Cardano’s Consensus Algorithm Is Upgraded by Its Fork

The network will work with a new participation test algorithm (PoS) called Ouroboros BFT. The upgrade will improve the network’s scalability and capacity for consensus, according to its representative in Spain.

After having waited over a month for its fork, the network automatically changed last February 20th its consensus algorithm. The Ouroboros BFT upgrade is the new participation test (PoS) to create and validate transaction blocks in the Cardano blockchain.

Widely known for being one of the first blockchains with a scientific approach, Cardano is still committed to improving its smart contract system. For this reason, they decided to launch a new client version of their nodes, identified as Cardano SL 3.0.3, which incorporates the new consensus algorithm.

The administrators of nodes and users of wallets had to upgrade to this client when the network reached epoch 176, on February 20th at 21:44 UTC, as previously estimated by the board.

Fork without Competition

Cardano conducted a hard fork since the client of the nodes was changed and all users had to upgrade their devices to stay in the mainnet. However, this does not mean that a currency other than ADA or a blockchain parallel to Cardano was created. Antonio Sánchez, Cardano’s representative in Spain, explained that this update would give way to Shelley in the future, that is, it is a fork without competition.

When this event occurred, Cardano’s mainnet left behind a stage known as Byron and prepared for the inauguration of another one called Shelley. Both stages are distinguished by the fact that the nodes of the network stopped using the Ouroboros Classic consensus algorithm to incorporate a new one known as Ouroboros BFT.

The acronym BFT means “Byzantine Fault Tolerance”, a concept on which Cardano’s team relied to create the new algorithm. This is the capacity or resistance of a fault-tolerant distributed computer system, which is the key point for the security of a blockchain, according to Sánchez. In this sense, the Ouroboros BFT algorithm emphasizes functions such as consensus, validation, data verification, and protocol.

The reinforcement of these key points can allow improving the performance of a blockchain at the level of scalability and consensus. In other words, the network can process transactions much faster and validate blocks more securely.

Cardano’s ambassador explains that this consensus algorithm can help solve various problems that are currently found in blockchain technology. For that reason, it was necessary to have this upgrade so that the project would move towards Shelley in the most secure way possible. He believes that BFT allows managing the right state of the chain better, compared to other kinds of consensus. Most importantly, its honesty also adds the very important advantage of scalability.

Sánchez notes that the new fork does not incorporate other changes to the network. However, all users must comply with the call to upgrade their nodes so that they will continue to process transactions in the mainnet. It is known that customers of the Yoroi wallet do not have to worry about any changes, but those of Daedalus has to perform manual upgrades.

By Willmen Blanco