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IOTA in focus: The Coordinator

With the benefits of infinite scalability, and toll-free transactions is entered IOTA in the crypto-world. Currently, IOTA a, however, the Central instance of t

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IOTA in focus: The Coordinator

With the benefits of infinite scalability, and toll-free transactions is entered IOTA in the crypto-world. Currently, IOTA a, however, the Central instance of the coordinator, in order to control the transactions – a contradiction to decentralization. With the announced death of the coordinator of IOTA, however, with the gradual elimination of the control instance.

Moritz wire
26. October 2019BTC$9.176,62 -0.72%part Facebook Twitter LinkedIn xing mail

paved The Blockchain technology has the way for decentralized data transport in the Internet. In spite of all the advantages the technology brings but also some disadvantages: The Proof-of-Work-verification of the Bitcoin Blockchain requires a high expenditure of energy, is comparatively slow and transaction fees.

IOTAs Tangle, a directed acyclic Graph (DAG), is infinitely scalable, and allows for micro-transactions in real-time. The IOTA network is required in addition, no Miner, no transaction fees.

widely used In all optimism, the IOTA, there is also criticism of the lack of decentralization. The IOTA-Tangle currently requires a Central instance, the coordinator verifies the transactions. The coordinator monitors and controls transactions – a contradiction to the claim of decentralization.

What is the Coordinator is in IOTA and why it is needed?

will be incurred Though in the Bitcoin Blockchain, transaction costs and the Problem of scalability occurs, the technology has a decisive advantage: safety. The Proof of Work requires a high computing power and takes a lot of time. But this is how the System protects itself from attacks. An attack on the Blockchain requires a tremendous amount of computing power and is virtually excluded.

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As IOTA dispense with the Proof of Work and miners that verify transactions, inevitably raises the question of how it is ordered to the safety of the Tangle. Basically, IOTA protects itself by a similar principle prior to the attacks, such as the Blockchain: attacker can't hack the System, since the required resources would be too great. This is a principle of decentralized Distributed Ledger technologies (DLT).

IOTA uses, therefore, a coordinator (Coo), in order to protect the Tangle in the early stage, before the attacks. The coordinator is a Node (a network node), which is operated by the IOTA Foundation. At regular intervals, this instance is released and Zero-Value transactions, have to comply with the Tangle of a so-called Checkpoint function. A transaction is only valid if confirmed, the coordinator, directly or indirectly, in one transaction. These transactions are also called Milestones (milestones).

The Checkpoints (control points) represent transactions that the coordinator is digitally signed. In contrast to ordinary Nodes, it determines the Position of the transaction in the Tangle. As a result, the transactions can later don't again to a different Position in the Tangle of attachments. Other nodes take into account a confirmed transaction until you run out of, directly or indirectly, of the transactions of the co-ordinator.

security grows with the network

The shutdown of the co-ordinator also depends on that in IOTA, many transactions of a variety of members of the network are made. More Nodes increase the Input and stabilize the System gradually. There must be an imbalance between the data set of "honest" transactions, and the attackers produced data throughput. With other words: The Input-flow of "honest" transactions should be compared to the computing power of the attacker is large. Since the IOTA Tangle is still young, there is not currently enough Input. Therefore, additional safety in the Tangle measures such as the Checkpoints, the coordinator sets required.

The death of the coordinator – The Coordicide project

Because of the use of a Central network node, is accused of IOTA, a lack of decentralization. The IOTA Foundation is developing approaches to a solution, turn off the instance of the coordinator in the future.

the IOTA Foundation has established the Coordicide project. The Coordicide project aims to make the Coordinator in three steps away:

tests The first Phase, among other things, how a reputation-based consensus procedure, by the name of Shimmer. The testing phase is testing the prototype Go Shimmer on a test network to find potential security risks and errors. In addition, will begin in this first Phase, the implementation of a new Node Software by the name of Bee. As soon as the Go-Shimmer has passed all the Tests, followed by the second Phase.

The second Phase marks the start of the actual test phase. The Testnet to simulate the current IOTA-network and is accompanied by a Bug-Bounty program. This requires a number of honest and malicious players, the possible vulnerabilities and security risks in the System reveal.

Once the Testnet is the second Phase, has well-tested and stable runs, the conversion of the test network as a IOTA Mainnet. The last Phase is to transfer the Ledger from the existing network to the new network, and then to the new Mainnet without a coordinator.

The coordinator dies a slow death. Rather could be from a comatose state to speak: Only when the Ledger is transferred to the new Mainnet, turn off the life-support from measures of the coordinator. As long as the IOTA network is dependent on the function of the coordinator.


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