Casper Protocol

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Proof of stake protocol in which malicious actors who attempt a “nothing at stake” are punished. Once a validator is caught trying to deceive the network, their stake gets slashed costing the malicious actor the currency they placed as their stake.

 

Confirmation

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The specified number of blocks added following the publishing of a particular transaction onto a network's blockchain. The threshold or number of blocks deep for a transaction to be considered confirmed may depend on the transaction medium (such as an exchange). Typically Bitcoin transactions need to be six blocks deep for confirmation.

 

Confirmation Time

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The average amount of time required to add one block to the blockchain. Confirmation time depends on mining difficulty which is regulated by the complexity of the hash algorithm and the number of miners.

 

Difficulty

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Computational power is needed to solve complex algorithms called hash algorithms to provide trustless consensus for proof of work blockchains. The time between block formation (Block Time) depends on the computer power (hash power) in the network that is used to mine transaction blocks: to compensate for this variable, a blockchain adjusts the “difficulty” of solving its hash algorithm to maintain its average block time once a specified number of blocks are mined. For instance, Bitcoin's network adjusts its difficulty every 2016 blocks.

 

Distributed Ledger Technology

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A secure, decentralized consensus mechanism that allows the synchronization of digital data across the world. A distributed ledger is thought to be more secure than a private blockchain as altering or compromising the integrity of the data can only be achieved if the majority of its participants collude to change the ledger.