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A Permissionless Pure Proof-Of-Stake (PoS) Blockchain.
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Algorand is an open-source, permissionless, Pure Proof-of-Stake (PPoS) blockchain protocol for “the next generation of financial products”. As such, Algorand ensures "full participation, protection and speed within a truly decentralized network".
Algorand is built by a team with deep roots in academic theory and science, led by Turing award winner Silvio Micali, who has dedicated his career to pioneering research in the field of cryptography.
Algorand competes with large payment and financial networks and focuses on industrial use-cases. One of the more notable use-cases involved the Marshall Island's plans to issue Central Bank Digital Currency.
Furthermore, Algorand offers highly-customizable smart contracts (ASCs), Asset Tokenization (Algorand Standard Assets), and Atomic Transfers built directly in Layer-1.
ALGO is the native asset of the Algorand Protocol and serves as the medium of exchange and store of value. ALGO must further be staked by network validators.
1. What is Algorand (ALGO)?
Algorand is dedicated to fulfilling the global promise of blockchain technology by leveraging the Algorand protocol and open-source software. With core beliefs in the establishment of an open and permissionless blockchain, the Algorand team has a vision for an inclusive ecosystem that provides an opportunity for everyone to harness the potential of an equitable and truly borderless economy.
At its core, Algorand is a permissionless, Pure Proof-of-Stake (PPoS) blockchain that ensures full participation, protection and speed within a truly decentralized network.
It also aims to remove technical barriers that have undermined mainstream blockchain adoption: decentralization, scale, and security.
Algorand is built by a team with deep roots in academic theory and science, led by Turing award winner Silvio Micali who has dedicated his career to pioneering research in the field of cryptography.
Pure Proof-of-Stake: Algorand uses a Pure Proof-of-Stake (PPoS) consensus protocol built on Byzantine agreement whereby the users' influence on the choice of a new block is proportional to their stake in the system (number of Algos).
Immediate transaction finality: Algorand blockchain does not fork as only one block can have the required threshold of signatures in order to be certified in a given round.
Self-selection: all users are randomly, secretly, and continuously selected to participate in the Algorand consensus protocol - neither a few delegated users nor a fixed committee is responsible for proposing blocks in Algorand.
User replaceability: participants change every round of block selection in order to protect the network against attackers - for each round, every set of participants is random and independent of earlier participants.
Its value proposition is centered around two elements:
Decentralization: the Algorand blockchain is entirely decentralized, and there is no powerful central authority or single point of control. A unique committee of users is randomly and secretly selected to approve every block. Nodes are run by entities representing diverse backgrounds across many different countries.
Permissionless: the network is public and open to all. Users do not need the approval of a trusted authority to use the Algorand blockchain. There is a single class of users and no gatekeepers. Every participant can read every block and have the opportunity to write a transaction in a future block. The Algorand platform also requires minimal processing power and modest IT resources to join. All online users who possess algos are automatically eligible to participate in block consensus.
ALGO is the currency of the Algorand Protocol and serves as the medium of exchange and store of value. The currency serves as the representation of Proof of Stake that facilitates consensus to validate and confirm new transactions.
2. Blockchain and network data
Algorand blockchain uses a decentralized Byzantine agreement protocol that uses pure proof of stake (PPOS) with high throughput, fast time to finality, and high security.
Consensus requires three steps to propose, confirm and write the block to the blockchain. These steps are: 1. propose, 2. soft vote and 3. certify vote. Each is described below, assuming the ideal case when there are no malicious nodes and the network is not partitioned (i.e., none of the network is down due to technical issues or from DOS attacks). Note that all messages are cryptographically signed and authenticated with the VRF in these steps.
2.2 Block proposal
In the block proposal phase, accounts are selected to propose new blocks to the network. This phase starts with every node in the network looping through each of the accounts that it manages, and for each account that is online and participating, running Algorand's VRF to determine if the account is selected to propose the block. The VRF acts similar to a weighted lottery where the number of Algos that the account has participating online affects the account's chance of being selected. Once an account is selected by the VRF, the node propagates the proposed block along with the VRF output, which proves that the account is a valid proposer. Algorand then moves from the propose step to the soft vote step.
2.3 Soft vote
The purpose of this phase is to filter the number of proposals down to one, guaranteeing that only one Block gets certified. Each node in the network will get many proposal messages from other nodes. Each node will validate the VRF proof of these messages.
2.4 Certify vote
A new committee checks the block proposal that was voted on in the Soft Vote stage for overspending, double-spending, or any other problems. If valid, the new committee votes again to certify the block.
2.5 Verifiable random function
Every block in Algorand reveals a new random and unpredictable selection seed that determines which users should participate in the next round of the consensus protocol.
When a new block gets committed to the blockchain, everyone becomes aware of this seed (and everyone sees the same seed). A user secretly checks whether they were selected to participate by evaluating a Verifiable Random Function (VRF) with their secret participation key and the selection seed. This computation is minimal, so even a limited device such as a Raspberry Pi can do it.
The VRF computation produces a pseudorandom output with a cryptographic proof that anyone can use to verify the result. By sending this proof, a user can prove to anyone that they were indeed selected to participate.
2.6 Participation keys
In Algorand, every online user who possesses algos can participate in the consensus protocol. To reduce exposure, users do not use their spending keys (i.e., the keys they use to spend stake) for consensus. Instead, a user who wishes to participate in the protocol generates and registers a participation key. With this key, an account can participate in proposing and voting on blocks. Using participation keys ensures that a user's algos are secure even if their participating node is compromised.
In an ongoing series of extended performance tests with 10,000 globally distributed participants and a uniform distribution of stake, the network consistently reached over 1,000 transactions per second (tps) with sub 5 second latency. It's important to note that uniform stake distribution is more difficult than what is seen in the real world and is the hardest stake distribution scenario for any proof-of-stake protocol to manage. Due the the efficiency of the network, the minimum transaction fee is 0.001 Algos.
3. Economics and supply
3.1 Key metrics
Private Fundraise 1
$4,000,000 equity raise in February 2018
Private Fundraise 2
$62,000,000 equity raise in October 2018
Team, Foundation & Investor Allocation
2,500,000,000 (25.0% of total supply)
Public Sale Allocation
3,000,000,000 (30% of total tokens over 5 Years; 600,000,000 max tokens per year)
Public Sale Price
Determined by market via Dutch Auctions $2.40 clearing price for 1st Dutch Auction
Public Sale Dates
Conducted periodically over 5 years, starting from June 19, 2019
3.2 Token supply distribution
The token supply distribution is as follows:
Team, Foundation & Investor tokens comprise 25.0% of the total token supply.
Public Sale tokens comprise 30.0% of the total token supply.
Node Running Grant tokens comprise 25.0% of the total token supply.
Participation Rewards tokens comprise 17.5% of the total token supply.
End User Grant tokens comprise 2.5% of the total token supply.
Additional detail on token dynamics can be found here.
ALGO token distribution (%)
Private sale overview
While Algorand did not conduct a private token sale, Algorand, Inc. (parent company) did conduct equity raises of $4,000,000 in February 2018 and $62,000,000 in October 2018 to fund protocol development. Equity investors own a portion of the Algorand, Inc. company.
Public sale overview
Algo tokens are distributed by the Algorand Foundation via a series of dutch auctions (detail on sales can be found here). The first auction was conducted on June 19th, 2019 with 25,000,000 tokens sold at a clearing price of $2.40 for a total capital raise of $60,000,000. The on-chain results of this first auction can be found here. Algorand will continue to conduct periodic, public auctions with a total auction supply of up to 600,000,000 ALGO per year over the next five years.
3.3 Token governance and use of funds
As of June 2019, Algorand Inc. has used its funds according to the allocations below:
52% Research and Development.
18% Community and Marketing.
30% General and Administrative.
The following chart represents the number and breakdown of all ALGO tokens that are to be released into circulation on a monthly basis.
Algorand operates an agile delivery process that is focused on shipping feature rich protocol upgrades every 3 to 6 months. Algorand grooms the backlog of features regularly in order to ensure the proper prioritization and focus of resources. Additionally, Algorand is open sourced and accepts community contributions. One of the advantages of the Algorand protocol is the low friction upgrade capability, which allows Algorand to deliver releases on a faster and more frequent cadence without disruption to the network.
4.3 2019/2020 roadmap
Vault: Algorand's solution to the blockchain storage problem
Vault decouples the storage of recent transactions from the storage of account balances, which enables Vault to delete old account state.
Vault allows sharding state across participants in a way that preserves strong security guarantees and introduces the notion of stamping certificates, which allow a new client to catch up securely and efficiently in a proof-of-stake system without having to verify every single block.
Pixel: Algorand's bandwidth reduction via better signatures
To operate in a consensual, decentralized, and secure manner, the Algorand protocol often asks multiple users to sign a common messageTo reduce the associated bandwidth while keeping the required security, Algorand uses a new digital signature scheme, Pixel, that allows both aggregation and forward security.
Self-validating transactions: Algorand's separation of conseensus and storage
Algorand's self-validating payment technology removes the need to maintain balances for the purpose of verifying blocks and/or individual payments.
Atomic² swaps: Algorand's (truly) atomic swaps
These enable cross-chain and intra-chain atomic swaps in a peer-to-peer fashion that are final and instantly confirmed.
These enable a user to post her property for sale, together with a proof of ownership, her chosen price, and an expiration date for her offer.
As soon as a buyer spots the offer and agrees to the price, Algorand allows him to make the trade without involving the seller at all.
4.4 Commercial partnerships and business development progress
Syncsort: Syncsort is a global software company specializing in Big Data, high speed sorting products, and data integration software and services. The partnership between Syncsort and Algorand will focus on solving use case specific challenges around data movement, data quality, and more.
TOP Network: TOP Network is a blockchain powered cloud communications network. Algorand and Top Network have entered into a strategic partnership to collaboratively research and develop scalable blockchain services and infrastructure components on the public chain platform.
OTOY: OTOY is a cloud rendering company delivering real-time cinematic quality 3D graphics through the browser. Together, OTOY and Algorand aim to democratize computing rendering power for the benefit of independent artists and major studios alike.
AssetBlock: AssetBlock is an investment company focused on the future of real estate and securities investing. AssetBlock and Algorand aim to partner and bring blockchain technology to real estate investment.
Flipside Crypto: Flipside Crypto is a market intelligence firm providing fundamental data on all major cryptocurrencies. With Flipside Crypto, Algorand developers will access clear, compelling data to help them drive adoption and direction.
5. Project team
Professor at MIT, co-inventor of probabilistic encryption, Zero-Knowledge Proofs, and Verifiable Random Functions; recipient of the Turing Award.
Former Founder and Chairman of Fuze and co-founder of BladeLogic lnc.
CTO & Head of Systems Research
Postdoc Researcher at MIT and Boston University. Former Research Staff at IBM.
W. Sean Ford
Former CMO at LogMeIn, CMO and COO of Zmags, CMO of Syncsort, and VP of Global Business Unit Marketing at Oracle.
Ph.D in Computer Science and Economics at MIT, co-inventors of Rational Interactive Proofs.
Head of Marketing
Former Senior Director for Customer Engagement and Field Marketing at Avid.
Head of Theory Research & Chief Scientist
Assistant Professor in the Computer Science at Stony Brook University, Recipient of the NSF CAREER Award in 2016.
Head of Cryptography
Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo, former Founder and CTO of StealthMine, and Researcher at IBM T.J. Watson Research Centre.
Head of Engireering Research
Former Senior Engineering Manager at Mozilla, Founder of FaceGuard, Lead Architect and Product Manager at Bit9 lnc.
Head of Investor Relations and BD
Former Principal at CH Counsulting, SVP in Corporate development and Strategic Alliances at Fuze.
Head of People & Talent
Former VP in HR Operations at TraceLink and Demandware, held HR related positions at Brookfield Renewable Power and Salary.com.
Head of Product
Former Senior Director in Product Management at Carbon Black and Global Product Manager at IBM.
Head of Mathematics
M.Eng. in Computer Science from MIT, Gold metalist at the International Mathematical Olympiad.
Head of Distributed Systems
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, recipient of several Best Paper Awards at the ACM SOSP conference.
Head Of Research
Former head of the Cryptography Research Group at IBM, recipient of the RSA Award.
Former researcher at Cryptography Research Group at IBM, creator of the first FHE scheme, recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Award.
Former researcher at IBM, recipient of the 2017 SIGSAC Outstanding Innovation Award and Eurocrypt 2013 Best Paper Award.
Former researcher at IBM, co-inventor of the HMAC message authentication algorithm and the designer of HKDF, recipient of the RSA Award and Levchin Prize.
Former researcher at IBM, recipient of the Prix de thèse Gilles Kahn 2017 and the Best Paper Award at Eurocrypt 2018.
Director of Engineering
Sr. Principal Software Engineer
Principal Software Engineer
Principal Software Engineer
Director of Engineering
Senior Software Engineer
6. Algorand's activity and community overview
6.1 Development activity
6.2 Social and community data
Algorand's focus to build the developer and end user communities is concentrated on providing the proper documentation, forums, tools and campaigns to drive adoption of the chain.
The core adoption strategy is based on three pillars:
Technology focus: Algorand believes its approach to blockchain is unique. It creates full transparency, protection, and speed within a truly decentralized network, an innovation that means velocity is on par with large payment and financial networks, while securely scaling to billions of users.
Algorand ambassords: Algorand has an active global community with volunteers regularly serving as ambassadors in their region. These participants (ambassadors) fill three key roles across developer relations, business community (those looking to build their business on top of Algorand), and content creation (those who are interested in creating content that helps the community). Further details on the ambassador program can be found here.
Community/developer enablement: Algorand promotes various initiatives and campaigns in key regions across the globe dedicated to supporting community growth and engagement. Platforms such as Bevy and Discourse create a foundation for online awareness and engagement along with developer evangelists who regularly travel to speak to user and developer groups globally.
Algorand provides a detailed collection of resources for developers and community members to learn more about the project: