Feb 12 / 2019
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katy micallef
Posted by: Katy Micallef

Discovering Proof of Believability within Blockchain

An interview with Joshua Bass, Communications Lead for IOST

Proof-of-Believability is a powerful consensus algorithm developed by IOST, which enables next-gen transaction throughput speeds while ensuring nodes stay compliant, using factors including IOST token balance, reputation-based token balance, network contributions and user behaviors.

A faster grade Byzantine Fault Tolerance mechanism, microstate blocks, Atomic Commit protocol and a dynamic sharding protocol (Efficient Distributed Sharding) all ensure transactions are safeguarded, consistent and lightning fast while reducing storage, configuration costs and processing power for validators.

Gerald Fenech speaks with Joshua Bass, Communications Lead for IOST to discover more on Proof-Of-Believability and other aspects of this innovative technology within the blockchain format.

ai blockchain Discovering Proof of Believability Within Blockchain
Joshua Bass, Communications Lead for IOST.

What exactly is POB and how does it apply to the blockchain space?

PoB or Proof-of-Believability is a first-of-its-kind consensus mechanism developed by IOST.

PoB eliminates the need for an energy-hungry proof-of-work protocol, which stands as a barrier to blockchain becoming widely adopted. With the PoB system, a node is validated based on its past contributions and behaviors. To maximize fairness and the decentralized nature of the blockchain, IOST has implemented a reputation-based sub-token system called servi. These non-tradeable tokens are awarded to good actors within the ecosystem and factor heavily into the process of choosing the next validator. What makes servi unique is that upon winning the right to validate transactions, a user’s servi balance is cleared, making it far harder for a “rich get richer” scenario to develop.

Proof-of-Believability enables next-gen transaction throughput speeds while ensuring nodes stay compliant, using factors including IOST token balance, servi balance, network contributions and user behaviors. Proof-of-Believability acts as a hybrid to the classic Proof-of-Stake model.

In Proof-of-Believability each node will have a “believability score” based on:

  • the amount of IOST in the node
  • the number of earned Servi tokens
  • the number of positive reviews of the node
  • the previous actions/transactions of the node.

The IOST network will randomly, and algorithmically select a set number of validators for each block. The nodes with a higher believability score in the network are by design more likely to be selected, but it is never guaranteed.

Rather than strictly setting validation to a set group of trusted servers, the PoB system is constantly selecting a random group of validators based on the reputation of good actors within the ecosystem.

How does IOST work exactly and what is the current stage of the project?

IOS (Internet of Services) Foundation is a non-profit organization that is working to launch the IOST project into the world. Our goal is to create the world’s fastest blockchain infrastructure that meets the scalability and security needs of a decentralized economy.

IOST aims to keep our platform decentralized, so we have developed our own consensus mechanism, PoB (Proof-of-Believability), which allows us to grow while preserving our decentralized nature.

We’re currently at step three of our four-step project development roadmap:
1) building a base layer network,
2) establishing a developer community,
3) building use cases into real world applications and,
4) MainNet launch, further app development, and user acquisition.

We’ve launched our TestNet platform named Everest v1.0, and will soon be launching the updated Everest 2.0. This will essentially act as a beta for the MainNet, set to go live at the end of Q1 2019). We’re currently inviting partners to join our flagship DApp Partnership Program, which will provide consultation and development to companies looking to tap into the power of blockchain technology. We’re focused on building real world applicable DApps for industries that can benefit from the blockchain, such as: charity, art, software development, education, fintech and insurtech, gaming, supply chain management, media and entertainment, and marketplaces and ecommerce.

How is POB relevant in the digital security domain?

When looking at the competitive landscape, our team was disappointed to find a long list of projects compromising far too heavily on the qualities that make blockchain special. From day one, blockchain has been presented as a decentralized platform devoid of fraud, censorship, and third-party interference. Sadly, many blockchain projects have deviated from the original vision and fail to uphold true decentralization and immutability. Some examples include Ethereum rushing a “soft fork” comprised of minor changes in the Ethereum blockchain code for the sole purpose of censoring transactions, and EOS forming a centralized judging committee that has the ability to decide what is right and wrong, which completely overrides the promised immutability of blockchain.

IOST adheres to the quintessential egalitarian values of blockchain technology. We believe in the original intent of building and maintaining a censorship-resistant, trustless and immutable development platform. We aim to achieve universal adoption and utilize decentralization and blockchain technology to cut out middlemen and maximize network value for all parties. Our team is committed to keeping the IOST blockchain open, neutral and immutable, and PoB is crucial in this system as it allows what we believe to be the ideal compromise in the scalability trilemma.

What are the next steps for IOST in the funding and pre-sale phases?

The initial investment was of $40M from Sequoia China and well as from Bluehill, a blockchain incubator and accelerator.  This then increased to $50M last June to support partnership projects, DApp development and other blockchain advancements within the IOST ecosystem. Thus we are in a financially sound position.

Bluehill was established to support the growing interest from developers and entrepreneurs in the IOST blockchain. The backing from a well-funded incubator/accelerator will position the IOST network to compete for developer attention with top-tier blockchain platforms like Ethereum.

The next step for us is to build real world uses/DApps for our partners, and to continue to improve upon the Testnet, stress testing as much as possible before we launch our Mainnet in Q1 2019.

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