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VeChain upgrades to Proof of Authority 2.0 consensus mechanism


17 Nov 2021

#VeChain

The latest consensus mechanism upgrade is expected to improve several aspects of the network’s security and key operations while making it even more environmentally friendly. Supply chain tracking network VeChain has just upgraded its consensus mechanism to what it claims is the “world’s greenest” method of verifying blocks on the chain. On Nov. 16, VeChain reached a milestone in its six-year history by upgrading its VeChainThor mainnet to the first phase of the Proof of Authority (PoA) 2.0 SURFACE consensus algorithm.

VeChain is a supply chain tracking system that launched in 2015 and combines physical tracking with blockchain record keeping. PoA and Proof of Stake (PoS) differ from Proof of Work (PoW) in that they do not require mining to reach network consensus. PoA achieves consensus by verifying users’ identities, while PoS does this by staking coins in the network.

The VeChain network runs with only 101 nodes. Fewer nodes reduce decentralization but increase the speed and reliability of the network. This tends to be favored for commercial and industrial applications. By comparison, Bitcoin currently has 13,244 nodes, while Ethereum has 2,701. An added advantage is PoA is less energy intensive and emits a very low amount of carbon. VeChain suggested that the new upgrade is the “world’s greenest consensus to drive mass adoption.”

The upgrade consists of three major components according to the official announcement. The first is a verifiable randomness function (VRF) which securely and randomly assigns nodes to produce blocks or process transactions, making them immune to corruption. The second is a committee-endorsed block-producing process which significantly reduces the probability of network forking. Forking can cause delays and slow the throughput of the network.

The third component is a passive block finality confirmation process. This helps ensure new blocks are finalized even if all nodes on the network are not in sync. The PoA 2.0 SURFACE upgrade also aims to improve scalability, security, and throughput on the VeChainThor mainnet.

The VeChain team explained in the announcement that the PoA 2.0 Secure Use-case adaptive Relatively Fork-free Approach of Chain Extension (SURFACE) is needed “to meet the demands of future blockchain applications and increasing global demand.”

Various exchanges, including Binance and Crypto.com, supported the hard fork of VeChain (VET), which has fallen around 10% over the past 24 hours. The VeChain project also announced on Nov. 16 the election of the second steering committee (SC). The SC is designed to “facilitate the efficiency of decision-making and ensures the fairness and effectiveness of execution for all fundamental matters.”


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