Blockchains such as the Tron network are secured by a consensus mechanism, a means by which the many nodes in the network agree on which transactions are valid.
Many blockchains have shifted away from the proof-of-work consensus mechanism employed by Bitcoin, because of its high energy use and environmental impact.
Tron uses an innovative consensus mechanism called delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) to validate transactions. It is an evolution of the proof-of-stake model, which, according to Tron, is safer, more efficient and more democratic than conventional proof-of-stake mechanisms.
What is a consensus mechanism?
Consensus algorithms are what keep blockchain networks decentralized, and they require the nodes in the network to have some skin in the game.
In proof-of-work networks like Bitcoin, miners use their computer’s processing power to solve a complex mathematical problem before a block can be added to the chain. This creates an “arms race” of computing power, and requires miners to expend huge amounts of energy to maintain the network.
What is delegated proof-of-stake?
Delegated proof-of-stake is an evolution of the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, which uses orders of magnitude less energy than proof-of-work.
In proof-of-stake networks, validators stake their cryptocurrency to verify transactions in exchange for a payout.
Tron’s delegated proof-of-stake consensus mechanism builds on this model, enabling the community to choose validators through decentralized voting to run nodes and achieve consensus.
Did you know?
A block is generated every three seconds on the Tron network.
How does Tron involve its community to achieve consensus?
In Tron’s delegated proof-of-stake model, community members who hold Tron’s native coin, TRX, vote on which nodes can join the pool of 27 “super representatives” that are allowed to process transactions.
Tron’s consensus mechanism gives the members of its community the power to make decisions that impact the network, while simultaneously making the platform more secure.
What are super representatives?
Tron community members holding Tron’s currency (TRX) can vote to elect “super representatives.”
It’s the super representative’s job to validate transaction blocks and ensure the security of the Tron network.
Since 2018, there have always been 27 super representatives on hand to secure the Tron blockchain for six hours at a time. (There’s an election every six hours, during which candidates can gain or lose votes.)
Any account on the Tron network can apply to become a super representative—and there are hundreds of nodes vying for the opportunity at any given moment. But to do so requires gaining the trust of the community; super representatives need more than 100 million votes to get elected (and each vote cast equals one TRX token).
Did you know?
Super representatives are rewarded with 16 TRX for every valid block confirmation. To incentivize nodes competing to become super representatives, the top 127 candidates also receive a portion of the block reward.
Why did Tron choose DPoS?
DPoS is a highly-efficient consensus mechanism, both in terms of power consumption and speed of transactions.
But even more important than providing faster, cheaper transactions is the community aspect.
Tron’s investors are empowered to help govern their own community through a fair and democratic process. And delegated proof-of-stake also involves the community in ensuring that the network is safe, because delegates are elected by their peers. If a member fails to process blocks properly, or attempts to compromise the network, they can be removed from their position as a super representative by community voting.
That’s how a democratic system works.
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