Introduction to Komodo KMD. Part 5

Benefits of Komodo’s delayed proof-of work over PoW. How dPow works.

Komodo’s delayed proof-of-work algorithm functions in a way that prevents forks from happening.

It works using Komodo technology called Iguana Core. Iguana Core is the software code that enables different pieces of the Komodo Network to work together.

The Komodo delayed proof-of-work algorithm uses a chosen secure proof-of-work blockchain network to store backups of transactions on the Komodo network. This way, if there is an attack on the Komodo network, the network will be able to restore itself by using a secure proof-of-work backup.

The mechanisms of proof-of-work networks are based on the longest chain rule, meaning that they would recognize as legitimate a network that has the longest blockchain. An event during which hackers could take over the longest blockchain on a decentralized network is also known as “the 51% attack.”

With Komodo, the longest chain rule does not apple because the dPoW consensus algorithm doesn’t need to compare blockchains. All it needs is access to a backup.

Just like the main network can create backups on other secure networks, asset chains based on Komodo network can choose where to create their own backups. This doesn’t necessarily need to happen on the Komodo main blockchain.

This means that to successfully perform an attack on the Komodo network or any of the asset chains on the network, a hacker would need to destroy all copies of the network or the asset chains and the security network that stores backups. These factors make the Komodo network as secure as Bitcoin but don’t come with the same financial and energy costs.

Nodes on the Komodo network are free to choose proof-of-work networks they want to use for backup storage, which means that not only does the Komodo network have a backup, but the backup can also be located in a number of different secure locations, making the Komodo network extremely secure, yet very flexible at the same time.

The process of choosing, creating and storing a backup on a different PoW blockchain is known on the Komodo network as “notarization.” The name of the process is very fitting because a notary is an official that verifies the integrity of information and performs a series of fraud-preventing tasks when it comes to important documents.

The duties of a notary public include screening for free will of the parties signing documents, verifying the identity of the parties and performing the act of notarization itself.

The notarization process on the Komodo network works in a very simple way. About every 10 minutes, special nodes on the Komodo network, called Notary Nodes, create a unique hash on the Komodo network. They also make a note of the number of blocks in the Komodo blockchain (on a blockchain network this number is also known as “height”.) Then, notaries process the block of which they’ve recorded the height of in a way that the block includes the signatures of the notary nodes. They then mix these three pieces of information into one. For example, if the hash is 12345 and the block # is 15 and the name of the blockchain is KMD, then the resulting number could be 69345A23B02. Fundamentally, this one number is a reflection of everything that has happened on the Komodo network up until the point when the number was created, including all the transactions, blocks of the blockchain, hashes and so on. Because of the way cryptography algorithms work, if an attacker was to change even one symbol in any transaction that happened on the Komodo network prior to the creation of the number, the number would change very significantly.

For this reason, numbers created by notaries on the Komodo network are a useful form of backup provided they are stored in a secure, yet public location, where any user can gain access to the numbers and verify their validity.

Having even one such number in a secure storage allows the Komodo blockchain to identify itself to the Komodo network as the true version of the blockchain because only the intact data can provide the exact same number.

Obviously, it is better to store these numbers in the locations with the highest possible levels of security. As of the beginning of 2018, Bitcoin blockchain is such a location. Because of this, Notary Nodes on the Komodo network perform a transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain and record the backup number into the Bitcoin blockchain as the “OP_RETURN” parameter in the transaction data on the Bitcoin blockchain.