- The decentralization of the IOTA network through the development of Coordicide is progressing.
- Although the development is still in its early stages, all theoretical questions have been answered to complete a “version 1” of Coordicide.
The IOTA Foundation has provided an update on the development of Coordicide in a blog post. According to this update, the development is still on schedule, but there is still a long way to go until a first prototype is presented. IOTA states in its latest report that there are “satisfactory answers to all questions” that are necessary to complete a “version 1” of Coordicide.
Coordicide aims to fully decentralize the network. The need for the Coordinator is justified by the way IOTA reaches its consensus. Each new transaction must be confirmed by two old ones in order to be confirmed by itself. The Coordinator is a temporary measure to exclude “bad” actors from the IOTA Tangle in the context of consensus. To achieve this, the coordinator is currently setting the so-called milestones. Only when a milestone is set, the transaction cannot be changed anymore.
Update on the development progress of IOTA Coordicide
As the blog post states, the next steps of the Coordicide project were discussed at the last Berlin summit and some restructuring of the research and development teams was undertaken. From now on there will be groups for “Networking”, “Decentralized RNG (dRNG)”, “GoShimmer Implementation”, “Fast Probabilistic Consensus (FPC)”, “Mana and Autopeering” and the “Protocol”.
Regarding the issue of development progress, the development team explained that with the Random Number Generator (RNG) and Mana, two components still need to be coded before GoShimmer can be considered a “complete” prototype.
GoShimmer refers to the prototype in progress for a node software that allows nodes to reach consensus without the coordinator. The GoShimmer Node shall contain the Coordicide modules for auto-peering and node identities. The first prototype of Coordicide will also have a limited feature set and focus on the Internet of People (IoP):
It should come as no surprise to anyone that the IOTA protocol is not an “end-product,” rather, it is an ever-evolving project. The first version of Coordicide will be aimed at IoP (Internet of People), and from there we will improve the necessary parts in order to answer the needs of IoT.
Remaining research questions, according to the IOTA Foundation, are the Cellular Automata Voting, the sharing mechanism, Arrow autopeering and VDF, which will not be found in the first version of Coordicide:
Although our past research has already yielded great progress on those topics, they are not essential to the initial Coordicide. As such, our immediate focus is to deliver a working version of Coordicide in order to fully decentralize the IOTA network. After this has been achieved, we will then turn our full attention to the next steps in the direction of IoT.
In addition, the revised Coordicide White Paper was finalized just before the Christmas holidays and handed over to the members of the research council and other scientists for “internal” review. A publication is planned for the coming weeks.
The still open components dRNG and Mana
Until the first GoShimmer implementation is released, the random number generator (RNG) and mana still need to be coded. For the development of RNG, IOTA has established a new working group ”dRNG Group” which will develop a suitable decentralized random number generator (dRNG) for the IOTA network. The group will analyse existing dRNG solutions as drand and combine them with the Mana algorithm:
We will adapt and develop a decentralized random number generator which is optimal for the IOTA network. Currently, the most promising candidate seems to be a combination of already existing solutions which are based on drand with decentralized committee selection in reputation (mana) systems.
The reputation system (Mana) will prove that in a transaction the users own the ownership of the transferred IOTA quantity. Mana is not only credited to a node by passing valid transactions to the network. The “Mana amount” of a node is used as a measure of trust or reputation to reward and reward “good” players.
According to Coordicide’s roadmap, a first prototype of the GoShimmer Node will be released by the end of the first quarter. The launch of an alpha test network is planned for the end of the third quarter of 2020, while the test network is scheduled for the end of the year.