Cerberus Consensus Mechanism – an Introduction

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  • Cerberus is a brand new consensus mechanism designed by Radix
  • Cerberus offers limitless scaling while retaining atomic-level transactions
  • What is Cerberus and why is it different from all other consensus mechanisms?

Cerberus is a new consensus mechanism developed by blockchain platform Radix which was born out of Radix’s first consensus mechanism – Tempo. Tempo transitioned into Cerberus in late 2019, since when the Radix team has been working on the launch of the network that aims to disrupt the DeFi space by offering almost limitless scaling and throughput as well as massively reduced fees. But what is Cerberus and why is it so different from other consensus mechanisms? Allow our beginners’ guide to fill you in.

What is Cerberus?

Cerberus is a new consensus mechanism that powers the Radix blockchain. It was developed by Radix, who have been in the blockchain business since 2013, in conjunction with ExpoLab, a group out of UC Davis Computer Science Department, who joined the project in March last year.

What Problems Does Cerberus Solve?

Cerberus claims to be able to solve the scaling problem facing many older and even some newer blockchains by offering a whole new approach to the business of decentralized transactions. This is achieved through ‘composability’, which Radix says is more important than scaling, and allows Cerberus to scale almost infinitely with incredibly low fees, something that DeFi projects have suffered from since their inception, given that many are based on the much older Ethereum network.

What is Composability?

Composability allows multiple dApps to freely and frictionlessly combine, making it possible for a DeFi service to bring together multiple sources of the same data stream and execute smart contracts instantly. For example, a trading algorithm could source an unlimited amount of exchanges to get the best exchange rate and take advantage of arbitrage opportunities quicker than on any other blockchain.

How Does Cerberus Work?

Unlike standard sharding, which splits a transaction or series of transactions up into a limited number of shards, Cerberus utilizes almost infinite sharding. Whereas sharding has limited capacity, Cerberus has the ability to add new nodes automatically if required, further splitting the workload. This way the throughput never goes beyond a certain threshold and the fees remain low.

Cerberus also does away with barriers between shards and is able to atomically “braid” them into one, which it does on the fly for every transaction. This allows composability on Radix to be just as frictionless as it is on a regular blockchain but with no scalability limits.

Cerberus Looking to Reinvent DeFi

This is just a beginners guide to Cerberus, but you can find out much more information in the Cerberus whitepaper. Radix is one of a number of blockchain companies claiming massively increased scaling, but they are one of the few that have gone to the trouble of building a whole new technology in order to do it. With DeFi as their target market and Ethereum fees still prohibitively high for many newcomers to the space, Radix has a multi billion dollar market ready to tap into.

The Radix mainnet is set to go live later this year, which is when the Cerberus blockchain will be truly put to the test, with the big question being whether the team can convince DeFi projects to leave Ethereum for Radix.