Tech

Paul How

ABC’s Avalanche plan signals end to proof of work

ABC is expected to release its ‘pre-consensus’ Avalanche feature for the ABC chain in the near future, even as opinion remains contentious.

For those supportive, it is considered an efficient way to arrive at consensus on a network, and will aid with zero-confirmation transactions. Others see Avalanche not as a mere complement to, but rather a complete deviation from Bitcoin and the proof-of-work (PoW) mechanism as designed by Satoshi Nakamoto.

Reina Nakamoto, tweeting on the matter, cited the Avalanche whitepaper itself that states, “Unlike Nakamoto consensus, the protocols are green, quiescent and efficient; they do not rely on proof-of-work and do not consumer energy when there are no decisions to be made.”

On Reddit, user satoshi vision said the tech would be an overhaul of Bitcoin, and that it would be “bypassing miners and POW, weakening the security of the system.”

The user further said that ABC developers “would rather move to a system of Proof of Stake,” where one’s creation of blocks is dependent on how many coins one holds. They also noted that ABC “already have snuck in centralized checkpoints and 10 block deep reorg protection, without telling miners or users. They even refuse to raise the blocksize, the same as Core and say 22MB blocks are impossible, while coingeek mines 64MB blocks. What a nightmare. BABcoin is fiat 2.0.”

ABC lead developer Amaury Sechet characterized Avalanche as running side by side with PoW, yet also stated, “Avalanche [does] not need proof of anything except for Sybil resistance… It doesn’t need proof of work/stake/whatever to reach consensus.”

Ryan X. Charles of Money Button, in his initial reaction to it, said some transactions may not be confirmed and included in the blockchain as a result of using Avalanche. “[I]f you do things like broadcast a double-spend, it actually may never reach a consensus. So it doesn’t actually guarantee that consensus ever occurs,” he said.

Charles further characterized Avalanche as more a networking protocol, which for arriving at consensus “has some slightly less desirable properties in other ways that are sort of made up for by proof of work.”

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