Dear Phoenix Community,
We are glad to announce that things are progressing as expected, and Phoenix Mainnet is on-track to rollout in Q2. In relation to features of Mainnet, there’s various technical differences and upgrades compared to the previous version of Testnet that we would like to outline. In essence, we have completely revamped the core components of consensus and the virtual machine (which still will be EVM compatible), and added a Layer 2 for privacy-enhanced computation. This update provides more details on the consensus method and our Layer 2 design.
Consensus Mechanism — Hybrid DPOS + PBFT
The first major overhaul is the consensus mechanism — from a standard DPOS system to an upgraded, more secure, and higher performance DPOS + PBFT hybrid mechanism with VRF (Verifiable Random Function). An improved DPOS is still used as a voting and governance mechanism, and will be used all the way to the selection of delegates. A unique approach is where we use a VRF algorithm to select validator nodes, increasing the security and integrity of the system. And as expected, validator nodes will take turns acting as delegates (block producers).
Currently this approach in terms of tech development is ready for use, however, we will take a transition approach to fully enable this design. During early stages of mainnet launch, we will “initialize” at least 80% of validator nodes. These will be run by Phoenix Core Dev configured to be distributed geographically while ensuring necessary performance requirements are met.
Further, Phoenix’s PBFT uses a mechanism that requires two rounds of Quorum Certificates (over 2/3 of validator confirmations), as well as only executing one consensus instance at once, which is a security and design optimization over traditional PBFT (parallel consensus instances). It also has protocols in place to prevent faulty processes that create forking. Various aspects of our PBFT mechanism can be said to be similar to Tendermint.
Layer 2 — Privacy Computation Layer
For most public blockchains, a Layer 2 means a scaling solution for transactions. In many cases these are DeFi related — most of which are separate protocols from the Layer 1 itself, and either constructed using zkRollup or Optimistic Rollup approaches.
Given our function-specific Layer 1, our Layer 2 for Phoenix is designed to perform and enhance very specific tasks, with the first phase focused on privacy preserving-related computations.
Ultimately, the Layer 2 then acts directly as an extension of enhancing our specific use-case capabilities, including multi-party computation (MPC), secret sharing, and verifiable computing.
Federated Learning, due to computation and performance constraints, work on a separate off-chain layer in conjunction with the Layer 1 blockchain and Oracle nodes. Privacy computation contracts can be coded in WASM (web assembly) instead of Solidity. We have already tested the Layer 2 MPC function to run 3rd-party MPC.
Phoenix Chain is uniquely positioning itself to be an integrated platform consisting of Layer 1, Layer 2, and Oracle Network for creating the next generation of decentralized data-driven and AI applications.
Have questions? Join the conversation on our Telegram channel — https://t.me/APEXcommunity