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Created by a cadre of like-minded scholars, the Algorand network bills itself as “next-generation” blockchain technology, employing an open-source, permission-less, less-energy-intensive Proof-of-Stake (PoS) approach.
ALGO is the network's native token. It's used to perform governance tasks and power the entire ecosystem.
The Algorand platform facilitates the creation of smart contracts for building decentralized applications (dApps) that in theory can scale to billions of users. Its framework is based on the core concepts of accessibility, immediate process, direct use, adoption, and efficiency,. But Algorand is bearing down on perhaps finally being able to create a rapid and flexible network without losing decentralization.
The network is starting to assert itself within the payment networks space, with an attention-grabbing use case coming by way of the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific. The former U.S. territory plans to issue a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), running on the Algorand network, which is said to be capable of handling more than one million transactions per day, as of late 2020.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Silvio Micali, along with Stony Brook University professor Jing Chen, published the Algorandin 2017. Micali is a past Turing Award recipient, and widely recognized as one of the most innovative creators within the crypto industry. He’s credited with helping to hone the science of cryptography by formalizing some of its core building blocks.
Self-sufficient, decentralized, able to support a range of applications, Algorand was built to compete against Bitcoin and Ethereum, only faster and more cost-efficient. ALGO tokens get woven into the network's economy with each new block, distributed to all those who hold a certain amount in their wallets.
The network enables a range of Layer One blockchains to provide advanced smart contracts, Co-Chains, and similar integral support systems across the entire network.
Micali once told: “Traditional application of cryptography to blockchain is to prevent an adversary from altering the content of a block, but with Algorand we use it for a ‘cryptographic sortition.’”
What’s that? He explained. A cryptographic sortition is a selection of “unpredictable” committee members who “show up” to provide proof that they belong to the committee; this then ensures that the blockchain is highly scalable and distributed.
With a current total of 14,691,604 addresses, Algorand hosts a fully decentralized network.
Users can commit their ALGO tokens to help boost the governance of the network and to perform a range of transactions compatible with the applications and technology. Alongside typical governance contributions, the Algorand network also relies upon nodes to prioritize the decentralization of the entire network.
There are relay nodes and participation nodes. Relay nodes operate as network hubs by ensuring that connections are maintained with other nodes, using high-performance network connections. They decongest noise within the system by accumulating protocol messages from participation nodes and other relay nodes to perform a range of validation steps, before propagating only valid messages. Anyone can operate a relay node.
Participation nodes are tasked with maintaining consensus protocol and communicating with other participation nodes through the communication paths outlined by relay nodes. Additionally, participation nodes also propose and vote on various blocks on the behalf of a user’s stake within the consensus algorithm. Anyone can operate a participation node.
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