IOTA Takes A Big Step Towards Decentralization With The Launch Of znet, A Coordinator-Less Testnet
According to the latest announcement by IOTA, the first iteration of the Coordinator-less testnet called znet has been launched. Though it has been alive for the past several weeks, the IOTA Foundation has officially opened it up for community participation and contribution only recently.
This Coo-less IRI or CLIRI is introduced in order to provide a testbed for running a Coordinator-less OPTA network which according to the team is a “necessary first step towards understanding the challenges that a Coo-less mainnet will one day face.”
Coordicide: A Coordinator-Free Tangle
But why exactly is IOTA releasing a new tetset and going coordinator-less? This has been going on since last year as IOTA Foundation announced the plan to remove Coordinator from the IOTA network, in a multiple part series that is “a major milestone towards decentralization.”
The Coordinator has been a temporary consensus mechanism for IOTA for security reasons. It basically exists to prevent double spends, while the network does not contain enough hashing power to be intrinsically secure.
But the decision to remove the Coordinator which has been termed as “Coordicide” has been made because it is a single point of attack, and limits the scalability of the network. It further allows Foundation to choose which transaction to prioritize and to further freeze the funds.
Bringing The Foundation & Community Together
Every minute or so the Coo releases a milestone which is the transaction signed by the IOTA Foundation that means they are immediately considered confirmed. Though removing Coordinator appears straightforward by simply stop sending milestones but they come “creeping back” through starting point selection, Ledger state calculation, and, Node synchronization.
Now, the team has decided to completely remove ledger validations that mean all transactions are valid as long as they meet the requirements of PoW. This version will run on a new testnet called znet that is “zero-value.”
Currently, the team is working on stabilizing the code, “establish its resilience,” and gathering more analytics on their performance.
This is also a step towards bringing the community and Foundation together as Dom Schiener has shared that they are looking to work together on various testnets and other initiatives with the community that also shaped the protocol in the beginning.
IOTA enthusiasts are excited about this news as one such enthusiast shared on Reddit,
“Indeed, glad they are not just throwing something out there. People that were expecting a thing to happen over the period of one year has left this subreddit (and that makes me glad). Also really glad that they improved their communication skills with the community. We can now follow even the smallest steps of the development, which is awesome!”