A ‘Block Sampling’ technique to enhance mining efficiency and fairness by improving how difficulty levels are calculated.
Shai Wyborski and Michael Sutton, two core contributors within the Kaspa space, have suggested a change to improve the network’s operation. They’ve put forward a third Kaspa Improvement Proposal or KIP: 3. Here’s a simple breakdown of what this proposal is all about.
Every digital currency, like Kaspa, uses a digital ledger to track all network transactions. As transactions happen, they get bundled into ‘blocks,’ and these blocks get added to the ‘blockchain.’ Adding blocks to the ledger involves solving complex math problems, a task done by ‘miners.’
The ‘Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm,’ or DAA, is the system that decides how difficult these math problems should be. If the problems are too easy, blocks get added too quickly, and if they’re too hard, it takes too long. The DAA keeps everything balanced and safe from rapid mining.
But the current system has some issues. Right now, the DAA keeps track of a list of past blocks for each new block, and this list is used when deciding the difficulty level of the math problem for the next block. However, suppose the rate of creating new blocks increases. In that case, the complexity of managing the DAA also increases, making the system less efficient. Plus, miners whose clocks aren’t closely synchronized with the network can have their blocks delayed, reducing their chances of successfully adding to the chain.
To fix these issues, Wyborski and Sutton have proposed a new method called ‘Block Sampling.’ In simple terms, instead of considering all the blocks when deciding the difficulty level of the next block, this method suggests picking a few ‘sample’ blocks.
It’s like trying to guess the average age of people in a city. Instead of asking everyone, you might just pick a random group of people to ask, which saves a lot of time and still gives you a reasonably good estimate. While this is a basic analogy to help comprehend, it’s important to note that this sampling isn’t entirely random. It follows a deterministic, uniformly distributed, incremental, and secure approach.
This sampling method picks blocks based on a particular feature of their digital ‘header,’ a part of the block’s data. This technique ensures that every block has a fair chance of being picked and that no miner can cheat the system.
Under the current system, miners in the Kaspa network earn rewards for successfully adding blocks to the chain. However, the new proposed ‘Block Sampling’ method would slightly change how these rewards are handled. A block’s ‘blue score’ becomes even more crucial in this system. To earn their rewards, miners must ensure that their block’s ‘blue score’ is not lower than the smallest ‘blue score’ among the blocks chosen in the sample set.
Since KIP: 3 changes some fundamental network rules, it would require a ‘hard fork’ to implement. A hard fork is a bit like an update that everyone using the network needs to install for it to work. However, KIP: 3 is just a proposal and has yet to be implemented.
While this explanation is a simple overview, KIP: 3 aims to make significant changes to improve the efficiency of the Kaspa network and prepare it for future growth.
Tip: Keep in mind that any change like those proposed in KIP: 3, which break consensus rules, require a ‘hard fork.’
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