What is ‘GHOST Protocol’
If you have been following us lately you might have heard us talk about GHOST Protocol. It is one of our roadmap milestones that we are on course to implement at the end of this month.
The upcoming GHOST Protocol upgrade does the following:
1. Cut the block time from 30 to 15 seconds.
2. Speeds up the confirmation time as a result of decreased block time
3. Reward miners even if they mined a block that is not incorporated in the main chain.
Before unpacking each point, here is a quick refresher on the basic mining process.
Transactions can be published from anywhere in the network. The role of miners is to collect, verify, and publish these transactions as blocks on the chain. Due to the random nature of the hashing in a proof of work system, it sometimes happens that two blocks are produced by two different miners at around the same time. This results in one of the blocks not being included on the main chain and discarded.
These blocks that are valid but unfortunately not included on the main chain are described as “orphaned.” Normally, the miners of these orphaned blocks are not rewarded, and their efforts do not add to the total work of the chain. It can also lead to negative cases where selfish miners mine on top of “their chain” to try to overtake the main chain and retain their rewards.
This is where GHOST Protocol comes in. GHOST Protocol adopts some of these orphaned blocks as “uncle blocks” and assigns partial rewards to the miners of these blocks, but more importantly, the work from these blocks isalso included on the main chain. Including the work from these uncle blocks makes it more difficult for an attacker to overtake the main chain, because their own work can be used against them as uncles to further add weight to the main chain. In essence, the hash rate of these miners is more efficiently applied to the stability of the HYCON blockchain network, with the added bonus of faster transaction confirmation and processing time due to shorter block intervals that can be achieved with GHOST.
Although GHOST Protocol update is an important milestone in and of itself, it is only a stepping stone in our journey to achieve SPECTRE implementation as shown in our technical roadmap. Despite many obstacles and hard work required on the way, Team HYCON is firmly committed to deliver on our roadmap promises to HYCON community. So please stay tuned and join us in our adventure by showing continued support and interest.