The researchers of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new cryptocurrency that considerably reduces the need of users to join a network, besides verifying the transactions up to 99% compared to the other currently popular cryptocurrencies. Popular cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, are networks built on the blockchain technology, a financial ledger, formatted in a sequence of individual blocks, each containing transaction data.
To get around the problem of large data and slow processing, MIT researchers are planning to present a paper at the upcoming symposium on Network and Distributed System Security and introducing the new cryptocurrency called Vault. Vault is unique in the sense that it allows the user to join the network without the need of downloading the entire transactional data. A user can become part of the Vault by downloading just a fraction of the data which will reduce the data processing load; thereby making the process faster and convenient. Network and Distributed System Security and introducing the new cryptocurrency called Vault.
“The paper title is a pun. A vault is a place where you can store money, but the blockchain also lets you ‘vault’ over blocks when joining a network,” said Derek Leung, a graduate student in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the MIT. “When I’m bootstrapping, I only need a block from way in the past to verify a block way in the future. I can skip over all blocks in between, which saves us a lot of bandwidth.”
Besides, the cryptocurrency also has a technique for deleting the empty accounts which usually eat up a lot of space. Vault allows the process of transaction data verification with the most recent transactions which help to reduce the data requirement and processing time.
When compared to the popular cryptocurrencies, Vault has shown a significant reduction in the bandwidth required for joining the network. Against Bitcoin, Vault reduces bandwidth requirement for network joining by 99%, and against the Ethereum, the reduction in bandwidth is up to the tune of 90%. This reduction hasn’t come at the cost of security with Vault ensuring that the transactions get validated by all the nodes. The cryptocurrency network behind the Vault has been christened “Algorand” and according to the researchers, it is decentralized, secure, and more importantly, scalable than the networks of other digital currencies.
Each block in a cryptocurrency network contains a timestamp, its location in the blockchain network, and fixed-length string of numbers and letters, called a “hash,” that’s basically the block’s identification. Each new block contains the hash of the previous block in the blockchain network. Blocks in Vault also contain up to 10,000 transactions or 10 megabytes of data that must all be verified by users. The structure of blockchain technology and the chain of hashes, ensures that an adversary cannot hack the blocks without detection.
New users join cryptocurrency networks by downloading all past transaction data to ensure they’re secure and up to date.
To join Bitcoin last year, a user would download 500,000 blocks totaling about 150 gigabytes. Users must also store all account balances to help verify new users and ensure users have enough funds to complete transactions. Storage requirements are substantial, as Bitcoin tops 22 million accounts.
Vault’s future is still uncertain; the paper will be presented at the Network and Distributed System Security Symposium in February.
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