Jun 04, 2019
The effort to date on the Algorand platform has been focused on creating a borderless economy that fundamentally transforms the underlying technology of our global financial systems. Today’s announcement from the Algorand Foundation of the first Algo auction is an exciting validation of the platform’s potential and success to date. This milestone gives us the opportunity to reflect and share our progress with the Algorand community, and build on our momentum as we build a borderless economy where everyone has the opportunity to build prosperity.
Our TestNet, which has been open for several months, has demonstrated the platform’s ability to solve the blockchain trilemma by delivering the scalability, decentralization, and security needed to support billions of users and transactions. Here’s how our approach is working for the platform to succeed.
Demonstrating Decentralization and Scalability
Anyone can run a node and participate in the network, and TestNet has garnered overwhelming participation on this front with over 500 nodes online around the world.
In an ongoing series of extended performance tests with 10,000 globally distributed participants and a uniform distribution of stake, we consistently reach over 1,000 transactions per second (tps) with 5 second latency. It’s important to note that uniform stake distribution is more difficult than what is seen in the real world and is the hardest stake distribution scenario for any proof-of-stake protocol to manage.
We’ve intentionally set a high standard for performance testing scenarios to build confidence in its scalability and real-world relevance when the platform goes live.
Latency and Transaction Finality for a New Era of Blockchain
The latency of transactions in Algorand is another important measure of the performance of the platform. At just under five seconds per block, transactions clear quickly, and participants don’t have to wait to know that their transaction has been permanently added to the blockchain. With Algorand, transactions are immediate and final. Once a block appears, participants can rely immediately on the transactions it contains and they can be confident that the block will forever be part of the chain, which means the value they receive is safe.
This is a significant step forward in blockchain technology as now there is a platform that offers the latency that opens up an entirely new array of opportunities to developers and businesses alike. In contrast, transactions in other blockchains can take up to 10 minutes to appear in a block, and then it can take up to 50 minutes longer for the transaction to be considered final with a reasonable degree of confidence. Imagine waiting up to an hour to know that payment has cleared for a cup of coffee, for example.
Community Approved Security
Security is a key pillar of any blockchain platform. At Algorand, we take the security of our platform very seriously. Algorand maintains security against attacks at both the consensus protocol level and the network level — all while protecting individual users’ accounts.
Algorand’s core technology has been rigorously peer-reviewed and published as academic papers. To learn more about the security of our platform, you can view those papers here and here, as well as a summary of our core technology here.
In addition, the protocol has also gone through deep audits and reviews from both internal and external parties. Specifically, Algorand has recently undergone security audits from two of the leading third-party blockchain security auditors, Trail of Bits and NCC. These firms were chosen due to their deep security expertise which brought an important perspective to the integrity of our platform, allowing us to tighten our posture even further before MainNet launch.
We also recently completed a source code review with InCodeWeTrust, who found that our code quality and security is very high. Read the full review here for more details about their findings.
Organizations Building for the Borderless Economy
While still in our TestNet phase at Algorand, a number of organizations have been actively engaged with the Algorand platform and realizing the exciting potential of what is made possible with such advanced technology. These organizations are at the forefront of their industries and are building out new solutions for the new decentralized era we are entering:
TOP Network is the world’s first blockchain-powered cloud communications network with over 60 million users. They are partnering with Algorand to collaboratively research and develop scalable blockchain services and infrastructure components on a public platform. They chose Algorand due to its focus on research and its ability to overcome technical limitations of existing blockchain projects.
AssetBlock is a financial services company that facilitates real estate investment. They are modernizing real estate investment and leveraging digital assets through the tokenization of commercial real estate and cross-collateralization of loans. AssetBlock is building exclusively on Algoranddue to its technology that can ensure the accuracy, transparency, and best-in-class security that’s required to bring accessibility and efficiency to real estate investment.
OTOY Inc. is the cloud graphics company pioneering technology that is redefining content creation and delivery for media and entertainment organizations around the world. With a vision to democratize computing rendering power, OTOY has set out to make GPU rendering more efficient with the Render Network, which performs distributed GPU rendering on the blockchain. Looking to build on the most scalable technology available, OTOY selected Algorand as a foundational blockchain to create a much more efficient, powerful, and widely scalable rendering network.
More and more organizations are joining the borderless economy, providing services such as insurance, mobile payments, infrastructure, analytics, and more. We look forward to seeing more innovation on our platform.