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Core vs Minima
A comparative deep dive into both blockchains
Blockchain technology has been disrupting various industries, and new platforms continue to emerge to offer innovative solutions. Minima and Core Network are two such blockchains that aim to solve key issues with leading blockchains like Ethereum and Bitcoin. In this article, we'll compare the two platforms and highlight their unique features and functionalities.
I’d like to preface this by saying that people often compare us to other networks when they first hear about us, which is why posts like this exist. To explore differences, and, crucially, to highlight what makes Minima so unique. In this post, we introduce CORE network and establish the key differences. Please note that none of this is an endorsement for CORE or financial advice. Always DYOR (Do Your Own Research).
What is Core?
tl;dr: Core is a blockchain that is powered by Satoshi Plus, a consensus mechanism that applies a protocol-driven validator election mechanism to combine the optimal features of Proof of Work (PoW) and Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS). It still relies on miners, but it reduces some of the issues we see with PoW and PoS. Minima, on the other hand, relies on Tx-PoW: a transaction-based variation of PoW, which relies on a small amount of work done by everyone to add up to an entire block’s worth of work. Minima is designed to be truly decentralized.
How does it work? 🛠
Core aims to resolve the Blockchain Trilemma, which states that all cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, have to make trade-offs between optimal security, scalability, and decentralization, often prioritizing two elements at the expense of the third.
Consensus Algorithm? 🧮
Core’s solution to the trilemma above is Satoshi Plus consensus, which operates at the core of the Core Network, and combines Proof of Work (PoW) and Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) to harness respective strengths and overcome weaknesses. According to Core, they aim to provide decentralization through Bitcoin computing power which they claim “guarantees decentralization”. The DPoS and leadership election mechanisms are used by Core for scalability, and the whole network maintains security in a holistic manner.
In a nutshell, the issue with this is that Bitcoin computing power does not guarantee decentralization: it faces the same issue that lies with Bitcoin in that there is an inherent reliance on a small set of miners. That’s where Minima truly shines. ✨
Everyone on Minima is equal, running the same software. No need for an initial stake or even expensive hardware.
Minima’s Chief Architect and co-founder, Spartacus Rex, argues that there is no trilemma to be solved, but rather a bi- or di-lemma: Decentralization or no decentralization. Something cannot be partially decentralized. It either is or isn’t.
Minima’s reliance on Tx-PoW means that instead of having big mining firms control our chain, all you need to run an entire validating and constructing node is an Android phone or a Windows/Mac computer. We already have hundreds of thousands of node runners validating and constructing the chain. If you care about decentralization, check out how easy it is to run a full node 👀
More detail please… 🏛
The above illustration shows how Core works. Satoshi Plus combines Proof of Work (PoW) and Decentralized Proof of Stake (DPoS) mechanisms. The PoW mechanism leverages hash power generated by miners on the Bitcoin blockchain, while the DPoS mechanism helps the network achieve a level of scalability that PoW networks might not achieve due to their low transaction throughput. Together, these two consensus mechanisms help secure the Core network.
In the Core network, BTC miners can participate by either delegating their hash power to a Core validator or running their own validator by synchronizing their identity on both the BTC and Core blockchains using their public and private keys. When transactions are submitted, the blocks mined by the BTC miner are synced with the Core network through relayers. The network calculates the BTC hash power of each validator in each round by tracking the number of blocks produced by each miner in the BTC network over the preceding week’s same day.
Unlike with Minima, where all nodes are validators, the DPoS system works by electing a rotating group of 21 validators that are voted on by token holders that delegate their own holdings. This is in an attempt to solve the problem of high barrier-to-entry for smaller token holders who do not themselves hold a requisite amount of $CORE to run a validator. Validators are responsible for producing blocks and validating transactions on Core. Validators must register and lock up a refundable CORE deposit which will be used in the validator set. Relayers relay BTC 'block headers' to the BTC light client in the consensus engine. As with validators, relayers must register and lock up CORE in order to participate.
The hybrid score determines validators based on their resulting score, which is derived from BTC hash power and the amount of CORE delegated to the validator. The hybrid score is calculated using a function that takes into account a validator’s hash power and staked $CORE. At the end of each round, the top 21 validators are elected to the validator set and bear the responsibility of producing blocks for 1 round. The rewards that are accumulated are distributed at the end of each round, and validator quorum is also determined at the end of each round.
If you’re a Minimalist, you’ll already know about Minima, but I’ll lay it out so we’re all on the same page. With Minima, there are no miners or mining groups. Everyone runs a node, and each node is a full validating and constructing node, which means that EVERYONE is a validator instead of having a rotating pool like Core does. It does this through a simple yet powerful scripting language, Cascading Proof Chain, adaptive block scaling, and an innovative Proof of Work (PoW) backed user-centric blockchain algorithm. Almost all blocks and transactions are pruned. Pruning has no effect on the security of the user doing-the-pruning. Once a transaction has been checked by a user, that transaction need never be checked again, a simple reference will suffice. Blocks are kept for a certain period of time before being pruned. This way any user that logs on to the network can always catch up on a weeks' worth of blocks, for example. So as long as a user logs on to the network once a week they can validate every transaction on layer 1 and run a Complete node, full validating and full TxPoW mining, without needing increasing amounts of storage. If you think it sounds simple, that’s because it is. Minima aims to strip things back to the basics and keep things true to how they were intended to be with blockchain: fully equal for everyone.
To read more, check out Core’s White Paper here.
The Core network has a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) governance structure. As of now, the Core team itself controls the Core DAO and they claim that when “sufficient decentralization” occurs, full control will be handed over to the CORE community. Participants in the DAO will be able to change the number of validators, regulate governance parameters, and set the percentage of burned block rewards and transaction fees.
Core DAO aims to achieve decentralization through a path called “Progressive Decentralization” with the plan to handle the operations of the DAO through the internal Core team with the aim of getting it to grow and attain a healthy product and market maturity, before opening up operations to the entire Core community.
Minima is decentralized right from the get-go: it’s our entire mission. At Minima, we’re building the most decentralized network for the free transfer of value and information. The same software runs on each device and ensures that everyone has the same level of power or control.
The white paper of Core explains that their blockchain uses various methods, such as transaction filtering, geographic distribution of nodes, and random node selection for P2P communication, to prevent network attacks like DDoS, Eclipse, and Hijack. They also use a combination of PoW, DPoS, and validator election mechanism to prevent pre-computation and selfish mining. The blockchain is resistant to censorship and transaction delays as long as there are enough honest validators. They claim to have a mathematical proof stating that their blockchain is safe as long as less than one-third of the nodes are malicious.
On the other hand, Minima is a Distributed PoW secured blockchain that does not require the same level of reliance on the honesty of the nodes. The security of the Minima network comes from its scalable off-chain transactions, which run over Maxima (layer 2) and contribute to layer 1 security. All cryptographic security in Minima is hash-based, making it Quantum Secure. All nodes are Complete, which nullifies light client attacks. Censorship and other block-based attacks are also much more difficult to attempt.
Overall, it’s quite clear that Core, while attempting to solve the blockchain trilemma and making a step in the right direction, does not provide true decentralization and has inherent dependencies. Minima, on the other hand, is an entire native blockchain ecosystem. Whilst Core aims to reduce issues with PoW and PoS, Minima focuses on eliminating such issues entirely through true decentralization.
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