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WHY?

Some of the biggest challenges to Platforms developing and competing to be the next best blockchain to be used for real world applications include: 1) the speed at which transactions can be processed, 2) the related power required to process the transactions, and perhaps most importantly a decentralised "clock" for the ecosystem. Most decentralised systems solve the latter problem with trusted, centralised timing systems solutions like Google's spanner, for example. 

Solana has introduced the Proof of History concept in its protocol to decentralise the timing solution for its blockchain which has resulted in arguably the most performant permissionless blockchain in the world. 
 

WHAT?

This timing system problem is even harder in adversarial systems like blockchain. Nodes in the network cannot trust an external source of time or any timestamp that appears in a message. Hashgraph for example, solves this problem with a “median” timestamp. Each message that is seen by the network is signed and timestamped by a supermajority of the network. The median timestamp for the message is what Hashgraph calls “fair” ordering. Each message has to travel to the supermajority of the nodes in the system, then after the message collects enough signatures, the entire set needs to be propagated to the entire network. As you can imagine, this is really slow.

What if you could simply trust the timestamp that is encoded into the message? An enormous wealth of distributed systems optimizations would suddenly be at your disposal. In Solana's case, the result has been a high throughput, high performance blockchain.
 

HOW?

What if instead of trusting the timestamp you could prove that the message occured sometime before and after an event? When you take a photograph with the cover of New York Times, you are creating a proof that your photograph was taken after that newspaper was published, or you have some way to influence what New York Times publishes. With Proof of History, you can create a historical record that proves that an event has occurred at a specific moment in time.  

Inputs into Proof of History can have references back to Proof of History itself. The back reference could be inserted as part of a signed message with the users signature, so it cannot be modified without the users private key. This is just like taking a photograph with the New York Times newspaper in the background. 

Proof of History
Encoding time as data in the replicated state allows for simple and efficient proofs and protocols.

Performant System Architecture
The network is arranged for maximum throughput and high availability. Our smart contracts bytecode is based on Berkeley Packet Filter designed for fast execution.

Fast Proof of Replication
A fast streaming Proof of Replication is designed for storing a large distributed ledger.

Consensus independent from transaction flow
Transactions flow through the network independent of consensus and are limited only by hardware.

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