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Proof of equity is a consensus mechanism that replaces proof of workload. On blockchains that use PoW (workload proof), such as bitcoin, users can use computational power to verify blocks. On the blockchain using the equity certificate, the cryptocurrency held by the user is equivalent to the computing power. This has the advantage of not requiring a large number of mining machines for mining, thereby reducing capital, energy and resource consumption.
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Ethereum will one day implement a consensus mechanism for proof of equity, but there is still much work to be done before that. According to CasperLabs, proof of entitlement faces many security issues: a trustworthy proof of entitlement agreement must be secure, it must be agreed upon, and decisions must be made in real time. In addition, some mechanism is needed to ensure the normal execution of the agreement.
Ethereum's researcher Vlad Zamfir mentioned the security of the protocol in his last paper, CBC Casper, but did not mention its real-time features. CasperLabs Highway solved both problems for the first time.
CasperLabs lets us think of the Highway protocol as a "mathematical highway," where the speed of the car is constant, but cars in different lanes send information to each other over time. The first car sends a message to the car in the side lane, the car receiving the message sends a message to the car in the next lane, and so on. In a specific time period ("round"), the speed at which information is transmitted between different vehicles is different, and the degree of consensus of the agreement is different.
To do this better, the process of passing information in different "lanes" is dynamic: if the message is passed to the left lane, the frequency of information transfer will be doubled. If you send a message to the right lane, the delivery frequency will be halved. Therefore, the direction of information propagation determines the frequency of transmission and also determines the length of round.
This ensures that the speed of consensus is increased without sacrificing security.
Open source Casper implementation
According to the statement, the company announced this progress on October 31 at the blockchain week in San Francisco. The company stated:
By releasing the CasperLabs Highway to the public through an open source license, we hope to inspire more innovation for the benefit of everyone.
According to reports, Michael Birch, chief software developer of CasperLabs, also hosted a developer seminar during the event to demonstrate how to write smart contracts for use by CasperLabs in the programming language Rust.
Cointelegraph reported in September that CasperLabs raised $14.5 million in Series A funding led by international financier and chairman of Los Angeles investment firm Acuitas Group Holdings, Terren Piezer.