What is Gossip Protocol?

By Kapil Gauhar

When it comes to gossiping, computer nodes aren’t far behind men and viruses. The fundamentals of gossip protocol aren’t any different. It is the way of spreading information to the people of the same world.

When you come to know that your Team Lead has put down his paper, you break this piece of information to your colleague on a tea break. Your colleague gets interested in the information and passes this information on to another colleague while you too are breaking this information to another colleague of yours. In just a matter of fraction, every person in the company would be aware of the gossip about your Team Lead leaving his job. That’s exactly how computer nodes gossip with one another.

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Profound Understanding of Gossip Protocol

Consider a network of computer nodes!

Let’s say, N1 (node) receives new information. N1 randomly choose a peer (say, node N2) and share that information.

N1 and N2 then pick a peer each (say, node N3 and N4) randomly and share the same information. The process continues in this fashion unless the information is passed on to all the connected nodes.

Generally, nodes store the time of information exchange. In the example above, in the first exchange between N1 and N2, N2 would store the details of N1, the information, and the time at which N2 got to know about that information.

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Where Is Gossip Protocol Used?

Gossip protocol works amazingly in a decentralized network of nodes. It’s a decentralized approach to information exchange.

Rules can be built on these nodes for determining the truthfulness of the information. Let’s say if a network following gossip protocol holds a rule that when 2/3 of the nodes return the same information, then that information will be taken as the truth.

In this process, all the nodes are treated with the same equality. It makes no difference if a node is more powerful than its peers. The only thing that makes a difference here is network bandwidth.

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Gossip Protocol in Action

It’s highly unlikely that you have never used any application that uses gossip protocol. Yes, that’s true!

If you hold some Bitcoins, if you use a search engine, if you use any social media platform, even if you have downloaded movies using a torrent, then you have used gossip protocol.

In the Bitcoin Blockchain network, gossip protocol is used by the miners for communicating the value of nonce to fellow miners.

Gossip protocol plays a critical role in the blockchain world. It’s used by most of the major blockchain networks such as Bitcoin and Hyperledger.

Hashgraph that claims itself to be a better technology than blockchain also uses this unique protocol for transferring information from one place to the other.

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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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