Wormhole Chains — Algorand
Welcome to the latest edition of the Wormhole Chains series, where we discuss some of the latest chains that have been added to the Wormhole network. This time, we are looking into Algorand.
What is Algorand?
Founded in 2017 (and officially launched in 2019) by Turing Award-winning cryptographer Silvio Micali, Algorand’s high–performing Layer-1 blockchain brings fast, frictionless, and inclusive technologies to everyone. Algorand aims to reshape a variety of industries — from TradFi and DeFi — to new creator economies and beyond. With an extraordinary commitment to interoperability and consistent delivery, its sustainable technology powers more participation, transparency, and efficiency for all. As the technology of choice for 2000+ global organizations, the Algorand ecosystem is transforming the next generation of financial products, protocols, and exchange of value.
Who is Silvio Micali, the founder of Algorand?
Silvio Micali has been on the faculty at MIT, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department since 1983. Silvio’s research interests are cryptography, zero knowledge, pseudorandom generation, secure protocols, mechanism design and blockchain. In particular, Silvio is the co-inventor of probabilistic encryption, Zero-Knowledge Proofs, Verifiable Random Functions, and many of the protocols that are the foundations of modern cryptography.
Silvio is the recipient of the Turing Award (in computer science), the Gödel Prize (in theoretical computer science), and the RSA prize (in cryptography). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Accademia dei Lincei.
Silvio received his Laurea in Mathematics from the University of Rome, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley.
On the technical side, the team behind Algorand consists of some of the best researchers and developers in the world. On the strategic side, there is the Algorand Foundation, a non-profit organization that launched the Algorand mainnet and governs the Algorand network. It invests heavily in strategy around governance and the growth of the ecosystem to promote the long-term value and put more decision-making into the hands of the Algorand community at large.
The consensus protocol
The problem with many blockchains is they sacrifice at least one of the key properties of security, scalability, and decentralization. This is known as the blockchain trilemma. Silvio and his team try to solve the blockchain trilemma by inventing a new Pure Proof of Stake (PPoS) consensus protocol, which is the protocol that the Algorand blockchain uses.
Algorand’s consensus protocol works by selecting a block proposer and a set of voting committees at each block round to propose a block and validate the proposal, respectively. The proposer and committees are randomly chosen from the pool of all token holders (the accounts that hold Algo tokens), and the likelihood of being chosen is proportional to the account’s stake in the network. There are multiple advanced cryptographic algorithms that go into this process, with fancy names like “verifiable random functions” and “cryptographic sortition”. Those algorithms ensure that the vote is fair, no one can collude, and that the overall system is highly secure. You can learn more here:
- Silvio explains how Algorand consensus works at a meetup in Milan (video, simple)
- Silvio describes Algorand’s core technology in a nutshell (blog post, simple)
- A simple, introductory video on Algorand’s consensus protocol (video, simple, short)
- Docs on Algorand consensus (technical, medium-length, detailed)
- The official Algorand whitepaper (very technical, very detailed)
Algorand makes it easy to tokenize, transfer, and program conditions on any instrument of value. Users can create fungible tokens, NFTs, and security tokens with just a single transaction, with no smart contract code required. Or they can program sophisticated decentralized applications (dApps) with Algorand smart contracts.
Performance, throughput & finality
The blockchains blocks are produced every 3.9 seconds and can hold up to 26,000 transactions, which results in a throughput of about 6,000 TPS (transactions per second). Transactions are final as soon as they are confirmed in a block. A throughput of 6,000 TPS then actually means 6,000 finalized transactions per second.
Algorand aims to become the first carbon-negative blockchain. With its unique consensus mechanism, Algorand is far more energy efficient than other blockchains and is going further by offsetting its carbon footprint in partnership with ClimateTrade, a leader in CO2 emissions transparency and traceability that is using blockchain-based solutions to improve the efficiency of sustainability efforts for leading corporations around the globe.
Contact & Docs
Stay up to date with Algorand by following their social channels or dive into their Developer Portal.
Wormhole Noob? No problem!
If you’re new to Wormhole, here’s what you need to know:
⚬ The protocol’s total volume stands at over $50B, with over 1,000,000 messages completed.
⚬ Currently, several thousand messages are submitted each day.
Check out Chase M., a Wormhole contributor, explaining more about Wormhole below:
Wormhole’s supported networks
Wormhole allows users to send assets to and from any of the supported chains without double-wrapping the asset. It enables seamless access to each network’s vibrant DeFi and NFT ecosystems!
Algorand is the latest addition to Wormhole’s network of supported chains — check out the Portal bridge to see which chains you can bridge to!
Join the ever-growing Wormhole community
If you have questions, need support, or just want to connect, join the Wormhole community and keep up to date with our upcoming announcements. We’re always happy to hear feedback — join our Discord, and drop us a comment!