Mana makes its way into the IOTA test network – decentralisation is getting closer
IOTA continues to move towards a decentralised tangle. With Mana, a reputation system has now found its way into the test network Pollen, which is intended to replace the Coordinator in the long term.
IOTA wants to become the technological backbone for the Internet of Things (IoT). To get closer to this goal, the IOTA developers are working at full speed on decentralising the network. This is because there is still a central control module, the coordinator. So far, the coordinator, which is operated by the IOTA Foundation, still ensures the Bitcoin Union finality of transactions in the Tangle, IOTA’s network for the transfer of values and data. With the Mana reputation system, a procedure is now being tested in the IOTA test network Pollen that should pave the way for decentralised IOTA 2.0 (aka „Coordicide“).
This was announced by the IOTA Foundation on 11 March in a blog entry on the release of Pollen v0.5.0. In Pollen, Mana will first be put through its paces, i.e. bugs and stability.
The next step is to implement Mana in the IOTA core modules, which it is supposed to protect against Sybil attacks. These include, for example, the modules for the „Fast Probability Consensus“ consensus mechanism, autopeering (the automatic determination of neighbouring network nodes) or a generator for random numbers.
Consensus Mana and Access Mana
The way Mana works is remotely reminiscent of the proof-of-stake mechanism used by other crypto-networks to build consensus. For each transaction (of value, not data), a certain amount of mana should be allocated to a node. This in turn increases its reputation. If the node turns out to be a dishonest actor – for example, by propagating false transactions to the network – the holders can withdraw the allocated mana and delegate it to another network node. The mana used for reputation on the network is called consensus mana
In addition, Mana is said to play a role in controlling network traffic load in the Tangle. The amount of data a node feeds into the network is supposed to be proportional to the mana it has been allocated. This is called „access mana“. In the future, a market for access mana could also emerge: Companies that want to operate a node in IOTA could buy into the network with mana.