6 Blockchain Consensus Protocols You Should Know

Despite recent turmoil, Bitcoin and blockchain technology in general continue to generate widespread interest.  In light of that,researchers are hard at work coming up with better protocols. This is because they recognize blockchain as a revolutionizing technology across the industries,

Here are the 6 major blockchain protocols every investor and blockchain end user should know:


HyperLedger is an open source blockchain platform under the Linux Foundation. Its main objective is to support private blockchain projects and other distributed ledgers.

Moreover, the protocol focuses on ledgers developed to support international business transactions, catering leading financial, technological and supply chain businesses. This is for the purpose of improving a lot of performance and reliability aspects.

Specifically, the project emphasizes on making collaborative efforts for making open standards and protocols. Because of this, they offer a modular framework that backs various components for diverse uses. These include blockchains having their own storage and consensus models and also services for access control, contracts and identity.


Bitcoin is now 10 years old. Satoshi Nakamoto in the white paper, “Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system”, presented the following characteristics of this protocol:

  • Bitcoin enables direct transactions with no need of any trusted third party.
  • It enables the non-reversible transactions.
  • Bitcoin decreases credit cost in minor casual transactions.
  • It decreases transaction fees.
  • Bitcoin prevents double-spending.

To make it clear, Bitcoin is a virtual currency. In that regard, the currency works as a distributed network. Other members of the community help to verify transactions. The start of 2016 saw the issuance of around 15.26M BTC. Major technologies that make Bitcoin work include hash, digital signature, public-key cryptography, P2P and Proof of Work.

This blend has consequently developed a mechanism that prevents duplication of payments and data falsification. Moreover, there is a mechanism that prevents malicious users, which are critical for the operating system. Such operating systems like the one for the electronic money have no central authority.


Ethereum is a public, open-source and block chain computing protocol that features smart contracts (scripting) functionality. The protocol has a virtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Through EVM, Ethereum carries out Turning-complete scripts by using a global network of public nodes and Ether as “Gas”.

Ether (ETH) prevents network spamming attacks and allocates resources in proportion to the incentive provided by the request. In basic terms, Ethereum is a tamper proof and a common software accessible to all. We can say it’s like the world’s first common computer.

Ethereum is also a DApps, smart contracts and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations protocol. This is in liaison with a number of functioning applications developed on it by March 2016 as reported by the New York Times.

Ripple Consensus Network

The Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP), issued in 2012, has been developed upon a distributed consensus ledger Internet protocol. Moreover, Ripple uses a native currency termed as XRP (ripples). Consequently, Ripple enables instant, safe and almost free global financial transactions of any scale without any charge back.

The protocol is well embraced in crypto-sphere. Ripple can support tokens presenting cryptocurrency, fiat currency, commodity and any other value unit like mobile minutes and frequent flier miles.

R3’s Corda

Corda, by the Company R3, is the distributed ledger protocol developed from the ground up. It facilitates recording, supervising and synchronizing the financial agreements among regulated financial institutions.

Besides, R3 captures the advantages of blockchain systems. Moreover, there are no design choices that turn blockchains unsuitable for a lot of banking scenarios.

Corda’s design came up as a result of heavy analysis and prototyping with team members.

Symbiont Distributed Ledger

Simply put, this protocol is a software development kit for the Assembly.

For definition sake, an assembly is the permitted distributed ledger part of Symbiont’s smart contracts system. Therefore, Assembly is considered as the first distributed ledger suitable for institutional finance.

The ledger is a greatly secure, high performing Byzantine Fault-Tolerant distributed ledger. As a result Symbiont can process a sustained 80,000 Txs in a local multi-node network.

As stated by Symbiont’s Co-founder, decentralized systems should no longer be slow and with Assembly this is now reality.

Image Courtesy of PixaBay/Geralt

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