A closer look at the blockchain which powers the vechain ecosystem.
What is VechainThor?
VechainThor is the layer 1 blockchain which powers the vechain ecosystem. VechainThor is a public blockchain that is designed for mass adoption of blockchain technology by enterprise users of all sizes and is intended to serve as a foundation for a sustainable and scalable enterprise blockchain ecosystem.
Since it went live, the time when the genesis block was mined, in June 2018, the blockchain has been 100% online with zero downtime. VechainThor is an extremely fast and efficient blockchain, producing blocks, on average, every 10 seconds and all the while only consuming a fraction of the energy other blockchains require to complete the same task. In fact, vechain’s energy consumption is equal to just 0.04% of other blockchains.
The VechainThor blockchain is not built from scratch. It expands upon some of the essential building blocks of the Ethereum blockchain and provides innovative technical solutions that are powered by our novel governance and economic models, which, we believe, will push forward broader blockchain adoption and the creation of new business ecosystems with more efficiency and trust. VechainThor is packed with technical features that are tailor made to meet the needs of individuals and enterprises.
How does VechainThor achieve consensus?
Consensus is the process by which a blockchain network agrees on the validity of a transaction or block. In a blockchain network, transactions are grouped together in blocks, and these blocks are linked together in a blockchain. Consensus is needed to ensure that all participants in the network agree on the current state of the blockchain. Consensus occurs each time a new block gets appended to the blockchain.
VechainThor's Proof of Authority (PoA) consensus algorithm is powered by 101 Authority Masternodes who are tasked with producing blocks for the vechain blockchain. In order to become an Authority Masternode, an individual or entity has to voluntarily disclose their identity to the foundation and undergo a strict know-your-customer (KYC) process, before being selected. Only a block produced by an Authorithy Masternode will be viewed as a valid block by the VechainThor blockchain.
Why does VechainThor use PoA?
There is a well known trade off in consensus algorithms which Vitalik Buterin, founder of the Ethereum blockchain, coined the "The Blockchain Trilemma". In essence, Buterin asserted peer-to-peer (P2P) decentralised networks cannot score highly on decentralisation, security and speed. Every blockchain network will be required to sacrifice one attribute to achieve the desired blockchain configuration. Vechain's aim is to be an enterprise grade, sustainable blockchain, and so the tradeoff was to reduce the amount of actors involved in block production in order to improve speed and security.
However, as all Authority Masternodes have their identities and reputations at stake, they are all held accountable and are incentivised to work in the best interest for the networks growth and security. Authorithy Masternode's also earn rewards for producing blocks, which further incentivises them to act in good faith and to the benefit of the VechainThor blockchain.