What is a Pillar?

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What is a Pillar?

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TL;DR:

In Zenon Network, a "Pillar" is a special type of network node that plays a crucial role in the consensus process and network security. Pillars are responsible for validating transactions, participating in the creation of blocks, and maintaining the integrity and efficiency of the network.

Detailed Explanation:

In the Zenon Network's ecosystem, Pillars are integral components with several specific functions and characteristics:

Consensus Participation: Pillars are involved in the network's consensus mechanism. They receive information about transactions after completing their proof of work and broadcast special transactions to all other Pillar nodes. This broadcasting signifies that a Pillar has completed the PoW for a particular epoch and is ready to progress to the next one.

Message Support and Network Efficiency: A Pillar can support a certain number of messages during an epoch, contributing to the network's efficiency. For instance, under optimal conditions, a Pillar might support up to 1000 messages per second.

Handling Transactions and Ensuring Integrity: Pillars play a role in incorporating transactions into the consensus ledger. They initially mark transactions as undecided and are involved in detecting and resolving issues like double-spending. This ensures the legitimacy and integrity of transactions in the network.

Stake Locking and Delegation: Nodes in the Zenon Network can lock a certain amount of stake to become Pillars. The virtual voting process in the consensus algorithm is influenced by the total stake during a virtual epoch. Pillar nodes with stake are crucial in making decisions to finalize transactions. They have an "unstaking period" during which they can't withdraw their stake, ensuring commitment to the network's stability.

Participation in Consensus Rounds: Pillars are required to compute a proof of work with adjustable difficulty in each consensus round or epoch. They mark the completion of this PoW with a special transaction, which is essential for the network’s operation.

In essence, Pillars are not just regular nodes; they are key players in maintaining the network's functionality, security, and integrity. They perform critical tasks in transaction validation, block creation, and overall network governance, supported by a system of incentives and responsibilities. It's important to node that as of this writing virtual voting and Pillar PoW are not implemented, but are on the roadmap design.