Blockchain consensus: An overview of alternative protocols

No Thumbnail Available
Oyinloye D.P.
Teh J.S.
Jamil N.
Alawida M.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Blockchain networks are based on cryptographic notions that include asymmetric-key encryption, hash functions and consensus protocols. Despite their popularity, mainstream protocols, such as Proof of Work or Proof of Stake still have drawbacks. Efforts to enhance these protocols led to the birth of alternative consensus protocols, catering to specific areas, such as medicine or transporta-tion. These protocols remain relatively unknown despite having unique merits worth investigating. Although past reviews have been published on popular blockchain consensus protocols, they do not include most of these lesser-known protocols. Highlighting these alternative consensus protocols contributes toward the advancement of the state of the art, as they have design features that may be useful to academics, blockchain practitioners and researchers. In this paper, we bridge this gap by providing an overview of alternative consensus protocols proposed within the past 3 years. We evaluate their overall performance based on metrics such as throughput, scalability, security, energy consumption, and finality. In our review, we examine the trade-offs that these consensus protocols have made in their attempts to optimize scalability and performance. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that focuses on these alternative protocols, highlighting their unique features that can be used to develop future consensus protocols. � 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.