Concensus Breakthrough: Snowflake to Avalanche - A Novel Metastable Consensus Protocol Family for Cryptocurrencies

Well, claimed as a breakthrough.

Here’s the abstract:

This paper introduces a new family of leaderless Byzantine
fault tolerance protocols, built on a metastable mechanism.
These protocols provide a strong probabilistic
safety guarantee in the presence of Byzantine adversaries,
while their concurrent nature enables them to achieve
high throughput and scalability. Unlike blockchains that
rely on proof-of-work, they are quiescent and green. Surprisingly,
unlike traditional consensus protocols which require
O(n^2) communication, their communication complexity
ranges from O(kn log n) to O(kn) for some security
parameter k n.

The paper describes the protocol family, instantiates it
in three separate protocols, analyzes their guarantees, and
describes how they can be used to construct the core of an
internet-scale electronic payment system. The system
is evaluated in a large scale deployment. Experiments
demonstrate that the system can achieve high throughput
(1300 tps), provide low confirmation latency (4 sec), and
scale well compared to existing systems that deliver similar
functionality. For our implementation and setup, the
bottleneck of the system is in transaction verification.


It is a very interesting paper, we picked it up yesterday. It’s still not fully taken apart but does make some bold claims, even though there is a k factor for more secure, which feels wrong. In any case its well worth spending a few hours on.


It sounds as if they are building the same thing as maidsafe, they did a presentation on Tedx:

Is that so? And how far are they?

This came up recently elsewhere - see this link Hi, I'm freshman here, so ,could somebody tell me the difference between SAFE and IPFS

Uhm could there be a misunderstanding here? I thought the paper just happened to be hosted on ipfs and that’s all of a connection there is…?


When I googled it yesterday, it was also my impression it has nothing to do with IPFS: Cornell Professor Unveils ‘Simple Yet Powerful’ Consensus Protocols.
Also it seems to me that the paper is more focused on how the proposed protocols can be used as an alternative payment system, than being able to store big chunks of data.