What is Elrond?
Elrond is a proprietary blockchain protocol that aims to provide a decentralised, secure, and scalable network for distributed apps, enterprises, and the wider internet economy.
Specifically, Elrond prioritises scalability and low transaction fee which automatically puts it up to compete with other major blockchain networks like Ethereum, and Zilliqa to mention a few.
In addressing the industry-wide scalability dilemma, Elrond supports a blockchain speed that is at least 1000X faster than the majority of its counterpart as mentioned earlier.
Not only that, but the network also offers great improvement with respect to throughput rate, transaction cost, and the overall user experience. For perspective, the current throughput rate supported on the Elrond platform seats at a high relatively high 15,000 transactions per second (TPS).
Likewise, by enabling interoperability among various blockchains, in addition to general upgrades, Elrond is able to live up to its status as an internet-scale blockchain.
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How does Elrond work?
At the heart of the Elrond operation is a combination of bespoke technology including a secure proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, advanced sharding technology, a validator network, and a native Elrond coin eGold (eGLD).
Starting with its proprietary technology, Elrond uses a native variation of the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism dubbed ‘Secure PoS’, adding quite a number of innovative upgrades to it.
To understand the role of SPoS in the Elrond network operation, one must first understand the role of the advanced sharding technology (AST) employed by the network.
Notably, the AST technology refers to the process by which Elrond’s infrastructure is split into multiple parts so as to accommodate more transactions and programs. In other words, the AST technology facilitates the way network nodes are allocated transactions and mapped into specific shards. You can learn more about sharding technology in this article or this.
That said, the secured PoS is designed to sync separate network components including the validating nodes to a single ledger, leveraging its native Elrond virtual machine (EVM) which was purposely designed to facilitate smart contracts.
In this context, a node can be a smartphone or computer that is running the Elrond node client software in order to relay or process data across the network.
Unlike the regular PoS consensus mechanism that uses a system of nodes to transact data as well as to establish consensus, SPoS, on the other hand, leverages three specific types of nodes; ‘Validators,’ ‘Observers,’ and ‘Fisherman.’
The first is responsible for processing transactions on the network in exchange for native tokens; the second – ‘observers’ just like the name implies monitor on-chain activity, as well as read, and relay information within the network.
Fisherman nodes, on the other hand, are tasked to verify data that are being processed within the network. Likewise, they can challenge block data in the event that an error occurs or perhaps, upon the discovery of any malicious act. Interestingly, this category of nodes are rewarded proportionally for their effectiveness in spotting malicious actors.
SPoS additionally employs Boneh–Lynn–Shacham (BLS) multi-signature technology to randomly choose nodes inside each shard in order to complete validator selection in 100 milliseconds, or 0.1 second. Elrond’s capacity to accomplish this speed in its validator selection process distinguishes it as a true internet-scale blockchain.