Kaspa is a proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrency that implements the GHOSTDAG protocol.
Unlike traditional blockchains, GHOSTDAG does not orphan blocks created in parallel, rather allows them to coexist and orders them in consensus.
The Kaspa blockchain is actually a blockDAG.
This generalization of Nakamoto consensus allows for secure operation while maintaining very high block rates (currently one block per second, aiming for 10/sec, dreaming of 100/sec) and minuscule confirmation times dominated by internet latency.
The Kaspa implementation includes a lot of cool features. Such as Reachability to query the DAG’s topology, Block data pruning (with near-future plans for block header pruning), SPV proofs, and later subnetwork support which will make future implementation of layer 2 solutions much easier.
Kaspa was envisioned by R&D company DAGLabs, through investment by PolyChain.
Nonetheless, Kaspa is a community project, completely open source, no central governance, and no business model.
The founder is Yonatan Sompolinsky, Postdoc CS at Harvard University on the MEV Research Team.
Yonatan’s 2013 paper on Ghost protocol is cited in the Ethereum Whitepaper.
Kaspa core developers and contributors include Cryptography Doctoral student Shai Wyborski, CS Master Michael Sutton, Mike Zak CS Undergrad Studies, Cryptography researcher Elichai Turkel, and Developer Ori Newman – all of whom contributed immensely to the implementation and stabilization of the network.
What Makes Kaspa Unique?
Kaspa is unique in its ability to support high block rates while maintaining the level of security offered by proof-of-work environments. Kaspa’s current main net operates at 1 block per second. Down the road, core developers and researchers will work on stretching the capability to the limits—think 10 or even 100 blocks per second.
Kaspa also includes a unique monetary policy that decreases emissions geometrically over time based on the 12-note scale of music. Known as the chromatic phase – this policy was activated on May 7th, 2022 with a block reward of 440 KAS. The block reward will be halved once per year, but smoothly: every month, the block reward is reduced by a factor of (1/2)^(1/12). This means that the ratio of block rewards in consecutive months is exactly the same as the ratio of frequencies of two consecutive semitones in a tempered chromatic scale. The initial block reward is the frequency of the note A4, and every averaged year is hence called an octave.
Note that the policy dictates how many coins are minted per second regardless of the block rate. Should Kaspa change the block rate in the future, the reward will be adjusted accordingly to maintain the same emission rate.
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