconds and transaction finality after only two confirmations. The system gracefully handles temporary losses of network synchrony including network splits, while it is provably secure under synchrony.
Blockchain Platform: Ethereum
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