Unchained is a decentralized, peer-to-peer network for data validation. Unchained nodes work to validate data together and are rewarded in KNS tokens. The validated data can then be queried by consumer in exchange for KNS tokens. This model makes Unchained an economically autonomous platform for data validation and exchange.
Unchained has the capability to index data from any blockchain, act as a message broker between different blockchains, and supply verified data to smart contracts and oracles. However, its primary purpose goes beyond just serving as a connector between on-chain and off-chain environments, or providing data to existing blockchains.
Unchained is a standalone platform suitable for various applications that need validated and verified data. This data remains valuable even without being sent to the blockchain. Unchained enables direct use of verified data by analytical tools, data explorers, or for training AI models. Moreover, the Unchained network offers not just raw data, but also the necessary tools for data processing and analysis.
To achieve its objectives, Unchained is not required to function as a blockchain in the traditional sense, where data is organized chronologically, compiled into blocks, and linked sequentially to preceding ones. Unchained allows its nodes the flexibility to validate and verify data at their own pace. Unlike traditional blockchain models where there's competition to propose a block, in Unchained, each piece of data independently validated by a node is acknowledged and recorded by other peers as additional verification for that data.
Moreover, nodes within Unchained are not obligated to focus on identical data sets. Each peer has the autonomy to choose which data to validate and store, and which to bypass for any given reason. This approach grants Unchained exceptional flexibility and scalability, as data is effectively sharded and made available on a demand-driven basis.
The consensus mechanism in Unchained is multifaceted. The first aspect concerns how peers communicate and acknowledge data within the network. Unchained operates on a leaderless, trustless model, allowing each node to independently verify data and identify consensus among other network participants. This decentralized approach ensures that no single node or group of nodes holds authority over the rest, promoting a more democratic and resilient system.
The benefits of a leaderless system, as opposed to centralized consensus mechanisms like RAFT or blockchain models like Ethereum, are manifold. This structure enhances security, as it reduces the risk of single points of failure and targeted attacks. It also fosters a more egalitarian network, where each participant has an equal opportunity to contribute to and validate the data. This contrasts with systems where certain nodes or leaders have disproportionate control or influence. Furthermore, it enables greater scalability, as the network can grow without the need for complex leader selection processes or the risk of bottlenecks at central points.
The second aspect of Unchained's consensus mechanism relates to majority voting and the validation of data. In situations where nodes present different values for a specific data metric (M), the resolution hinges on the voting power of each validator. This is where Liquid Proof of Stake (LPoS) comes into play. The voting power of each node is determined by the amount of KNS tokens they have staked, plus any KNS tokens delegated to them by other users.
Consumers or peers assessing the validity of data must consider the aggregated voting powers backing different values of the data. A threshold is set by the consumers (e.g., +51% or +90%), above which data is deemed valid. This mechanism ensures that the majority decision, weighted by stake, dictates the accepted truth within the network.
The LPoS system offers several advantages. It aligns validators' incentives with the network's health and integrity, as their influence depends on their stake. This reduces the likelihood of malicious behavior, as acting against the network's interests would directly impact a validator's own stake. Additionally, LPoS enables more dynamic participation and decentralization, as stakeholders can delegate their tokens, thus contributing to the network's governance without being active validators themselves. This method also allows for more flexibility and diversity in network decision-making, as it incorporates the perspectives of a broader range of participants.
Unchained implements the BLS12-381 algorithm combined with proof of Knowledge of Secret Key (KOSK) and signature aggregation. The BLS12-381 algorithm is a cryptographic pairing function that enables efficient and secure elliptic curve operations. This algorithm is particularly known for its strength and efficiency in smaller-sized keys compared to other cryptographic algorithms.
Proof of Knowledge of Secret Key (KOSK) is a critical component in this setup. It ensures that only the holder of the private key can produce a valid signature, preventing Rogue Public Key attacks on aggregated signatures. The signature itself cannot be used to derive the private key, adding an extra layer of protection.
Signature aggregation allows multiple signatures to be combined into a single, compact signature. The benefits of signature aggregation are significant, especially in terms of scalability and efficiency. It reduces the amount of data that needs to be transmitted and stored, which is particularly advantageous in a system where numerous transactions or validations occur. This not only saves space but also reduces processing time, making the system efficient and fast.
For Liquid Proof of Stake (LPoS) and Remote Procedure Call (RPC) requests, Unchained adopts the SECP256K1 cryptographic algorithm, the same as used by Ethereum. This choice is primarily to maintain compatibility with Ethereum, facilitating interactions and integrations between Unchained and Ethereum-based systems.
SECP256K1 is an elliptic curve algorithm widely used in blockchain technologies, particularly known for its application in Ethereum's transaction signing process. By using this algorithm, Unchained ensures that its platform can seamlessly interact with Ethereum's network and services. This compatibility is crucial for users and applications that operate across both Unchained and Ethereum platforms, as it simplifies processes and enhances user experience by allowing the use of the same cryptographic standards and tools.
The Unchained network enhances its security by using the Noise protocol framework to secure connections between peers. Noise is a versatile toolkit for building cryptographic protocols, which Hyperswarm employs to ensure encrypted and authenticated communication channels.
This approach safeguards data from unauthorized access and interception, offering benefits like robust end-to-end encryption and strong identity verification. By integrating Noise, Unchained reinforces the privacy and security of its network, ensuring that all peer-to-peer communications are protected against potential cyber threats.
Unchained incorporates Hyperswarm for efficient peer-to-peer communication and automatic discovery of peers. Hyperswarm is based on Distributed Hash Tables (DHTs), and it specifically uses the Kademlia DHT protocol for its network operations.
A Distributed Hash Table (DHT) is essential in decentralized networks for storing and finding data. In a DHT, every piece of data is given a unique key, making it easy to locate the node that holds the data linked to that key. The Kademlia protocol, used by Hyperswarm, simplifies the process of finding nodes and accessing data. It arranges nodes based on their distance from each other in a unique identifier space. Each node in a Kademlia-based DHT keeps a list of other nodes, organized by how close they are in this space, allowing for quick and reliable data searches.
By using these techniques, Hyperswarm effectively finds and connects peers within the Unchained network. This method is key to building and maintaining a network of nodes, providing efficient data routing and stable peer-to-peer connections.
In addition to the existing network framework, Unchained leverages a Gossip Protocol to enhance message broadcasting and peer communication. This protocol is integral for distributing messages across the network efficiently. When a node has a message that needs to be shared, it initially sends this message to three randomly chosen peers that it is directly connected with.
Each node that receives a message marks it as seen, processes the content, and then relays it to three additional nodes that have not yet received it. This process continues, ensuring widespread dissemination of the message throughout the network.
The Gossip Protocol offers several key benefits to Unchained. It ensures that even nodes not directly connected can communicate effectively through intermediate peers. This indirect method of communication guarantees that information reaches every corner of the network, keeping all nodes informed and synchronized.
Gossip protocol contributes to the Unchained network's resilience. By disseminating messages along multiple paths, the network can maintain communication even if some nodes become unavailable. This redundancy safeguards against potential disruptions, ensuring consistent and reliable message flow throughout Unchained.
Additionally, the Gossip Protocol supports the scalability of Unchained. As the network expands, the protocol adapts, facilitating efficient communication without the need for a centralized control point. This decentralized approach is consistent with Unchained’s principles, enhancing the network's ability to grow and adapt seamlessly.