Dag

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The linked storage structure allows for only one chain on the whole network. All the transactions occurring around the same time are kept in the same block. Miners then compete for the block validation.

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One single block is created about every 10 minutes. The first community to come up with the idea of changing the chain-like storage structure into a DAG of blocks was NXT.

If the time of mining remains unchanged, the storage could be extended by X times with X blocks on the network at the same time. The blockchain combination with DAG still comes from the idea of side-chains.

Different types of transactions are running on different chains simultaneously. DAG of blocks still relies on the concept of blocks. With Bitcoin or Ethereum, the block creation speed is a bottleneck. Bitcoin generates a new block every 10 minutes. Ethereum is better, but it takes around seconds for block validation.

But why do we even need a block? On the bitcoin network, many transactions are mined into blocks and the transaction sequence is maintained by the prehashes between blocks.

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What if you combine blocks and transactions together? Make every transaction directly involved in maintaining the sequences. After the transaction is placed, you can skip the process of mining. This makes it blockless and more efficient. Users are only allowed to have one transaction placement under their UTXO. There might be more than one miner who solves the hash function at the same time to acquire the right of block validation. This might develop forks temporarily.


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The validation of a certain transaction is decided by the number of transactions behind it. The rate of transactions coming back into the network is lower with more transactions behind it, which makes the transaction safer. When each transaction is validated, it needs to be linked to an existing and relatively new transaction on the DAG network.

Deans’ Assistants Group (DAG)

If it links to earlier transactions every time, it would make the network too wide to validate the new transactions. Ideally, the DAG network chooses an existing later transaction to link to when a new transaction happens. The goal is to keep the network width within a certain range that can support quick transaction validation. Similarly, different DAGs can have different consensus mechanisms.

Dag - Wikipedia

Bitcoin and IOTA provide different, but analogous answers to these two questions. These can be summarized as follows. This description is an over-simplification of both systems, but hopefully transmits the main idea of how blockchain consensus is related to the Tangle. IOTA is a distributed system. We also cannot enforce the use of the MCMC algorithm we recommend. This is the same story in Bitcoin.

Dag Hammarskjold: Was his death a crash or a conspiracy?

If miners think there is more profit to be had by forking the main chain rather than extending it, they will certainly go for it. A more concrete example comes from Ethereum, in their hard fork proceeding the DAO hack: if there is an economic incentive to ignore the longest-chain rule, it will be ignored.

In the face of these uncomfortable truths, the best and most sensible approach is to give users the freedom to choose whom to approve, and which transactions they consider as confirmed. There is only one basic rule in IOTA: each transaction must approve exactly two previous transactions. If users believe it is in their best interests to follow the recommended tip selection algorithm, they will do that, and it is up to us to show that indeed this is the best strategy to follow.

This is a multi-part post. Links to the other parts can be found below: Part 1 Part 2 this article Part 3 Part 4.


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Sign in Get started. Nov 20, How do we determine when a transaction is considered confirmed? Six-block rule: if a block is at least six blocks deep and part of the longest chain, it can be considered confirmed. Confirmation confidence : a transaction is confirmed if its confidence is very high, meaning almost all legitimate tips approve it.