What’s the big deal about Decentralized Consensus?

Systems built upon decentralized consensus methods are inherently tamper-proof, censorship-resistant, and permissionless.The cryptographic and game theoretic principles underlying decentralized consensus unlock trust as an emergent property.Centralized consensus has always been easy!.Remarkably, even in applications where individual participants would benefit from fraudulently modifying the shared data (e.g. a financial ledger) the cryptographic and game theoretic principles underlying decentralized consensus unlock trust as an emergent property.Any effective decentralized consensus system must solve a fundamental challenge: how can a system arrive at universal agreement under adversarial conditions where messages may be unknowingly lost and participants may behave dishonestly for their own gain?.The proof of work methods currently employed by many decentralized consensus networks have benefits such as a field-tested security record, and downsides such as high energy use and financial barriers for mining..However, various mechanisms such as ASIC-resistant proof of work, proof of stake, proof of spacetime, and even hybrid methods are currently in development and operation.Early decentralized consensus networks distributed a public ledger that all participants could read, with no privacy protections for users..Global economic turmoil exacerbated pain points related to general lack of financial sovereignty, and maintaining a digital ledger is an intuitive application of the new ability to create consensus on a shared document.The blockchain data structure is simply the first iteration of technical methods that enable humanity to achieve decentralized consensus.In the last decade, decentralized consensus technology has advanced to enable a range of uses beyond storage and transfer of value..Smart contracts provide the infrastructure backbone to build decentralized application platforms (DApps) that have the potential to replace many of our third-party legacy institutions with decentralized peer-to-peer networks.Decentralized consensus systems are being used to revolutionize supply chain management, run global computations, create digital assets, share resources, create digital IDs, enable data sovereignty, build financial infrastructure for the Internet of Things, manage property titles, vote securely, and interchange assets through a decentralized exchanges and atomic swaps.We are now crossing horizons that society could not even envision a decade ago.. More details

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