For the first time, the IOTA Foundation has revealed that it plans to slowly kill off its centralised coordinator which is seen as a centralisation risk to many.
On its blog post this week, the foundation noted a sequence of steps that it intends to take before ‘coordicide’, which it sees as a massive milestone on the road to complete decentralisation.
IOTA network vulnerability
Even though IOTA is not a blockchain but a Directed Acyclic Graph, it does employ proof of work network security mechanism like a blockchain. Logically, this basically means that if a user were to command enough of the network’s hashing power, they could bend the consensus rules to do anything they want which includes network splits and double spending. This was a specifically real risk for IOTA since, unlike Ethereum and Bitcoin, the IOTA network’s hashing strength was pretty small which means there is less work that needs to be put into it to get control.
To make sure such a situation was delayed, the IOTA network coordinator was created with a primary remit of preventing double spends. As reported by CCN, “‘Coo’, the coordinator, which is controlled by the IOTA Foundation issues periodic transactions known as milestones. If any transaction on the IOTA network is not directly or indirectly references by a milestone, it is not confirmed.”
Even though this gives the foundation an amount of control over the network, it doesn’t allow for transaction history to be edited or for user funds to be accessed.
According to the IOTA Foundation, Coo served its purpose well and in terms on the long-term success of the framework, it is necessary to kill it off of all because at least then it permits the Foundation to choose which payments will get priority. On top of this, it permits the foundation to freeze user funds by instructing milestones to ignore this kind of transaction involving such funds.
One quote from the blog post states:
“The short answer is that the Coordinator can and will be removed when our research team is satisfied that we understand the coordinator-free Tangle sufficiently.”
What are your thoughts? Let us know what you think down below in the comments!