IOTA Pollen v0.4.0 delivers full compatibility for ‘new’ Multiverse consensus

  • IOTA Pollen v0.4.0 lays the groundwork for the rollout of Mana and Nectar.
  • The release is also fully compatible with the “Tangle Multiverse,” which is simpler, safer, more robust, and scales better than FPC.

On Friday, the IOTA Foundation released v0.4.0, a new update for the Pollen testnet on its path to Coordicide (IOTA 2.0). Via Twitter, the foundation wrote that it marks an important step towards Nectar “as it introduces the new and simplified data-flow, the core of Coordicide” and is also an important step before the launch of Mana.

As the blog post reveals, v0.4.0 of Pollen removes the Value Tangle (“Value Tangle”) and incorporates its logic directly into the Message Tangle, as well as adding/revising the Approval SwitchMarkers, and many other features. The removal of the Value Tangle serves to simplify the protocol to better handle orphaned messages. In addition, “thanks to the introduction of the approval switch, data messages inclusion is independent from the transaction outcome.”

For Mana, the new version lays the groundwork as the changes and optimizations “as the markers integration and the efficient past/future cone membership checks” allow moving forward with Mana integration:

We will soon introduce Mana and set a key step towards Nectar. It will enable the implementation of the missing component such as the approval weight for message finality and the congestion control.

Pollen is already Multiverse compatible

However, as Hans Moog, developer at the IOTA Foundation, also revealed via Twitter, the v0.4.0 introduces the “full parallel reality-based ledger state, which means the version is fully compatible with the multiverse.”

The IOTA community showed confusion after this tweet, as Fast Probabilistic Consensus (FPC) is the consensus protocol officially planned for Coordicide. Moog then clarified that it was the IOTA Foundation’s decision to test both options, with ledger status originally developed for FPC. According to Moog, Multiverse “just needed some additional functionality which was not present in the first version since we wanted to focus on getting the testnet out as fast as possible.”

Ultimately, FPC also uses Multiverse Consensus as a recovery mechanism, “since it is able to recover from things like eclipse attacks, network splits and so on, which FPC can not.” In addition, Multiverse offers numerous advantages, but has not been explored enough to completely replace FPC:

Multiverse is simpler, more secure/robust, scales better and is much faster but we are not sure if an attacker could prevent it from “tipping” and therefore making a decision by keeping two conflicting subtangles at the same weight. By combining FPC and Multiverse we get the robustness of Multiverse while being sure that FPC will break the “meta stable” states.

Tbh. I think that even Multiverse shouldn’t really get stuck in metastable states but this is not really researched well enough to ditch FPC completely. But we are looking at metastability-breaking mechanisms for Multiverse in parallel so we will hopefully know more soon.

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