Article: The Promise of Decentralization

Blockchain, Decentralized Internet, Web 3.0

The Promise of Decentralization

The fundamental issue is that every full node has to be aware of every transaction ever made, and come to a global consensus about which one happened before which (called a “total linear order” in mathematics). This requires the network to constantly engage in a consensus process involving all the participants in the network. No matter how you design it, that will lead to a bottleneck.

But is global consensus truly necessary to avoid the double-spend problem? Can we create a decentralized network that is just as secure and byzantine-fault-tolerant, without creating this bottleneck? What if, instead of a “World Computer”, with transactions being akin to “time slices on a mainframe”, we instead had “personal computers”, all working in parallel, and occasionally sending each other messages?

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