We have been preparing for the Coordicide for quite some time now, a term we have already adopted, which means removing the Coordinator from the IOTA network and it seems that we are one step away from concretizing it with the action that took place a few days ago, an open source Coordinator called Compass.
Certainly, talking about the Coordinator in the IOTA network has been controversial, but it is essential for the safe operation of the network, so its removal has been part of exhaustive and detailed studies by the excellent group of Researchers and scientists of the IOTA Foundation.
The Coordinator is an important part of the functioning of the IOTA network which is in charge of protecting the network from adversarial parties, to prevent double spends, while the network does not contain enough hashing power to be intrinsically secure.
But why is it so important to take precautions for their removal?
Well, this topic has been around for quite some time, but removing the Coo is not so easy as doing it prematurely could put users’ funds at risk and the purpose of the Coo is that this doesn’t happen. That’s why the group of the IF researchers have been working so hard and step by step, and they’ve kept us up to date with the news on this matter.
It’s important to remember that The current reliance on Proof of Work and the Coo has allowed the network to get off the ground, enabling a much deeper knowledge of the behavior of the Tangle under various conditions. However, Proof of Work is not a viable long-term solution to network security, and also presents scaling limitations. Accordingly, IOTA is presented with the same challenges as every other DLT with regard to security and scaling. Therefore, our vision for coordicide relies heavily on alternate security mechanisms
Some time ago we heard about Compass in the n°4 delivery of the Coordinator series. In that time we had the chance to read the first insights about an Open Source Coordinator.
Let’s know what Compass is about
Compass is an open-source Coordinator that can be used to protect an IOTA network against attacks. Any transaction that’s referenced by a Compass milestone is considered confirmed by any IRI nodes in the network.
Compass sends honest, zero-value milestones to IRI nodes at regular intervals. Milestones can’t modify balances or censor transactions because all transactions, including milestones, are validated by each IRI node in the network.
You can use Compass to create your own IOTA network for the following use cases:
Security testing and research: Use Compass to create a controlled environment to test assumptions and produce attacks.
Development of proof of concepts: Use Compass to develop proof-of-concept applications without sharing your ideas on a permissionless network.
According to them, Part of the plan was always to have the Coordinator run on all official IOTA networks. Compass has now been running tested on the Spamnet and Devnet for quite some time. Now the time has come for the final step: Mainnet.
The underlying logic is the same as with the soon-to-be-replaced Coordinator. The Coordinator issues signed zero value milestones. Transactions referenced by the milestones are considered confirmed by any IRI node. What changes is the hash function the coordinator is using, to Kerl, and the security level of signatures is bumped to level 2. The use of the open source version will improve all aspects of the networks, while making the way they work more transparent to everyone.
This past April 10th the global snapshot was held. This process was carried out with the purpose of replacing the Mainnet Coordinator. A new version of IRI was also published.
This IRI release will be a breaking version. This means that to continue running a node that is able to stay in sync with the network, node operators need to upgrade to the new IRI version that communicates with the new Coordinator. This will be version 1.7.0, and you can find more about this in the IOTA Github repository.
- Coordinator: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4
- Docs iota.org docs/compass/0.1/concepts/
- Open Source Coordinator on Mainnet