O(1) Labs Coda: Constant-Sized Blockchain Snapshots Protocol?
O(1) Labs is building a new cryptocurrency protocol called Coda. Find out how it works today in our review.
What Is O(1) Labs Coda?
O(1) Labs is a team of developers creating Coda, a new cryptocurrency protocol and blockchain. They claim Coda is “the first cryptocurrency with a constant-sized blockchain.”
Obviously, most of today’s blockchains are growing constantly. The bitcoin blockchain, for example, grows larger every 10 minutes when a new block of transactions is added. Today, the bitcoin blockchain is over 140GB in size and it continues to grow.
The O(1) Labs team announced Coda, their first project, on May 10, 2018 via a post on Medium. In that post, the company also announced that they raised a $3.5 million seed round from a group of top investors in the space, including MetaStable, PolyChain Capital, Electric Capital, and others.
How does O(1) Labs plan to create a blockchain with a constant size? Let’s take a closer look at how Coda works.
How Coda Constant-Sized Blockchain Snapshots Protocol Works
In the Medium post announcing Coda, the O(1) Labs team described their platform as “a cryptocurrency that achieves new levels of decentralization and scaling.”
Obviously, a lot of cryptocurrencies make similar promises, claiming to offer great scaling and decentralization. What makes Coda different?
Well, the main benefit with Coda is that it reduces blockchain size significantly. In fact, Coda reduces the blockchain “from gigabytes down to the size of just a few tweets.”
The developers have achieved this small size using zk-SNARKs, allowing them to “compress the entire blockchain into a tiny snapshot.” Instead of distributing the entire blockchain, the network propagates a snapshot of that blockchain. No matter how big the blockchain gets, or how many transactions are performed, the cost to verify transactions and data remains constant, inexpensive, and accessible to everyone.
The main benefit of having a small blockchain is that Coda can offer decentralized cryptocurrency at scale. Today, if you want to verify a transaction on a cryptocurrency, then you need to first download a full copy of the blockchain. This worked fine in the early days of blockchain technology, but with today’s blockchains reaching increasingly large sizes, it’s becoming harder and harder to maintain a full blockchain on any device.
Downloading a 100GB or larger blockchain isn’t a deal breaker for some people. However, it makes blockchain technology inaccessible for people on certain devices – like smartphones, tablets, or computers with minimal storage space. Downloading a file of that size is also impractical for those without fast or reliable internet connections – like anyone in a developing part of the world.
Coda’s small blockchain will mean that, no matter how many transactions are performed on the network, the cost to verify transactions and data will remain constant and inexpensive. It will be accessible to everyone.
This will have short-term and long-term benefits.
In the short-term, Coda allows any device – like everything from a smartphone to a massively-powerful gaming PC – to verify their balance and transactions, regardless of their bandwidth or storage space. It allows more electronic devices to become nodes and contribute to the network.
In the long-term, the O(1) Labs team expects their technology to allow “nearly any internet connected device to instantly interact with blockchain-verified data.”
Your browser, for example, could check the blockchain instantly to let you know if the site you’re visiting is safe. Your email client could verify if a ticket seller genuinely owns the tickets he or she is selling. A non-profit website could verify where its dollars are going and to which charities.
Ultimately, blockchain technology has major benefits – but it requires enormous power to operate. O(1) Labs aims to reduce the bandwidth and storage space required by blockchains, helping spread the technology worldwide.
Who Is Behind Coda?
Coda’s development is led by the team at O(1) Labs. That team includes Evan Shapiro, Izaak Meckler, Brad Cohn, and Brandon Kase.
Shapiro graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a BS in computer science, then obtained his MS while working in the Personal Robotics Lab researching the HERB Robotics Platform. He has also worked as a software engineer at Mozilla.
Meckler, meanwhile, is a mathematician, computer scientist, and former PhD student in cryptography at UC Berkeley. He wrote OCaml as a software engineer while working at trading firm Jane Street. Cohn is an engineer with background at high frequency trading companies, hedge funds, think tanks, and an electrophysiology lab. Kase is a functional programmer who worked as a software engineer for Highlight, Pinterest, Facebook, and Mozilla.
As mentioned above, O(1) Labs recently announced the completion $3.5 million seed round. Investors listed on the official O1Labs.org website include MetaStable, Polychain Capital, SciFi VC, Dekrypt Capital, Kindred Ventures, Caffeinated Capital, Curious Endeavors, Naval Ravikant, Elad Gil, Linda Xie, Fred Ehrsam, and Jack Herrick.
O(1) Labs Coda Conclusion
O(1) Labs is a team of developers that recently completed a $3.5 million seed round. The team is developing a blockchain-based platform and cryptocurrency called Coda. The main unique feature of Coda is its size: unlike other blockchains, Coda will not grow in size over time. It will remain small – not hundreds of gigabytes in size like other blockchains. This will allow the blockchain to be propagated across a network of nodes with minimal bandwidth and storage requirements.
To learn more about O(1) Labs and how it works, visit online today at O1Labs.org. Development of the Coda platform is ongoing, and news of the project only hit the internet on May 10, 2018.