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A brief history
Algorand was founded by Silvio Micali, a professor of computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the 2012 recipient of the Turing Award. Launched in 2019, Algorand is a protocol that's designed to solve the blockchain trilemma of achieving speed, security, and decentralization simultaneously. In doing so, it aims to power the future of finance (FutureFi) by accelerating the convergence of decentralized and traditional finance (DeFi and TradFi). Additionally, the Algorand blockchain uses a modified version of the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism called pure-proof-of-stake (PPoS). The PPoS consensus mechanism uses randomness to increase the security of the blockchain network. While the traditional proof-of-stake method enables cryptocurrency holders to opt into validating transactions, the pure-proof-of-stake method recruits validators from the entire pool of ALGO holders.
ALGO in practice
Algorand’s PPoS consensus mechanism utilizes a two-phase block production process consisting of proposing and voting. Any member of the Algorand network can participate in the proposing and voting procedure by staking ALGO and generating a valid participation key to become a Participation Node. Participation Nodes are then coordinated by Relay nodes which facilitate communication among Participation Nodes but do not directly participate in proposing or voting. Once a block is proposed, the voting stage is initiated in which Participation Nodes are randomly elected to a committee responsible for ensuring that no problem has occurred in the current block. If a quorum agrees that all is well, the block is added to the blockchain. As part of Algorand’s unique protocol design, the rewards paid to validators for producing blocks are split and distributed among all ALGO coin holders, rather than being awarded only to block producers. Reward distribution takes place about every 10 minutes and is intended to encourage users to join the Algorand staking platform and accelerate the path to decentralization.