Blockchain Project Thundercore Releases Code for 'Pala' Consensus Protocol

Blockchain provider platform ThunderCore announced the open-sourcing of a new consensus protocol called Pala.

May 15, 2019 at 3:50 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 9:12 a.m. UTC

Public blockchain platform provider ThunderCore has just released proof-of-concept code for a new consensus protocol, dubbed Pala, on GitHub.

According to Elaine Shi, chief scientist for ThunderCore, the work represents "a dream consensus protocol."

As stated on the newly released GitHub page:

"Pala is a byzantine fault tolerant consensus protocol...It can achieve low latency and high throughput in a partially synchronous network setting."

In layman terms, for blockchains that use a system of block creation and transaction validation known as proof-of-stake (PoS), Pala is way in which to switch out certain bad actors from the network without sacrificing speed or liveness.

ThunderCore was previously reported by VentureBeat to have raised $50 million in their pursuit of a highly-scalable PoS blockchain. The startup's public blockchain network, also called ThunderCore, launched this month and is fully compatible with applications running on the world's second largest blockchain platform, ethereum.

The ThunderCore blockchain also leverages the ethereum network for chain finality.

On the newly released ThunderCore blockchain, bad actors in the PoS system are detected and switched out by leveraging finality on the ethereum blockchain. The ethereum blockchain essentially acts as a network for the ThunderCore blockchain to fall back on should consensus be broken.

However, confirmations of blocks and transactions on the ethereum blockchain takes roughly 10 minutes to generate, according to Shi.

"When we want to use the slow chain for the fall back detection...we are going to suffer from slow chain confirmation times," said Shi. "This is what ThunderCore is doing right now."

With Pala, ThunderCore is able to rotate out bad actors without touching the "fallback" chain.   Shi emphasized that Pala will be integrated into ThunderCore's mainnet network once fully tested.

Shi told CoinDesk:

"Open-sourcing the Pala protocol is an important milestone for us. It means other projects can use the protocol for other blockchain platforms if they need fast consensus."

Elaine Shi image by Christine Kim for CoinDesk

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