Pastel Consensus Protocol

The Pastel Network uses a multi-layer technology protocol for its consensus mechanism ("Pastel Consensus Protocol"). All network nodes currently use Proof-of-Work (PoW) while SuperNodes currently use a form of Proof-of-Stake (PoS). This allows the nodes of Pastel to agree on the state of all information recorded on the Pastel blockchain securely, while also aligning validators that operate SuperNodes with network incentives to prevent certain economic attacks.

Proof-of-Work and Mining

Proof-of-work is the mechanism that allows the decentralized Pastel network to come to consensus, such as agreeing on certain things like account balances and the order of transactions. This ensures that users are unable to "double spend" their coins and also means that the Pastel chain is tremendously difficult to attack or manipulate.

PoW is the underlying algorithm that sets the difficulty and rules for the work miners do. Pastel currently uses Equihash as the PoW for block mining. Mining is the "work" itself, such as the act of adding valid blocks to the chain. The blockchain's length allows the network to follow the correct Pastel chain and understand network's current state. As the network grows and more "work" is done, the longer the chain and the higher the block number.

Pastel transactions are processed into blocks and each block has a:

  • Block Difficulty - example: 388,043.20

  • TX Hash - example: eebba02012dc0a3c5f3e213da1f985ed3c48b6576cade59d72e346e91663412e

  • Nonce

  • Size - example: 2.34kb

  • Height - example: 225076

Equihash requires miners to go through a computationally intensive race of trial and error to find the nonce for a block. Only blocks with a valid nonce can be added to the chain. When creating a block, a miner will repeatedly put a dataset (obtained by downloading and running the full chain) through a certain mathematical function.

Network difficulty determines the target for the hash. The lower the target, the smaller the set of valid hashes. Once generated, it is easy for other miners and nodes to verify. PoW provides a robust amount of foundational security to the network.

Proof-of-Stake and SuperNodes

SuperNodes are powerful validator servers backed by staked collateral held in PSL. SuperNodes host full copies of the blockchain and provide a unique second layer of services to the network, facilitating advanced services and governance on the blockchain such as NFT Registration & Activation, OpenAPI Requests, and cross-chain bridge relayers & orchestrators.

This second layer provides an additional level of performance, functionality, and security. Advanced operations and computations can be conducted on high-powered SuperNodes, who collectively verify the output and monitor the state of other SuperNodes on the network prior to core data settling on-chain.

SuperNode operators must self-stake collateral denominated in PSL, and in return their operators receive regular payment for the services they provide to the network. As highly committed custodians and validators of the Network, SuperNode operators are also given the opportunity to vote on key ecosystem development and growth initiatives.

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