Recently, Web3 advisor Vanessa Harris (@technologypoet on Twitter) offered a compelling endorsement of Ouroboros Leios, a new and improved version of Cardano’s consensus mechanism introduced by IOG in November 2022, by calling it “Disney-level impressive.”
Ouroboros is a groundbreaking consensus mechanism used in the Cardano blockchain, designed to ensure the network’s security and efficiency. In simpler terms, it’s a set of rules that helps a decentralized network of computers agree on the validity of transactions and maintain a shared history, known as the blockchain.
Think of it like a virtual roundtable, where all the participants must agree before making any decisions. In Ouroboros, these participants are called “stakeholders,” who are chosen to create new blocks and validate transactions based on the amount of Cardano (ADA) tokens they hold and are willing to “stake” as collateral.
This process enables Cardano to function without relying on a central authority, ensuring that transactions are transparent, secure, and efficient. Moreover, Ouroboros is environmentally friendly, using significantly less energy than traditional proof-of-work systems like the one used by Bitcoin.
In November 2022, IOG, the blockchain technology firm responsible for Cardano’s R&D, presented a research paper (titled “Ouroboros Leios: design goals and concepts”) that introduced Ouroboros Leios, a new variant of the Ouroboros consensus mechanism. According to IOG, the primary goal behind Ouroboros Leios is to significantly boost the throughput capacity of the Cardano network while ensuring greater security than its predecessors.
IOG asserts that current Ouroboros variants face limitations in terms of data and CPU processing throughput. These limitations arise from the inherent structure of the distributed algorithm rather than the resources available to each node. To overcome these challenges, IOG developed Ouroboros Leios as a fresh algorithm design that tackles these issues head-on.
Furthermore, IOG states that this new design offers an excellent opportunity to integrate modern features such as tiered transaction fees with corresponding service priority levels and faster chain synchronization by eliminating the need to execute every smart contract.
However, IOG acknowledges that Ouroboros Leios comes with trade-offs, including increased resource consumption and transaction latency. The research paper delves into these trade-offs in more detail.
IOG emphasizes that Ouroboros Leios is not just a minor upgrade; it’s a substantial extension of the existing Ouroboros Praos and Genesis designs. As a result, the changes it brings to practical implementations will also be significant, revolutionizing the Cardano network’s capabilities.
Today, Web3 advisor Vanessa Harris took to Twitter to express her excitement and admiration for Cardano’s upcoming improvement, Ouroboros Leios. She likened the upgrade to a “Disney-level” achievement, emphasizing its potential to revolutionize transaction speeds on the Cardano network.
Harris drew an imaginative comparison between Ouroboros Leios and a Disney ride operator who efficiently prepares each rider, ensuring they can effortlessly hop on the ride when it’s their turn. She explained that the new consensus mechanism would allow idle nodes to perform computations between blocks, which could then be bundled into the next block.
In her words, this process is like the Disney operator’s efficiency but with “a little more Math.” Harris believes this innovative approach will enable Cardano to handle an immense number of transactions, just as Disney manages large crowds.
Delving deeper into the technical aspects, Harris mentioned that “Input Endorsers” are chosen between blocks to prepare inputs by pre-processing transactions and scripts. The block producer then includes these inputs in the subsequent block. By leveraging what would typically be idle time, Cardano’s Ouroboros Leios promises to bring substantial improvements to the network’s overall efficiency and capabilities.