The major new upgrade to our consensus algorithm will be rolled out today and is expected to activate later this month.
Scalability is a concern for any blockchain that aims to be enterprise-ready, and yet few crypto platforms have addressed this satisfactorily. Bitcoin currently struggles along with a capacity of around 3 transactions per second, with Ethereum managing 5 tps. Obviously, such throughput is not enough to support the mass adoption for which Waves was designed.
Over the course of this year, the Waves team has been developing a new consensus algorithm based on Bitcoin-NG, a protocol developed for Bitcoin by Emin Gün Sirer, Co-Director of the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts at Cornell. Updated for Waves’ proof-of-stake network, Waves-NG is capable of supporting 100 transactions per second — making Waves the fastest decentralised blockchain system in the world.
With the help of the community we have thoroughly tested the new algorithm and it’s now ready to release on mainnet. Activation will be triggered by our new Waves Activation Protocol, which is designed to ensure that activation of features requiring a hardfork occur safely and predictably.
Once nodes have updated with the new version, miners can start setting approval flags in their blocks. After 5,000 blocks (around 3.5 days), the Protocol checks to see how many miners have signalled acceptance of the new features. If a minimum of 4,000 blocks (80%) have approved the fork, it is automatically activated after a further 5,000 blocks.
We have set the hardfork for block 795,000, which is estimated to occur at around midday GMT on Friday 15 December 2017. Voting will end 3.5 days later, on 18 December, and activation will take place on 22 December. All being well, then, we will see Waves-NG up and running before Christmas, alongside a major new upgrade to the wallet. We’ll keep you posted on progress at this very important time in our history!
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