Turing Award-winning Scientist on achieving the impossible: Solving the ‘Blockchain Trilemma’ – Algorand Founder Silvio Micali – Kitco NEWS

Turing Award-winning Scientist on achieving the impossible: Solving the ‘Blockchain Trilemma’ – Algorand Founder Silvio Micali – Kitco NEWS

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(Kitco News) – “Our approach to Blockchain is totally new, foundational and factually refoundationable.  Bitcoin has a lot of challenges, security, along with decentralization, and scalability,” explained Silvio Micali, Founder of Algorand.

Silvio Micali is a computer scientist, recognized for his work on cryptography. He is the recipient of the Turing Award (in computer science), of the Gödel Prize (in theoretical computer science), and the RSA prize (in cryptography). He has been on the faculty of the MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, since 1983.

Micali founded Algorand in 2017. At the Paris Blockchain Summit, he discussed his mission of solving the “Blockchain Trilemma” with David Lin, anchor for Kitco News.

The Blockchain Trilemma describes the thesis that cryptocurrencies can only achieve no more than two of the following attributes at any one time: decentralization, scalability, and security. Micali claims that with Algorand, he has achieved all three.

Micali explained why he was so interested in solving these three issues. “No one wants a blockchain that is not scalable. As a scientist, impossibilities always attract me. I decided to throw my hat out, and see if I could prove this impossibility wrong,” he emphasized. “This was a case where we thought it was an impossible problem to solve, but it wasn’t. We needed to have a different approach to the consensus to overcome the problems.”

Continuing to speak about the Blockchain Trilemma, Micali said, “Participating in mining was meant to solve who chooses the next block. It became a computational game with the idea that one day you win, another day I win. But winning has ended up costing so much right now, that it has become an arms race. When costs go up, fewer people can afford it. “Therefore, blockchain has become de facto centralized even though it wanted to be decentralized.”

 Another challenge blockchain faces is consensus, Micali revealed. “Consensus is not immediate, it’s a drip by-drip process. When a new block is added, you are saying I believe this is the best block, and the previous one is invalid,” Micali said. “Someone else maybe voting for the best blockchain twice, but you need to have many votes for a chance to be permanent in the chain.”



Micali discussed why he does not like forks on blockchains. “Forks are problematic, because there could be only one NFT. For example, there cannot be two Mona Lisas. If there is a fork, and someone owns a Mona Lisa here, and someone else owns it somewhere else, is that visible representation valid?” Micali pointed out. “This was another problem we solved.”

Micali explained how this protocol algorithm helped solve a major issue of extreme wastefulness over computational resources of energy for Bitcoin and the proof of work. “Our unique single blockchain branch is final, because it’s been agreed upon by the community,” he noted. “We use energy collectively, equivalent to the energy used by 10 homes. We don’t waste energy when we shouldn’t.”

Also, Micali mentioned how his algorithm uses pure proof of stake, which makes computations more efficient, faster and cheaper.

Speaking about developing cryptocurrencies in the future that are more readily accepted on a mass level, Micali said, “If a few major institutions or even national deployments get involved with crypto, then decentralization is really vital, because no one is going to cuff themselves to a blockchain that is only controlled by a few entities.”

Macali stressed that he is most passionate about democratizing finance. “DeFi means democratization of finance. I want to give to the people on the street the same sophisticated tool at a fraction of the cost today. But right now, it’s only available to a very few elites,” Micali added.

For more on Silvio Micali’s mission of solving the “Blockchain Trilemma,” please watch the full video above.

Follow David Lin on Twitter: @davidlin_TV

Follow Kitco News on Twitter: @KitcoNewsNOW

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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