What is Algorand? The Blockchain for FutureFi

What is Algorand? Algorand is a next-generation Blockchain network that has been designed for large-scale commercial applications. It offers a number of advantages over other Blockchain networks, including faster transaction speeds and more efficient governance. In this article, we will take a closer look at how Algorand works, and explore the benefits it offers businesses.

What is Algorand?

What is Algorand

Algorand is a decentralized network that aims to balance speed, security, and decentralization in the Blockchain Trilemma. Computer scientist and MIT professor Silvio Micali created Algorand as a permissionless, open-source blockchain network that anyone may use. Algorand was created to be a payments-focused network with quick transactions and a strong emphasis on achieving near-instant finality – that is, processing over 1,000 transactions per second (TPS) and finishing transaction finality in less than five seconds.

Read: What is Blockchain? All you need to know

Algorand employs a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism and distributes validator rewards to all holders of its native ALGO cryptocurrency. Algorand is capable of handling high-throughput requirements for widespread global usage and a variety of use cases due to its strong throughput capacity and fair community incentivization.

Algorand is a public smart contract blockchain that makes use of staking. As a decentralized application (dApp) platform based on staking, Algorand can currently support dApp creation and scalability. Ethereum’s increasing gas costs have caused many dApp entrepreneurs and Decentralized Finance traders to search for alternative blockchain solutions. Some have migrated to Algorand as an Ethereum rival for dApp construction and DeFi applications.

Read: What is DeFi? All you need to know about Decentralized Finance

Algorand allows users to create new tokens or transfer existing ones to the Algorand ecosystem using the Algorand Standard Asset (ASA) protocol. For example, stablecoins like USDT and USDC exist as ASAs on the Algoranda blockchain, and they have considerably greater throughput and lower transaction fees than those found on Ethereum. Furthermore, as central banks continue research into networks that may host their central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), Algorand has become a viable option and has been selected by the Marshall Islands to house its CBDC.

A brief history of Algorand

What is Algorand - algorand history

Silvio Micali, a Turing Award winner and MIT professor, founded Algorand, which is a pure proof-of-stake blockchain protocol. Unlike first-generation consensus protocols, Algorand’s technology finalizes blocks in seconds and tries to deliver immediate transaction finality while avoiding forks. Algorand does not give validators new tokens as a reward.

The node repository for the Algorand blockchain, which was previously proprietary and private, has now been made public so that developers can use it. The Algorand platform provides a robust set of developer tools, dApp analytics through a collaboration with Flipside Crypto, and has partnerships with companies like OTOY, Syncsort, TOP Networks to name a few.

In July 2018, a test network for the protocol was launched, and the majority of the first open-source code was published on Github in October 2018. As a result, Algorand encourages everyone to analyze its version of VRF, which has been forked and extended from libsodium, a widely used cryptographic library.

The Algorand Foundation is a non-profit organization that manages the financing and development of Algorand Inc. and the Algorand protocol. The Algorand Foundation provides developer education to students in universities and training centers around the world. The Global University Program run by the Algorand Foundation includes such prestigious institutions as MIT, UC Berkeley, and other top universities from all over the world. Blockchain competitions, hackathons, educational courses, and certifications are also supported by the Algorand Foundation.

Algorand launched two accelerator programs in 2020: Algorand Asia Accelerator and Algorand Europe Accelerator, which focus on assisting ongoing projects and developers interested in adopting Algorand. These programs give promising initiatives complete end-to-end support – from strategy development to launch – to help the Algorand ecoItm expand and flourish.

How does Algorand work?

What is Algorand - how does algorand work

Algorand Blockchain employs a Pure Proof of Stake system, in which validators are neither rewarded nor at risk of being slashed. Because the minority would be unable to cheat the system, and because the majority would be unwilling to defraud it, the majority’s interests will always take precedence over their own.

Users do not need to deposit their tokens into an account, they are simply sent to the user. There is no locking of funds, so users may access them at any time. Blocks are produced in two stages, with a single token being chosen at random and its owner proposing the next block. 1000 random tokens are chosen after that, with their owners then ratifying the block proposed by the first user.

The first of these phases is achieved through the Binary Byzantine Agreement, or Byzantine Agreement ☆ (‘Star’), which incorporates two enhancements.

First, using cryptographic sortition (self-selection) to select committee members prevents an attacker from selecting them in a targeted manner. In a private and non-interactive way, BA☆ employs verifiable random functions (VRFs) to choose committee members randomly.

Second, participant replaceability. BA☆ eliminates adversary targeting of a committee member by limiting committee members to one speech.

Algorand network can confirm a 1 MB block of transactions in under 22 seconds with 50,000 participants and latency stays nearly constant as the number of users is scaled up to half a million. With the Algorand network, you could send transactions at 125 times the rate of Bitcoin, and it performs well even when dealing with actively hostile users.

What is Algorand used for?

What is Algorand - what is algorand used for

The Algorand blockchain’s public release is primarily intended to let third-party developers create new applications that use cryptocurrency.

The Algorand platform has been used in real estate, copyright, microfinance, and other fields. The official website of the Algorand Foundation offers a more comprehensive list of use cases.

The code for Algorand Blockchain is open-source and can be cloned, copied or otherwise used in private or permissioned blockchains. 

Algorand CBDC

What is Algorand - algorand CBDC

In March 2020, SFB Technologies announced that the Marshallese sovereign (SOV), which is the first national digital currency, will be created using Algorand technology. The SOV will circulate alongside the US dollar and help the Marshall Islands to efficiently operate in the global economy.

Algorand is a blockchain protocol that was created by Algorand and is free to use. The Marshallese government will be using Algorand, the green blockchain, which features quick transaction speeds, scalability, security, and the ability to properly implement necessary compliance measures and conclude transactions. 

SFB Technologies, the official convener of the Marshallese sovereign movement, picked the Algorand protocol because of its speed, scalability, security, and capacity to effectively implement required compliance checks and transaction finality for a national currency.

After a thorough market study, Algorand was chosen as the best protocol alternative, said Jim Wagner, the company’s co-founder and CTO of SFB Technologies. The platform already powers several common applications thanks to its distinct features, allowing the SOV to be created, handled, and distributed on a worldwide scale. This partnership ensures that the SOV will be built on a scalable and secure platform.

As of 2022, the program is still in development.

Algorand Governance

What is Algorand - Algorand Governance

Algo holders can now participate in the governance of Algorand, which is a decentralized program that allows them to vote on the future of Algorand. For three months, committing Algo tokens to governance allows you to vote on measures suggested by the Algorand Foundation and earn benefits as a result. The prior participation system, where rewards were immediately deposited into your Algo wallet, has been replaced by governance.

Your voice is vital as an Algo holder. Voting on the protocol’s future ensures that the Algorand decision-making process stays decentralized, and your voice is heard. Governance is also a good method to earn rewards for maintaining Algo tokens, with APYs of 10.02% – 14.05% observed in prior periods.

The governance system is in a constant state of change. Each three-month cycle comprises a sign-up phase, a voting phase, and a rewards phase. Governors who register their Algos and stake them for three months during the sign-up stage will be able to vote on the Algorand Foundation ‘s proposed voting measures in the voting phase, as well as collect rewards in the final stage. To be eligible for prizes you must both maintain an active account balance and vote yes.

You must join the governance system in order to take part. You must wait for the coming period’s sign-up phase to open if the current one is closed.

Algorand ALGO token utility

Algorand’s native cryptocurrency is called ALGO. ALGO is a mechanism for incentivizing network participation and power transactions or state changes. Users may stake their ALGO in return for inflationary payouts by indicating their position in the system as either offline or online. As we’ve seen, ALGO is also employed in the Algorance governance system.

The Foundation employs Algos to assist with the sustainability of the Algorand blockchain, to encourage network participation, and to promote the growth of the community, ecosystem development, and research. The Algos enter the system through a variety of methods, including development and research grants, participation incentives, and sales. All such actions are made public to the Algorand community in full openness.

Wrapping up

Algorand is a very promising smart contracts platform with a lot of potential. It is still in development, but it has already partnered with some big names. Algorand’s features make it a good choice for projects that require speed, scalability, and security. 

Algorand also has a strong governance system that allows Algo holders to vote on the future of the protocol. Algorand’s native cryptocurrency, ALGO, is used to incentivize network participation and power transactions or state changes. 

If you’re looking for a platform with a lot of potential, Algorand is worth keeping an eye on.

Aris Ioannou
Aris Ioannouhttps://coinavalon.io
Aris created Coinavalon with the purpose of helping the average person navigate the decentralized web. Aris has been passively in the space since 2017 and full time since late 2020. Before Coinavalon, Aris worked as a Business & IT Architect in the financial services sector. Aris holds an MSc in Advanced Computing from Imperial College London, a BSc in Computer Engineering from University of Cyprus and currently pursuing an MBA degree from CIIM.

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