Ouroboros Proof Of Stake Algorithm Explained

By Kapil Gauhar

The Ouroboros Proof of Stake algorithm is arguably one of the crucial parts of the protocol. This unique protocol has changed the way nodes achieve network consensus.

Ouroboros itself has some historical importance as it was the first ever protocol to be used on a Proof of Stake algorithm that was both efficient and secured.

Proof of Stake algorithms are rapidly becoming more and more popular than its predecessor, Proof of Work.

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What is Proof of Stake?

Proof of Stake is a new methodology to approach block creation. Proof of Work algorithms traditionally used a lot of electricity so a miner could crack certain complex algorithms for transaction confirmation.

However, a Proof of Stake differs in that it helps a node for creating a new block which is based on the nodes’ current amount of coins in their possession.

Once a node demonstrates a positive stake, they are assumed as stakeholders. Additionally, once a node has created a new block successfully, then that node is referred to as a slot leader.

What is a Slot Leader?

A slot leader is vital for creating new blocks on the blockchain as well as running the entire protocol.

Slot leaders enjoy many responsibilities which include viewing transactions verified by other nodes, assign every block with secret keys, generate a block with a batch of transactions, and make it available on the network.

A slot leader is comparable to a bitcoin miner, however, you need to be elected to become one.

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Difference Between Epochs and Slots

The Ouroboros protocol is different from others in its time measurement. The protocol separates the physical time into epochs, and then subdivides those into slots.

A slot refers to a short period like 20 seconds, and has a single slot leader who’s responsible for the specific slot. In turn, every slot leader is allowed to generate just a single block amid their assigned slots.

How Does A Slot Leader Elected?

Slot leaders are selected from a group of stakeholders on the network. However, not all of them are considered eligible for electoral participation.

Only the stakeholders with the most at stake are allowed to take participation and are referred to as the electors.

During every epoch, an election is held to make sure that the slot leaders are responsible for the next epoch.

Theoretically speaking, any stakeholder can be elected to be a slot leader. However, the more stake a stakeholder has, the better their chances are of getting elected.

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Multiparty Computation

The electoral system is not without faults, as it is subject to bias. For addressing this, the Ouroboros protocol has introduced an MCP (Multiparty Computation) system for promoting fairness as well as introducing some randomness at the same time.

The MCP system lets every elector choose their preferred candidates by using a technique. After concluding the process, electors share their results with the others in electoral committee.

This tickles discussion among the committee until they have reached the consensus on their new slot leaders.

Honest Majority

The Ouroboros protocol actually functions on the assumption recognized as the honest majority. This assumption holds that any major stakeholder with a fair amount of cryptocurrency is likely to be honest since they have obvious reasons for the success of the network.

This diminished the occurrence of any adversary emerging on the network and makes sure for a more robust blockchain.

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Kapil Gauhar

Kapil Gauhar is the founder of Blogger’s Gyan. He is a Passionate Blogger, a Big Thinker and a Creative Writer. His passion for doing friendship with words and letting people know about the wonders of the Digital World is what motivates him to take writing as a career.

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