What is Tempo?


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To achieve speed, scalability, efficiency, Radix has created a combined distributed database architecture and consensus algorithm called Tempo. It is the core of the Radix platform. It uses logical clocks for generating a partial ordering of events and vector clocks to create an absolute order of events based on a causal relationship in a distributed system to detect and prevent protocol violations. It is massively sharded to scale to billions of users and devices simultaneously.

Properties of Tempo

Fast & Scalable

Tempo is both “ asynchronous ”, meaning there is no block time, and Byzantine fault detective, meaning that it can detect and stop protocol violations within a permissionless system with 99% Fault-Tolerant Consensus. Tempo does this by preserving the total order of events, allowing for the trustless transfer of value, time-stamping and other functionality. It limits state transition information to only those members (shards) of the network that need it. This reduces overhead and enables fast finality times fulfilling the first two properties of being fast , and scalable required for mass adoption.

Efficient & Secure

Properties of the Tempo data architecture allows for building a peer to peer state machine one which validates state transitions instead of computing it and one which does not require large amounts of computing power (PoW) or large amounts of capital (PoS) to secure it, thus lowering the barrier to entry, and increasing the degree of decentralization while being energy efficient at the same. It uses both Byzantine Fault Tolerance to defend against 51% network split attacks and Byzantine Fault Detection to detect and discard protocol violations like double spends with 99% fault tolerance allowing for maximum security .

Read about how to achieve consensus with 99% dishonest actors in this explainer blog post

It is suitable for both public and private deployments, without modification, and requires no special hardware or equipment.

Decentralized and fair

Radix reduces the barrier to entry by making it simple to deploy a node. It runs on standard commercial hardware. It avoids network centralization by not requiring high computing power or capital to secure the network. It does not discriminate low powered devices by enabling them to support the network partially as per their resource capacity and providing an equal chance of earning rewards.

Price Stable

To incentivise a network of economic participants in powering the decentralized infrastructure, we propose a low volatile currency ( XRD ) that is both fast and stable , being able to compete with the likes of current fiat currencies. You can read more about it in the economics section of this documentation.

Developer Friendly

The Radix Network is a peer to peer network of computers that together make up a decentralized state machine. The major difference as compared to other public networks like Ethereum/EOS is that nodes validate state transitions instead of computing it. This reduces errors and allows for protocol programmability. Developers build applications using their preferred choice of popular programming language like Java, Kotlin and JavaScript to interact with the Radix Alpha Network using native protocol API calls, without using a smart contract language or needing a Turing complete computational machine.

Thus, the Radix platform is what Bitcoin and Ethereum should have been; fast, scalable, secure, completely decentralized and powered by a cryptocurrency which is usable and relatively stable.