VeChain Foundation Announces Proof of Authority 2.0 Upgrade (Phase 1) on VeChainThor Mainnet

The VeChain Foundation notes that after many months of hard work and dedicated effort, the arrival of Block #10653500 on the VeChainThor mainnet “officially marks the upgrade to PoA 2.0 phase 1 and the first steps towards the full-form of [their] protocol upgrade.”

As they confirm the completion of the first phase upgrade, the VeChain developers wanted to share insights with the community about the tech so that people can understand why it is of “such significance to VeChain’s future plans and why these upgrades make it the preeminent smart contract platform for enterprises, governments and community alike.”

As mentioned in the announcement:

“With multiple years of enterprise delivery under its belt, VeChain has established itself as the go-to for major corporations looking to adopt public blockchain. With this experience in tow, we have taken on an even greater mission — enabling true sustainability, circular economics, carbon reduction emissions, incentivized ecosystems and more.”

These apps have been the “dream of visionaries” for many years, but the tech needed to underpin this transition to a sustainable international society had been “lacking.”

Public or permissionless blockchains, when combined with the data quality assurance capabilities of key players such as DNV, “create the necessary environment to automate and provide trust for such processes, removing middlemen and eliminating fraudulent data,” the announcement explained.

As stated in the update from the VeChain Foundation:

“As one of the most eco-friendly public blockchains, VeChain provides the perfect starting point for governments and companies embarking on the green transition. VeChainThor is committed to helping global enterprises and governments achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) efficiently, quickly and at low cost.”

As noted in a blog post, the PoA 2.0 consensus mechanism is a significant step for them in “delivering the tools, architecture and most importantly, the level of data security needed to ensure VeChainThor leads mass adoption over the next decade.

In February of last year, Dr. Peter Zhou, Chief Scientist at VeChain, and Dr. Zhijie Ren, Senior Blockchain Researcher at VeChain, released a paper, titled “SURFACE: A Practical Blockchain Consensus Algorithm for Real-World Networks.”

The paper introduced the concept of a  Proof-of-Authority consensus algorithm for blockchain networks. The new consensus algorithm PoA 2.0-SURFACE is “characterized as a Secure, Use-case adaptive, and Relatively Fork-free Approach of Chain Extension,” the update noted.

The mechanism is reportedly the first to “combine the strengths of the two main consensus types, Byzantine Fault Tolerance and Nakamoto Consensus while eliminating the weaknesses of each,” the announcement noted.

Described in the paper, the PoA 2.0 consensus algorithm contains three major components:

  • The VRF-based source of randomness,
  • A committee-based block producing process and,
  • A passive block finality confirmation process.

As mentioned in the paper, the algorithm is “proposed via two VIPs (VeChain Improvement Proposals): VIP-193 (which has also been split into two parts, of which the first part, VIP-214, has been actived on mainnet) and VIP-200.”

VIP-193 primarily focuses on the first two components while VIP-200 “describes the last component,” the announcement added. In July of this year, the Foundation introduced a public testnet with VIP-193 “fully implemented.” This monumental milestone “paved the way towards the full enactment of PoA 2.0 on mainnet,” the update noted.

With the requisite steps for migration to mainnet in place (in October 2021), the Foundation “put a proposal to an all-stakeholder vote to apply PoA 2.0 Phase 1 (The VRF-based source of randomness) on VeChainThor Mainnet,” the update confirmed.

On November 16, 2021, the PoA phase 1 upgrade was “officially implemented on the mainnet,” the announcement confirmed.

PoA 2.0 is required to address the demands of future blockchain apps and “increasing global demand.” Enterprises require data security (finality) but also “need high throughput and scalability,” the announcement added.

And for the first time in a public blockchain, PoA 2.0 will “combine the main types of blockchain consensus to achieve the holy grail of mechanisms for the real world environment,” the announcement revealed.

PoA enables their vision of “building green technologies and business on a scale never before witnessed on blockchain.”

As stated in the update:

“Global, next generation markets will come to rely on the trustless and automated nature afforded by public blockchain. For example, carbon markets arising from the drive towards decarbonization require these traits to enable trustless international collaboration. We foresee many novel and revolutionary applications and look forward to sharing our future works in these exciting new areas.”

The announcement from the VeChain Foundation also mentioned:

“For now, we turn our focus to the final phases of the PoA 2.0; the phase 2 and 3 consensus mechanism upgrades. … VeChain will continue to work closely with powerful enterprises, governments and development teams to dream up and develop an increasing number of sustainability initiatives, fulfilling our destiny in becoming the first truly mass adopted layer 1 smart contract public blockchain platform.”

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