The Bitcoin blockchain was a revolution in terms of value transfer; for the first time in history, money existed in a decentralized network. Since the creation of Bitcoin, blockchains have witnessed tremendous advancement and are now seen as a bridge to the smart cities of tomorrow. IoT integration, data liquidity, and cross-border payment channels are just some of the most sought-after solutions that blockchain technology can enable. However, the promise of delivering an infrastructure that allows developers to take full advantage of a distributed ledger is yet be fulfilled.

While the ICO mania of 2018 may have turned scalability into a buzzword, the reality is that scalability problems are a dire hindrance in the success of DLTs. Present networks lack the throughput capacity needed to sustain a handful of decentralized applications, let alone an entire smart city—or better yet, a global network of smart cities.

In recent times, the unrefined state of the ICO model has led the development of new blockchains astray. As teams have been too busy with roadshows for capital raise and the marketing of a promised product, actual development has seemingly been sidelined. Thus, Elrond Network has opted for a reverse ICO: develop and deliver first, then raise. To date, Elrond has been self-funded by its founders, who have bowed out of the speculative nature of ICOs of promised products, and have instead dedicated the better part of the past two years to sheer research, development, and delivery. This work has now reached fruition as their project, Elrond Network, is able to integrate novel protocols to create the first blockchain with the capability to self-adjust and realign network resources till the infrastructure can sustain transactional demands of the network.

An Adaptive Blockchain

Elrond Network is the first blockchain to integrate Adaptive State Sharding. Its developers have gone to the root nature of how a blockchain works: public delegates resources to the network to ensure it can function.

The vast portion of existing networks have required such an extensive computational power to become a node that the masses have been excluded from the ability to be an active node. Instead, most people connect to major networks through entities that possess the resource capacity to be an active node. Thus, Elrond Network’s first milestone was to create a network that anyone can connect to with a mere household laptop. This ensures that the network is able to acquire resources from the masses. With access to such a valuable supply of network resources, Elrond’s developers integrated Adaptive State Sharding, which allows the network to activate new shards as throughput demands grow.

Despite being such an accessible network, Elrond Network maintains the security benefits attributed to any robust blockchain. To achieve this, the Adaptive State Sharding functions in conjunction with Elrond Network’s unique consensus mechanism: Secure Proof of Stake (SPOS).

The SPOS consensus allows nodes with the minimum required stake and reputation to function as block proposers. These blocks are then validated only if 2/3 + 1 of the network’s validator aggregate a signature. The key ingredient here is that both the block proposer and the validator group are randomly selected; the randomness is derived from a variable present in the aggregated signature of the previous block. Thus, there is no room for an attack vector as it’s only at the moment of a new block proposal and validation that the network’s participants recognize which node(s) act in which role. Yet, for further security, the nodes will occasionally be moved, at random, to other shards. The decentralized, public, and provably random source of all selection mechanisms makes the Secure Proof of Stake a notable evolution of the traditional PoS consensus mechanisms.

Ready for Mass-Utility

Elrond Network is carrying the utility of blockchain technology towards a vertical improvement. Its shards can already support 3,750 transactions per second, and due to the adaptive nature of the blockchain along with the SPOS consensus mechanism, new shards can be securely added to the network to provide linear scalability. Thus, as blockchain technology continues its traction and becomes integrated into extremely important technological revolutions, i.e. smart cities, Elrond Network will be readily available to the developers and/or business seeking an infrastructure to build the future upon.

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