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Igloo: A Chat with Edward Tate on His Avalanche Implementation for Tezos

Igloo: A Chat with Edward Tate on His Avalanche Implementation for Tezos

October 5, 2018 by William Peaster

In the first of a series of interviews on the maturing Tezos ecosystem, Bitsonline talked with Edward Tate, who’s written an Avalanche-based implementation in OCaml that could one day be folded into Tezos. Avalanche is a new consensus mechanism that offers “simplicity, high performance, and […] amenability to parameterization,” Tate told us. 

Also see: ErisX: Who’s Backing It, and What Its Rise Means for Crypto Derivatives

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Avalanche, Tezos, and OCaml Make Sense, Says Tate

William Peaster, Bitsonline: In being one of the newer consensus innovations to hit the scene, many are still unaware of Avalanche, or at least what it is precisely. How would you characterize Avalanche, what sets it apart? It’s compatible with directed acyclic graphs, or DAGs, correct?

Edward Tate: Avalanche is a consensus mechanism based on the concept of metastability, which is the probabilistic guarantee that an outcome will be converged upon by a set of participants in a network.

In the context of a cryptocurrency, the outcome might be a transaction being included in the ledger. The DAG is there in order to keep the transactions stable over time and keeps track of the level of acceptance of a transaction — this is a bit like the amount of confirmations in Bitcoin.

What sets Avalanche apart from other solutions is its simplicity, high performance, and its amenability to parameterization in order to adapt to different levels of trust.

For example, in an untrusted setting it can achieve over 1000 transactions per second with 4 second finality with 600 byte transactions and maintain a high level of security in a network of 1000 nodes. In a trusted network it is possible to upgrade the TPS significantly by tweaking the secur...

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