- Geeq has developed a Proof of Honesty consensus mechanism that aims to eliminate 51% attacks
- The hybrid PoW/PoS blockchain employs a staking system that rewards all participants and has no block leaders
- The consensus mechanism claims to eliminate 51% attacks
Proof of Honesty may sound like a virtual honesty box, but instead it’s a new consensus mechanism aimed at preventing 51% attacks. This new consensus mechanism has now morphed into a practical application – Geeq – and it could be a game changer.
What Are 51% Attacks?
51% attacks occur when a single entity controls 51% or more of the hashing rate of a Proof of Work (PoW) blockchain. This can be done by turning huge physical cryptocurrency mining resources towards a blockchain or, as is more often the case these days, renting that hashing power from the likes of Nicehash to perform the same feat.
Achieving this allows the attacker to reorder the blocks in the chain and ‘double spend’ tokens – essentially generating double the amount of coins handed out with each block reward. We saw this happen just last week when Ethereum Classic was hit with two 51% attacks. The only defence against 51% attacks at the moment is the rental cost being too prohibitive to carry out.
Proof of Stake (PoS) guards against 51% attacks but the blockchain validation is carried out by a select number of validators who have to have to stake a certain amount of collateral. Again, if a single entity controls more than 51% of these nodes there could be problems.
Geeq Tackles 51% Attacks With Honesty Reward
Geeq developers believe they have found a solution with PoH, which employs aspects of PoW and PoS to create a blockchain with an alleged 99% Byzantine Fault Tolerance. PoH employs a PoS style staking mechanism but there are no leaders or block proposers, meaning that everyone is rewarded for the work they do, regardless of their stake amount. It also means it is much harder for an attacker to control 51% of the blockchain.
To encourage good behaviour, nodes place their GEEQ staking collateral in an escrow account called a Good Behaviour Bond (GBB). Unlike with PoS, nodes cannot gain a high influence over the blockchain by adding more GEEQ tokens into their GBB, ensuring that the blockchain remains permissionless at the validation level.
The PoH consensus mechanism is set up with a number of self-policing layers which allow honest nodes to report dishonest nodes. These spies are rewarded with the bad actor’s GEEQ tokens from their GBB as a reward for maintaining an honest and correct version of the blockchain prevails.
Real World Test Case Needed
The Proof of Honesty consensus mechanism developed by Geeq is certainly an interesting take on the problem of honesty on the blockchain and one that, in theory, encourages the clamping down on dishonest behavior such as 51% attacks. Real world use cases are of course the next step, but theoretically at least it seems that Geeq has gone some way to taking the fight to 51% attackers.