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Delegated Proof of Stake (or ‘DPoS’) is a consensus model which seeks to supersede the likes of progenitors Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS) – with promises of increased efficiency and greater representative democracy amongst coin holders with regards to platform decision making.

A consensus mechanism is how blocks are verified, with in-built protocol to attempt to prevent faults such as unintended forks.

Rather than its predecessors DPoS has been described as many as being more akin to what is called the Proof of Action, rather than its namesake of PoS. It has also been described as an approach in which “People in a particular cryptocurrency community vote for Witnesses to secure their computer network.”

What is It?

Delegated Proof of Stake isn’t all that dissimilar from PoS when you look at it. Investors stake their token holdings in a voting procedure which decides the appointment of a select number of ‘delegates’ or ‘witnesses’ (rather than the free-for-all miner approach of PoW).

These individuals are responsible for a wide range of important responsibilities pending to network operation. At any point, stakeholders can revoke their vote of confidence in these delegates if they feel that they are underperforming or incapable of their duties.

Since DPoS is an as-yet lesser adopted consensus mechanism, there is a wide range of different approaches in place at present – and little in the way of standardised definitions. To best understand the ways in which it can be applied, as well as the different interpretations of this still nascent technology available present.

1. Decentralizing E-Commerce

CyberMiles intends to utilise a combination of trusted and original technologies with the intention of decentralizing e-commerce through decentralized blockchain technology. The platform intends to migrate to its own independent blockchain on October 15th, 2018 and currently resides on the Ethereum blockchain, however it incorporates DPoS.

CMT Cubes are one of the most unique aspects of the CyberMiles approach, and they play the role of ‘delegators. The cubes are hardware-based and act as the primary method of staking internal currency (‘CMT’s) towards the election of blockchain validators.

They will be available for investors to purchase and they are also promised to feature an easy-to-use user interface, along with in-built security features and low power-consumption.

The team’s proprietary programming language for smart contracts and DApps is entitled Lity and acts as the foundation for all projects built on their platform. It will also be cross-compatible with Solidity.

Time will tell as to whether CyberMiles’ approach will be successful, with token pre-sales (along with Cube sales and the launch of their main net) set to begin as soon as October 15th, 2018.

2. Creating an Operating System for DApps

EOS is a project with a massive token, and this is proven on record with the eponymous cryptocurrency ranking at number 5 on CoinMarketCap’s top 100 listing. It is valued at $5.25 USD a piece at the time of writing, with a $4,756,512,072 USD market cap.

The EOS ecosystem has been referred to widely as a blockchain infrastructure for commercial-scale DApps, as well as “the first blockchain operating system”. With the EOS implementation of DPoS: we can quite literally state that the coin fuels the operation of the platform.

With what’s called ‘Approval Voting’ each EOS token-holder can take part in a voting process where they are allowed to stake their holdings towards a maximum of 30 candidates. Investor power is proportional with a single token counting for a single vote, and at the end of the process a total of 21 validators are chosen. These validators are referred to by EOS as ‘blockchain producers.

EOS has been the victim of a handful of attacks due to its popularity, exposing security flaws in their system. Despite this it remains popular, as well as receiving attention in Hacked.com’s Trade Recommendations section.

3. Decentralizing the Internet

TRON is the final project which we will be investigating and it’s another top-ranking coin on market-cap aggregates. A multifaceted blockchain based project and utility-token which incorporates a wide range of technologies, TRON’s ethos is the facilitation of the decentralization of the internet.

The company’s flagship product is called the ‘TRON Protocol’ and like EOS it posits itself as something of a blockchain based ‘operating system’, acting as the foundation for DApps and other projects to build their own solutions.

Additional creations available at present include the TRON Blockchain Explorer, and Project Genesis: a reward pool distributed as incentives for events such as programming contests – as well as the ‘Tron Accelerator Loan’.

TRON goes as far as to call their DPoS approach ‘TPOS’ to differentiate it from the many other interpretations which exist. One of the most impressive factors in comparison to peers is the size of the delegate community which they have achieved. They call delegates ‘Super Representatives’ and they have 143 of them, in addition to 937 online nodes.

Like the change in names, most of the changes from DPoS here are superficial and do not present any major differences in technical operation. The coin has been reportedly showing signs of promise with regards to market value for its proprietary TRX coin recently.

The Future of DPoS

Delegated Proof of Stake has raised a lot of questions within the crypto community: particularly due to its experimental nature, however examples such as CyberMiles, EOS, and Tron demonstrate promising and successful implementations of the protocol.

With the rise of DPoS based solutions, it would appear that we are likely approaching a moment where it may rank amongst (and as a viable alternative to) the traditional PoW and PoS consensus mechanisms. Some of these projects are even listed in the top 100 cryptocurrencies with regards to market capitalization.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.