Learn how the Proof-of-Time (PoT) consensus and the Timechain create an immutable
chronicle of validated event data.

Proof-of-Time Consensus

PoT is an environmentally sustainable, verifiably secure, and scalable consensus algorithm that validates event data on the Analog network.

The PoT consensus can help us answer questions such as: “What proof is there to show that the past really happened?” or “How can we know that what we’ve learned or known about the past is actually true?” Analog is the world’s first layer-0, multi-chain protocol to implement PoT as a mechanism for verifying event data. With PoT, each user’s influence on the choice of the new block depends on its ranking score and staked coins, which represents the number of $ANLOG coins locked in its account.

The PoT protocol is unlike typical proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithms that largely rely on the number of tokens a validator has locked in its account to validate. It essentially combines a ranking score and staked a minimum number of $ANLOG tokens to determine which node proposes and confirms the next block on the Timechain.

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The protocol is also different from proof-of-work (PoW)-based protocols where users expend high computational resources to mine blocks. Any node can propose or confirm blocks in any given slot under a PoT-powered network without expending high computational resources.

The network leverages verifiable delay function (VDF) coupled with ranking score and staked tokens to pseudorandomly select time electors (block proposers) and time nodes (block confirmers). Any node can become a time elector and propose new blocks provided it has a higher ranking score—computed from the node’s time relevance, reputability, and average weighted value of its neighboring nodes—and minimum locked $ANLOG tokens.

Similarly, the network’s likelihood to select a user to confirm blocks is directly proportional to the user’s ranking score and minimum locked tokens. The entire PoT mechanism is a two-stage process:

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The entire PoT mechanism is a two-stage process:

1. Soft Voting

This process begins when a broadcaster submits event data to the network. Once this occurs, a randomly selected and designated time elector collates the submitted data, verifies its signature, and computes VDF. Next, the time elector broadcasts the hashed event data alongside a VDF proof to the rest of the time nodes.

2. Hard Voting

The network forms a pseudorandomized committee of 1,000 time nodes during hard voting to confirm the proposed block. Each time node within the consensus committee verifies the signature of submitted event data transactions and VDF proof which confirms that the time elector hashed the transaction after the current block height.

Next, the time node votes to either accept or reject the submitted event data. If a supermajority of time nodes votes to accept the proposed block, the block gets appended to the Timechain.

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Time nodes that correctly validate blocks of event data on the Analog network receive ANLOG tokens as incentives.

The entire PoT mechanism is a two-stage process:

1. Soft Voting

This process begins when a broadcaster submits event data to the network. Once this occurs, a randomly selected and designated time elector collates the submitted data, verifies its signature, and computes VDF. Next, the time elector broadcasts the hashed event data alongside a VDF proof to the rest of the time nodes.

2. Hard Voting

This process begins when a broadcaster submits time data to the network. Once this occurs, a randomly selected and designated time elector collates the submitted data, verifies its signature, and computes VDF. Next, the time elector broadcasts the hashed event data alongside a VDF proof to the rest of the time nodes.

Next, the time node votes to either accept or reject the submitted event data. If a supermajority of time nodes votes to accept the proposed block, the block gets appended to the Timechain.

Diagram1

Time nodes that correctly validate blocks of event data on the Analog network receive ANLOG tokens as incentives.

Network

Timechain

The Timechain is Analog’s ledger. It contains validated blocks linked together through cryptography to form a long chain, hence the name “Timechain". Each block on the Timechain includes a hash of the previous block, the VDF proof, and event data. The VDF proof confirms that the event data was appended to the Timechain after a real-time delay, and therefore the hashed event data is valid.

This way, the Timechain serves as a universal ledger, providing irrefutable proof to show that what happened in the past actually took place. The Timechain is the world’s first trustless Omni-chain interoperability protocol that offers a potent, low-level communication primitive upon which businesses can implement cross-chain applications.

Using this new primitive, the Analog network paves the way for the development of the next-generation decentralized applications (DApps).

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Nodes

The Analog network has four categories of nodes:

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Time nodes

These are nodes that confirm blocks to the Timechain. The network incentivizes time nodes by increasing their ranking scores for every block that gets confirmed on the network. Analog’s PoT protocol ties the security of the entire economy on the honesty of a supermajority time nodes rather than a small subset. The platform is secure when time nodes confirming blocks have high ranking scores and weighted stakes.

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Broadcasters

Any node that submits event data to the Timechain is called a broadcaster. Once the submitted event data is validated and appended to the Timechain, subscribers (consumers) can use it to power Analog’s inherent DApps, applications implemented from other chains, microservices, and other intelligent data pipelines.

Since broadcasters are the lifeblood of the Analog ecosystem, they get paid directly every time a subscriber consumes their event data. Besides direct payments, the network will incentivize broadcasters (subject to governance structures) who submit quality event data. For example, the network can pay 10% of accumulated transaction fees to broadcasters who do not drop below a certain trust index threshold, say 0.8, after every four weeks.

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Time Electors

A Timelord is a special time node that proposes blocks to the Timechain. The probability of becoming a Timelord is proportional to the number of locked $ANLOG tokens and a ranking score, i.e., a node has a higher chance of becoming a time elector provided it has a minimum locked $ANLOG tokens, and the ranking score is higher.

Because of the randomness offered by VDF, any time node can become a time elector. The network expects one time elector to propose a block at any given slot time. This ensures that the other time nodes in the ecosystem can replay identical copies of the Timechain.

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Tesseract Nodes

Tesseract nodes are particular time nodes that fetch event data from external chains. Any node can join the network as a Tesseract and fetch event data from external networks. A core component of Tesseract nodes is that they rely on decentralized protocols to fetch event data from outside networks.

Besides fetching event data, Tesseract nodes also maintain and run cross-chain routing and transfer of event data from the network to target chains. The network’s governance rules enable the Tesseract nodes to enact crucial decisions such as which networks to interoperate with and which assets to support.

Services

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Timegraph API

Designed for scalability, the Analog network is the world’s first indexable and searchable Blockchain-powered Timegraph that you can leverage to collate any gaps in event data. This means you can deploy DApps at scale on the Analog network without the congestion and other scalability issues that affect non-PoT-enabled Blockchains.

Think of the Timegraph API as an application that any business can leverage to translate real-world (off-chain) data to Continuum smart contracts on the Timechain and vice versa. Timegraph API also facilitates cross-chain interoperability. This allows developers to build secure DApps that can transfer tokens, send messages and initiate call-to-action (CTAs) across multiple Blockchains.

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Continuum Smart Contracts

At Analog, we’ve envisioned a event data marketplace built on automatic, cryptographically consensus-based processes. Analog event data marketplace is a place where time-driven functions take place trustlessly—without the involvement of any intermediary. Continuum smart contracts put this new and radical vision into practice.

Continuum smart contracts are the fundamental building blocks of DApps that run on the Analog network. They are simply a collection of codes (functions) and data (state) that resides at a specific address on the Timechain.

Developers can write their own continuum smart contracts on the Analog platform, defining mechanisms for ownership of event data and transition functions. At their core, continuum smart contracts provide the necessary logic, decentralization, and scale to fuel the next-generation time-dependent DApps.

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Decentralized Applications

Because continuum smart contracts exist on the Timechain, they are immutable and verifiable, guaranteeing a high level of trust. As such, the Analog network creates an entirely new class of marketplace focusing on immutable continuum smart contracts and validated event data.

Consequently, time-driven web 3.0 applications that leverage the Timechain ecosystem provide greater transparency and trust. Collectively, these applications generate network effects on the Analog network to establish a secure, transparent, and incentivized ecosystem for systems that serve various use cases.

Nodes

The Analog network has four categories of nodes:

Broadcasters

Any node that submits event data to the Timechain is called a broadcaster. Once the submitted event data is validated and appended to the Timechain, subscribers (consumers) can use it to power Analog’s inherent DApps, applications implemented from other chains, microservices, and other intelligent data pipelines.

Since broadcasters are the lifeblood of the Analog ecosystem, they get paid directly every time a subscriber consumes their event data. Besides direct payments, the network will incentivize broadcasters (subject to governance structures) who submit quality event data. For example, the network can pay 10% of accumulated transaction fees to broadcasters who do not drop below a certain trust index threshold, say 0.8, after every four weeks.

Time nodes

These are nodes that confirm blocks to the Timechain. The network incentivizes time nodes by increasing their ranking scores for every block that gets confirmed on the network. Analog’s PoT protocol ties the security of the entire economy on the honesty of a supermajority time nodes rather than a small subset. The platform is secure when time nodes confirming blocks have high ranking scores and weighted stakes.

Time Electors

A Time Elector is a special time node that proposes blocks to the Timechain. The probability of becoming a Time Elector is proportional to the number of locked $ANLOG tokens and a ranking score, i.e., a node has a higher chance of becoming a time elector provided it has a minimum locked $ANLOG tokens, and the ranking score is higher.

Because of the randomness offered by VDF, any time node can become a time elector. The network expects one time elector to propose a block at any given slot time. This ensures that the other time nodes in the ecosystem can replay identical copies of the Timechain.

Tesseract Nodes

Tesseract nodes are particular time nodes that fetch event data from external chains. Any node can join the network as a Tesseract and fetch event data from external networks. A core component of Tesseract nodes is that they rely on decentralized protocols to fetch event data from outside networks.

Besides fetching event data, Tesseract nodes also maintain and run cross-chain routing and transfer of event data from the network to target chains. The network’s governance rules enable the Tesseract nodes to enact crucial decisions such as which networks to interoperate with and which assets to support.

Services

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