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Unchained is a decentralized, federated network for data validation. Unchained nodes work to validate data together and are rewarded in KNS tokens. It is also possible to run Unchained as a private or local network, or independently as a part of a bigger application.
Unchained has the capability to index data from any blockchain, act as a message broker between different blockchains, and supply verified data to smart contracts and oracles. However, its primary purpose goes beyond just serving as a connector between on-chain and off-chain environments, or providing data to existing blockchains.
Unchained is a standalone platform suitable for various applications that need validated and verified data. This data remains valuable even without being sent to the blockchain. Unchained enables direct use of verified data by analytical tools, data explorers, for training AI models, or any other use case requiring trusted data.
Moreover, the Unchained network offers not just raw data, but also the necessary tools for data processing and analysis. It can be used as a grid computing platform where users lend their computation power to the consumers, or as an edge computing platform where users are re-routed to the nearest available node.
To achieve its objectives, Unchained is not required to function as a blockchain in the traditional sense, where data is organized chronologically, compiled into blocks, and linked sequentially to the preceding ones. Unchained allows its nodes the flexibility to validate and verify data at their own pace. Unlike traditional blockchain models where there's competition to propose a block, in Unchained, each piece of data validated by a peer is acknowledged and recorded by other peers as additional verification.
Nodes within Unchained are not obligated to focus on identical data sets. Each peer has the autonomy to choose which data to validate and store, and which to bypass for any given reason. This approach grants Unchained exceptional flexibility and scalability, as data is effectively sharded and made available on a demand-driven basis.
The consensus mechanism in Unchained is multifaceted. The first aspect concerns how peers communicate and acknowledge data within the network. The networking model in Unchained is federated. Nodes in this federated network can assume different roles; workers, for example, have the task of sourcing, validating, and processing data, while brokers are tasked with re-routing messages and supervising the workers.
The federated network and the separation in functionality allows resource-constraint devices to join the Unchained network and benefit from its features as well. As an example, a small IoT sensor can send validated sensor data to Unchained without the need of running a "full" node, or a small device can call a computationally heavy algorithm on the Unchained grid and harness its computation power.
In situations where nodes present different values for a specific data metric (M), or the result of a process, the resolution hinges on the voting power of each validator. This is where Liquid Proof of Stake (LPoS) comes into play. The voting power of each node is determined by the amount of KNS tokens they have staked, plus any staked Katana NFTs, and any KNS tokens or Katana NFTs delegated to them by the other users.
Consumers or peers assessing the validity of data must consider the aggregated voting powers backing the different reported values for each dataset or computation. A threshold is set by the consumers (e.g., +51% or +90%), above which data is deemed valid. This mechanism ensures that the majority decision, weighted by stake, dictates the accepted truth within the network.
The LPoS system offers several advantages. It aligns validators' incentives with the network's health and integrity, as their influence depends on their stake. This reduces the likelihood of malicious behavior, as acting against the network's interests would directly impact a validator's own stake.
Additionally, LPoS enables more dynamic participation and decentralization, as stakeholders can delegate their tokens, thus contributing to the network's governance without being active validators themselves. This method also allows for more flexibility and diversity in network decision-making, as it incorporates the perspectives of a broader range of participants.
Unchained implements the BLS12-381 algorithm combined with proof of Knowledge of Secret Key (KOSK) and signature aggregation. The BLS12-381 algorithm is a cryptographic pairing function that enables efficient and secure elliptic curve operations. This algorithm is particularly known for its strength and efficiency in smaller-sized keys compared to other cryptographic algorithms.
Proof of Knowledge of Secret Key (KOSK) is a critical component in this setup. It ensures that only the holder of the private key can produce a valid signature, preventing Rogue Public Key attacks on aggregated signatures. The signature itself cannot be used to derive the private key, adding an extra layer of protection.
Signature aggregation allows multiple signatures to be combined into a single, compact signature. The benefits of signature aggregation are significant, especially in terms of scalability and efficiency. It reduces the amount of data that needs to be transmitted and stored, which is particularly advantageous in a system where numerous transactions or validations occur. This not only saves space but also reduces processing time, making the system efficient and fast.
For Liquid Proof of Stake (LPoS) and Remote Procedure Call (RPC) requests, Unchained adopts the SECP256K1 cryptographic algorithm, the same as used by Ethereum. This choice is primarily to maintain compatibility with Ethereum, facilitating interactions and integrations between Unchained and Ethereum-based systems.
SECP256K1 is an elliptic curve algorithm widely used in blockchain technologies, particularly known for its application in Ethereum's transaction signing process. By using this algorithm, Unchained ensures that its platform can seamlessly interact with Ethereum's network and services. This compatibility is crucial for users and applications that operate across both Unchained and Ethereum platforms, as it simplifies processes and enhances user experience by allowing the use of the same cryptographic standards and tools.