In recent weeks, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) community members and developers have been discussing the pre-consensus method, Avalanche. BCH enthusiasts have observed the protocol was employed to the Bchd full node implementation and the proof-of-concept running on the BCH mainnet officially.
The Avalanche proof-of-concept consensus algorithm includes Byzantine fault tolerant proofs to a blockchain network, allowing nodes to differentiate between two conflicting transactions. The protocol communicates with the nodes to more efficiently deliver consensus. That is due to Avalanche querying the network of nodes and telling them to come to pre-consensus on which of the conflicting transactions are preferred.
Individuals are usually confused with Avalanche being applied to BCH as it is also being utilized in Cornell Professor Emin Gün Sirer’s proof-of-stake (PoS) project. On the BCH chain, Avalanche is used for pre-consensus alone. It is running parallel with the original proof-of-work consensus mechanism. Several BCH proponents and developers think Avalanche can strengthen the BCH network.
“Ok, the Avalanche proof of concept is officially running on mainnet,” Bchd developer Chris Pacia said on February 7. The programmer gave a link to the protocol’s Github repository, providing developers with a gist of the Avalanche pre-consensus specification applied in the Bchd branch.
“[The following specification] is not intended to be a final spec and is likely not compatible with the implementation being developed by Bitcoin ABC—The primary purpose is to give other developers something tangible to look at, think about, and discuss,” the Bchd version of Avalanche Github repository reads.
Aside from the experimentation on the main BCH chain, the developers of Bchd have also released an Avalanche transaction explorer. Based on the speed at which BCH transactions are processed, the transaction’s finality is usually 2 to 3 seconds or even less. Meaning, the transaction (tx) included on the Avalanche explorer has already reached a point at which it is irreversible by a double spend, although the tx is unconfirmed by miners.
“If used this way, it would give Bitcoin Cash the equivalent of nearly instantaneous confirmations while improving mempool synchronization and reducing the financial incentive to 51% attack,” the Avalanche blockchain explorer notes. “As you can see, at present most transactions become irreversible after just a couple seconds—To take this from proof-of-concept to an actual consensus rule will require lots of testing, experimentation, data collection, code review, and soft fork activation rules.”
BCH supporters have recently been discussing the transaction finality speeds being up to 10x faster than the Ethereum network. “Transaction finalized in 1.559723305s. That’s 10x faster than ETH. Serious game changer,” BCH developer Gabriel Cardona tweeted. Bitcoin ABC developers have been talking about Avalanche as well.
Bitcoin ABC developer Amaury Sechet previously stated that the protocol can make synchronization way more efficient. The developer elaborated Avalanche’s benefits during the Satoshi’s Vision Conference last October. ABC developer Mengerian wrote that the Avalanche protocol “provides a good mechanism for post-consensus defense against blockchain reorganization attacks.”