Back in 2017, Solana‘s Founder Anatoly introduced a new mechanism called Proof-of-history in his whitepaper. And the Web3 world was pleasantly surprised!
The proof of history algorithm that made Solana so popular works alongside the Proof of Stake consensus mechanism to provide a historical record of events in a linear and verifiable order.
It’s worth noting that PoH is not a mining protocol like proof of stake or work, it is rather a consensus mechanism that the other 2 algorithms use to create ordering.
Let’s learn more!
How does Proof of History work?
It allows nodes in the network to agree on the sequence of transactions without the need for extensive communication or computational effort.
To achieve this goal, Proof of History (PoH) creates a timestamp or time ordering for every block within the blockchain.
This allows validator nodes to determine the order of incoming blocks by utilizing a cryptographic Verifiable Delay Function (VDF).
This VDF is intentionally constructed to be resistant to attempts at rapid manipulation, requiring significant computational and memory resources.
By integrating the VDF-derived timestamp into each block, the blockchain establishes a transparent and unchangeable chronicle of transaction sequencing.
The utilization of PoH enables swift confirmation, ensuring that once a block becomes part of the blockchain, its finality is confirmed, and any changes are irrevocable.
Comparing Proof of History with PoW and PoS
What does it achieve?
Proof of history allows for a very fast sequencing of validators. As a result, the blocks will know their order without having to communicate back and forth.
As a result, nodes can communicate much faster. And Solana’s technology enables the nodes of the blockchain to execute incoming transactions in parallel.
Nodes then share the executed transactions with the other network nodes. The latter then checks them for validity and orders them in chronological order according to the timestamps.
Finally, combined with its seven other key innovations, Solana is theoretically capable of handling up to 50,000 transactions per second at a fraction of the cost. This is over a thousand times more than Ethereum!
As we witness the evolution of blockchain technology, Proof of History could prove to be a significant milestone. It can make way for faster, more secure, and more sustainable decentralized systems.
As always, stay tuned for more!