With today’s article we’re going to be taking a look at a coin and project that is pretty much off the radar in mainstream crypto world. That project is Nyzo and they have a vision for a reimagined crypto world that isn’t dominated by Bitcoin and its forks but instead a blockchain system written from the ground up that is simple and corrects many issues seen with Bitcoin at this time. In this article, we’re going to be introducing you to the Nyzo project, how it functions, and how you can become involved in its network.
The Nyzo project is all about building a new version of the blockchain from the ground up. The creators of the coin note that while Bitcoin and blockchain technology are fantastic the Bitcoin group of coins dominate the landscape. Furthermore, there are changes that could be made to these coins that greatly improve their use, but the code is unable to be implemented due to the design of the governance model.
Nyzo first and foremost looks to fix some of those issues that are “unfixable” in Bitcoin and its forks through a new type of consensus and blockchain structure. The Nyzo philosophy towards design centers around simplicity and clarity. This design is reflected in their code, website, and whitepaper where they succinctly explain their innovations and project. The first of those innovations is their consensus model.
As you probably figured out from the section header, Nyzo doesn’t use Proof-of-Work or Proof-of-Stake for its consensus mechanism it uses Proof-of-Diversity (PoD). PoD is a novel invention by the Nyzo team to establish the correct blockchain and “relies on diversity of participation for strength.”
PoD is quite easy to explain and in theory is simple. Verifiers take turns verifying blocks in a circular order called a cycle while adhering to two rules (discussed below) defined by the Nyzo team to help prevent attacks and hijacking of the network. That security comes in by controlling how often new verifiers are added into the cycle or old ones removed.
Now, the “authoritative” or correct form of the blockchain is then determined off of an analysis of each of these verification cycles. Specifically, a verification cycle is a set of verified blocks each verified by a unique node. What that means is each cycle starts with a block by one verifier and then goes until that verifier is used again. Below is an example from the Nyzo website which explains this concept well.
To further simplify, each cycle contains each verifier only once and each block has its own unique verification cycle. In order to determine a blocks verification cycle you start at the block you would be looking at and then look at each block following until you see that the original blocks verifier is used again. That block is where the verification ends and it is not included in the verification cycle. If you understand the above then you understand perfectly how the Nyzo blockchain is operating at a structural levels. Next, let’s move onto the two rules for verifiers and how consensus is truly figured out by the blockchain.
As we mentioned before there are two rules that help to run the Nyzo blockchain and the consensus mechanism. The first of the rules states that “After the first existing verifier in the blockchain, a new verifier is only allowed if none of the other blocks in the cycle, the previous cycle, or the two blocks before the previous cycle were verified by new verifiers.”
In layman’s terms this rule is used to control the rate at which new verifiers are added into the verification cycle. By limiting the rate of new verifiers, someone wishing to attack the network would need to wait an incredibly long time in order to hijack the network and is unable to spam new verifiers into the system.
At this time the wait time to have your verifier added to the cycle is at least a month, since there are already several verifiers in line waiting to be added. If an attacker or group of attackers wanted to hijack the network they would need to add a huge amount of verifiers to the list and then wait and hope for them to be added in the next year.
The second rule is “Past the Genesis block, the cycle of a block must be longer than half of one more than the maximum of the all cycle lengths in this cycle and the previous two cycles.”
This rule dictates the each cycle length or the list of blocks and their verifying node in the image from the Nyzo website. The rule is again crucial for prevention of attacks against the blockchain as it prevents the exclusion of nodes that are verifying the blockchain by any bad actors. Due to this design an attacker would need to control at least 50% of the active verifying nodes on the blockchain. Because of these two rules an attacker would need to control the nodes that are being used in the verification process as opposed to having an exorbitant amount of computational power like with PoW coins.
In addition to the Proof-of-Diversity mechanism which is used to determine which version of the blockchain the nodes agreed to produce there is a voting and scoring system in place to determine which version of the blockchain will be extended.
In the blockchain each block receives a score which is based on the verifier that signed it. That score is based on the age of the verifier as well as the cycle length of previous blocks that have been verified. Each blocks score is also a component of the blocks back to the frozen edge of the blockchain with a low score being better than a higher score.
Each block’s score is used by the verifiers to determine which block it will vote for to be added. A verifier is able to change its vote and each time it votes there is a timestamped record of the vote taking place. A verifier is able to vote for a block with a score of less than 0 immediately after the previous block has been frozen. Any block with a score greater than 0 a verifier must wait whatever the blocks score is times 20 seconds until it can be voted for. In other words, blocks that are signed by untrustworthy verifiers may take a long time to get verified.
A block itself can become frozen by receiving votes from blocks that were involved in the frozen edge’s verification cycle. To become frozen the number of votes it receives is larger then 3/4th or 75% of the votes from the frozen edge verifiers. With the 3/4ths threshold the verifiers would have to send more than half of the votes to a block in order to verify it. Odds are anyone with malicious intent would be unable to control more than 3/4ths of the frozen edge verifiers or submit a block with a competitive chance of being voted by honest verifiers.
Nyzo’s long term plan for the blockchain is to deactivate all of the team’s verifiers within the first 12 months of the mesh’s inception. Furthermore the team had pondered stopping all contributions to the main codebase in an official capacity in order to prevent centralization and the overall community only accepting implementations from the Nyzo team as opposed to what’s best for the project.
Nyzo is currently only traded via OTC trading and by having your own verifier. For complete details about getting coins please see this page on the Nyzo website and join the Nyzo Discord. If you’re interested in starting your own verifier the Discord as well as this article were the most helpful for me setting up my own verifier.
Nyzo is an upcoming project with a novel blockchain system and an interesting outlook on the future. They are looking to correct the mistakes of other blockchain projects that have fallen prey to centralization and have an easy set-up process for running a node. While the project is still in an infancy it definitely shows promise with a community forming to support it. It’s on my list of coins I’m watching this year to say the least and one I have set up a verifier for.
Thank you for reading today’s article! As always follow me on here or on Twitter @thant1194 or on InvestFeed @thant11 in order to stay up to date on all my articles as I release them. I am not associated with the Nyzo team and am a holder of their coin. Thank you again for reading. I have to return some video tapes.