#aelf101: What is a Blockchain Consensus Algorithm?

A consensus algorithm is a fault-tolerant algorithm that is used in computer and blockchain systems to achieve the necessary consensus on a single data value or a single state of the network among distributed processes or multi-agent systems, such as with cryptocurrencies. It is very useful in record-keeping, among other things.

The proof of work (PoW) is a common consensus algorithm used by the most popular cryptocurrency networks like Bitcoin and Litecoin. It requires a participating node to prove that the work done and submitted by them qualifies them to receive the right to add new transactions to the blockchain. However, this whole mining mechanism of Bitcoin needs to consume a lot of energy and takes a long time to process.

The proof of stake (PoS) is another common consensus algorithm that evolved as a low-cost, low-energy consuming alternative to the POW algorithm. It involves the allocation of responsibility in maintaining the public ledger to a participating node in proportion to the number of virtual currency tokens held by it. However, this comes with a drawback — — it promotes the saving of, rather than the spending of cryptocurrency.

DPoS is similar to PoS, except that DPoS selects some node representatives to participate in future transaction verification and accounting.

Based on the traditional DPoS mechanism, aelf has developed a unique consensus mechanism of AEDPoS.

The AEDPoS mechanism can not only effectively ensure the rapid flow and transmission of information and transactions in the main chain, but also ensure the randomness of the block order of production nodes. It can effectively reduce the impact of malicious nodes on the network, and greatly enhance the security of the main chain.

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