Blockchain Consensus Needs to be Redefined at its Core

4 min readDec 8, 2021

In a decentralized protocol or network, there is no one central point of authority to make decisions for the whole network. As a result, all nodes need to be in agreement for any changes to occur. This is in a nutshell, what a consensus mechanism facilitates. A consensus is defined as the process of agreeing to one of several alternatives, usually proposed by several agents. As distributed databases, blockchains have the need for consensus mechanisms built in, in part to record, communicate, and transact information without the need for a central authority and in part to prevent malicious attacks by bad actors upon the network compromising itself.

Initially built as a representative system where every participant has an equal stake, the traditional Bitcoin or Ethereum blockchain has become increasingly slow and expensive. The mining-reliant consensus mechanisms of traditional blockchains are pushing transaction processing charges up into the hundreds of dollars.

This has also caused issues with the scalability and speed of the networks. A patchwork of efforts is being made to accelerate the existing consensus mechanism, but the overall effect has been that big players that require both speed and reliability have either left the decentralized model altogether or founded their own decentralized networks. Those players that have left the consensus model have formed centralized solutions with adapters programmed into them to allow them to interact with the decentralized chains for transaction processing. On the other hand, other players such as Dapper Labs, which founded the cryptokitties project, have pulled up stakes to found their decentralized network with features of speed and low cost built into them.

The State Machine Replication has a massive demand for electricity and its slow processing is antiquated to the point of needing a core overhaul.

The traditional Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm has served well to protect and sustain the Bitcoin core and the related nodes, however, the need for the change at the very core is imminent. PoW was built in tandem with the Adversary model, which imposes a specific limit on the percentage of computing power or property that an adversary can hold.

Alternatives to PoW, both suggested or implemented to replace the PoW consensus algorithms, also have their issues. For example, the Proof of Stake (PoS) and the Proof of Burn (PoB) algorithm both come with a warning that they may lead to a “rich getting richer” scenario. PoS and PoB both reward users who own or hold lots of the cryptocurrency of that particular network. In addition to having a high barrier to entry, PoS could also encourage hoarding among its holders, a trait blockchain technology was built to break amongst bankers and politicians.

Several other solutions have been suggested, including Proof of Capacity (PoC), Paxos, and others. Still, each one of the solutions has its flaws and either cannot protect the integrity and security of the network or, in searching for resource use other than electrical energy, has unintended environmental consequences.

For example, PoC processes transactions at much lower demand for electricity and computational power but simultaneously ups the price or need for computer memory resulting in a substantial environmental impact.

With a visceral failing of each of the above consensus mechanisms so starkly visible, begs the question, why not try a “Hybrid” approach and build a mechanism that is both fast and more secure?

Well, 5ire (pronounced ‘Fire’) blockchain might be the core level, a built-from-the-ground-up blockchain that provides not only the benefits of a hybrid algorithm but provides higher security and ease of upgrade.

Built as the hybrid consensus, combining BABE and GRANDPA for block production and provable finality, respectively allowing a fast block production and a higher level of security, 5ire blockchain utilizes, SPoS, or Sustainable Proof of Stake consensus algorithm that provides high levels of security and efficiency never attained by neither PoW’s nor PoS’s.

5ire goes further to embrace the for-benefit model to replace the current for-profit model and adds layers of Proof-of-Benefit and Proof-of-Donation above the NPoS consensus algorithms.

Along with the pivot from money-making engines regardless of the consequences to the world we live in, 5ire ensures a more democratic and impactful system that has sustainability and long-term benefit for the planet built in.

With this hybrid approach, the 5ire blockchain not only ensures the migration away from the for-profit model to the for-benefit model at the core of the network, but it engenders a powerful validators selection mechanism that includes high-security guarantees, fair representation of all the actors, scalability, and efficiency by design. A democratic approach where everyone can become a validator candidate or a nominator approving and backing validators with economic incentives.

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5ireChain — | Layer-1 EVM Compatible Smart Contract Platform | In Consensus Sustainability