Charles Hoskinson Drops Cardano 1.3 and Ouroboros / Casper Comparison Debate

Cardano 1.3 Has Been Released to GitHub

Charles Hoskinson, founder of the famous network and cryptocurrency Cardano (ADA), has announced the release of the Cardano 1.3 that can be downloaded from GitHub.

Mr. Hoskinson released the information about Cardano on August 9, on his personal Twitter account.

The Cardano SL 1.3.0 features a wallet API v1 for exchanges, a subscription status that has been added to node information, an improved error message for missing charset in API calls and support for sending raw data on the network.

Cardano 1.3 Update

Other bug fixes and improvements have been performed:

Faster sending and receiving of blocks:

Sending and receiving blocks on the network works better after this release. Deserialization performance has been improved by optimizing memory usage. Furthermore, the blocks will now be downloaded concurrently without batching.

Optimized block storage:

This is also an important change made because the block storage is now optimized by consolidating block and undo data in a single file. In this way it is possible to reduce disk use and improve performance when reading and writing blocks.

High (and recurrent) I/O traffic in wallet reduced:

“I/O spikes in traffic were caused by large logs being flushed,” the github page reads. “This issue has been fixed.”

Time error between user’s computer and the network:

In this case, the endpoint ( /apo/settings/time/difference) for calculating the time difference between a user’s computer and Cardano network was sometimes returning incorrect values. The situation was not properly handling time needed to request the current time from NTP servers and to get the response.

Ethereum's Casper vs Cardano's Ouroboros

After the release of Cardano 1.3, IOHK took a shot at the Ethereum Network by doing a comparison of the two different Casper and Ouroboros Protocols.

Here is our analysis of what was found in the blog post. Below we have added a Twitter spat between IOHK Charles Hoskinson and Ethereum's Vitalik Buterin.

Main Differences Between Casper and Ouroboros

Ouroboros is an analyzed protocol that features mathematically proven security guarantees that are based on clearly specified assumptions. Additionally, Ouroboros offers stake-based finality with strong guarantees in terms of the amount of stake that backs up the honest operation.

There is no information about Casper and how the protocol operates. Casper seems to provide weaker guarantees in terms of how much stake the adversary needs to control to disrupt the protocol.

It is important to mention that PoS ledger consensus protocols should satisfy persistence and liveness, because it is necessary to ensure the ledger is final and immutable, and that the transactions are broadcasted by honest parties. But these properties cannot be proven to be unconditionally; they will have to rely on certain conditions.

The Ouroboros protocol defines the participant’s programs and the executions and interactions related to them, including their communication. This model allows for mathematically precise security guarantees that are satisfied by any execution. This is very important because the claims about it are concrete and there is nothing left up to interpretation.

Ouroboros provides stake-based finality and it does it protecting against a malicious coalition controlling any amount of the total existing stake in the system.

Blockchain protocols work increasing the reversibility of a block as the number of blocks added on top of it grows. This designs allows these protocols to work in the strongest possible adversarial settings and still be very efficient.

But it may be a little bit difficult to increase the security and at the same time reduce the stake of trust. Blockchain servers are secure, but they are slower than other systems. Near-instant finality have typically different downsides included downgraded security in some cases. But near-instant finality can be built as a service on top of Ouroboros.

The Casper FFG is inspired by the standard BFT consensus protocols. This means that the protocol cannot operate in the ‘sleepy setting’ and ‘dynamic availability.’ This is an important concern in a decentralized setting where the execution is not meant to be left in just a few centralized actors, instead is distributed proportionally among smaller players.

Casper’s white paper reads:

“The inactivity leak introduces the possibility of two conflicting checkpoints being finalized without any validator getting slashed.”

This affects the incentives of those running the protocol. Ouroboros allows for natural and incentive-driven aggregation of stake into stake pools.

Mr. Hoskinson has remained quiet during Burterin's tweet storm. One Twitter user did try and get him to respond:

No matter which side of the fence you reside on, both are great for the cryptocurrency world

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