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What Is Algorand?

by Meredith Loughran
, What Is Algorand?

MIT professor and Turing Award winner, Silvio Micali, is the founder of Algorand, a Boston-based open sourced software company that is foundational blockchain platform using permissionless, Proof of Stake (PoS) protocols that handles scalability issues, security, and transaction finality in a borderless economy. Yeah, that’s a mouthful, but for the average Joe, what does it mean and how does that affect us?

Let’s highlight some of the characteristics of Algorand.

Hailed as solving the blockchain “trilemma” of security, scalability and decentralization, Algorand opened its testnet to the public in April, 2019.

Pure PoS is the consensus algorithm where security of the network is tied to the honesty of the majority in a no-sanction mechanism. To quote Algorand’s press release, “Rather than punishing bad actors, Algorand prefers to make cheating by a minority of the money impossible and cheating by the majority stupid. As long as 2/3 of the majority is honest, the protocol will work just fine.”

What does this actually mean?
Algorand is using a simple Byzantine agreement protocol that does not rely on participants having synchronized clocks and works under a less than 2/3 honest majority. When the elected leader is malicious, there is a two-step arbitration and the protocol recovers quickly after the partition is resolved. First voting steps occur in parallel with block propagation in a permissionless system.

Long confirmation wait times are long gone.

Algorand consensus protocol:

  • High energy-consuming mining farms are not necessary.
  • The community agrees on the next block, confirming transactions with latency, while scaling to other users.
  • Token holders can delegate their tokens.
  • Low probability of forking.
  • Network decentralization as proposers and committees are randomly selected.
  • Community token holders can propose and implement change as part of their governance responsibilities.

How to get ALGO tokens?

There will be a series of Dutch Auctions hosted by the Algorand Foundation. The first auction was held on June 19, 2019. Algorand tokens may also be purchased on Binance, Huobi, OKEx, and KuCoin, among other exchanges. They are currently ranked 1881 on CoinMarketCap based on market capitalization.

The near future

The mainnet is public and the REST APIs are available to start coding. Go, Javascript and Java SDKs are open sourced. Financial and other network tools may be released to help democratize finance. Treasury bonds are being considered.

Learn more

Whitepapers
Github
Technical Documentation

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