Decentralization – a difficult topic at IOTA. The Tangle is still held together by the coordinator, without the central control authority of the IOTA Foundation, the network is at the mercy of attacks. The Coordicide has been in preparation for a number of years – the point at which the Tangle will stand on its own two feet. The wait could soon be over.
“Just a question of when”
IOTA co-founder Dominik Schiener explains to BTC-ECHO: “The development is very advanced”. All “still open, theoretical challenges” have been solved, the “largest part of our theoretical knowledge has already been implemented in code”. Now we are entering the auditing phase: “We have recently published a number of scientific papers, some of which have already been peer-reviewed, that describe our new consensus model and protocol in detail,” said the Chairman of the IOTA Foundation.
After years of preparation, Project Coordicide appears to be gradually entering its final phase: “The final modules are currently being integrated, which marks the completion of our research implementation,” says Schiener. The rest sounds like a no-brainer: “We then only have to convert our research implementation into production-ready software, which we have already started to do in parallel”. At the IOTA Foundation there is “no longer a question of ‘if’, but only a question of ‘when’”, comments Schiener confidently. Seems the fruits of the labor will soon be harvested.
Decentralization: IOTA’s sore point
The coordinator is a special node operated by the IOTA Foundation that activates so-called milestones every ten seconds, which perform a kind of checkpoint function for the tangle. Transactions are only valid if the coordinator confirms them directly or indirectly with a milestone. For early-stage network protection, the coordinator was a necessary evil, but never intended as a long-term solution. IOTA has been working on taking the coordinator offline since 2018. With good reason: A central control unit is in clear contradiction to a network that actually wants to be decentralized.
The hack on the Trinity wallet in spring 2020 showed that it is not possible without it, when the IOTA Foundation had to switch off the coordinator to protect wallets from further attacks. But he can also be dangerous himself. At the end of 2019, the network went down because the coordinator was no longer creating milestones – a typical example of a “single point of failure”.
“It won’t be long before it starts”
With the Coordicide, a new era begins for IOTA. However, when the time comes, Schiener leaves open: “We are not giving any estimates as to when exactly we will switch off the coordinator, who is currently still protecting the network”. The necessary modules would be made available one after the other on the Shimmer network “and put through their paces”.
Noisy road map the first thing to do is the Stardust upgrade in the mainnet. At the same time, the release of the ShimmerEVM chain is pending. Then things could go quickly: “As soon as the ShimmerEVM is released, the first Coordicide modules will be integrated into Shimmer. It won’t be long before it starts.”
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