The Ontology Team

When individuals see one thing taking place in actual life, they have an inclination to create potential options which can be opposite to what truly occurred. This tendency is known as “Counterfactual pondering” by Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel laureate in Economics. You may marvel what CounterFactual has to do with blockchain?

On this article, the creator want to share a few of his ideas on blockchain CounterFactual and what it might do for us.

CounterFactual (CF) pondering is, because it states: “counter to the details”. These ideas include the “What if?” and the “If I had solely…” that happen when pondering of how issues may have turned out in another way. CounterFactual ideas embody issues that–within the current–now may by no means occur in actuality as a result of they solely pertain to occasions which have occurred up to now.

From the attitude of blockchain, CounterFactual means: the transaction consequence may very well be obtained on-chain, however in actuality, the execution consequence isn’t obtained on-chain.

Within the off-chain scaling know-how of blockchain, CF refers to CounterFactual Instantiation, which is derived from a state channel-based off-chain scaling know-how proposed by L4Lab. It’s broadly studied and promoted as a kind of blockchain scaling design within the subject of blockchain analysis.

CounterFactual Instantiation signifies that good contracts may be deployed on the off-chain CF state channel, as a substitute of being counterfactually instantiated on the blockchain. So long as all individuals of good contracts observe the strategies outlined within the CF state channel protocol, the execution outcomes of the operations within the state channel are absolutely equal to these executed on the blockchain.

Merely put, off-chain CF state channels can obtain the identical outcomes because the blockchain, which embody not solely the state information of good contracts but in addition the trustless function of the blockchain (traceability and irreversibility at its core). For the reason that outcomes are the identical, why not transfer most good contract operations off of the chain, contemplating the restricted blockchain efficiency and the cost-effectiveness of the off-chain answer.

Within the L4 Paper, the CF state channel protocol is outlined as under:

Roughly talking, for any on-chain operation X that may be channelized, we use counterfactual X to speak concerning the case the place

1. X may occur on-chain, however doesn’t;

2. The enforcement mechanism permits any participant to unilaterally make X occur;

3. Members can act as if X has occurred.

As a coder, once I see an utility protocol, the primary response is to confirm the completeness of the protocol, analyze its feasibility, create its utility boundary, after which take into consideration methods to implement it.

Let’s now take a more in-depth take a look at the three standards within the definition of CF state channel:

1. First, CF state channel and blockchain execution atmosphere are equal. Any operations within the state channel should be absolutely equal to these within the blockchain execution atmosphere. Subsequently, which execution atmosphere customers select is irrelevant to the protocols;

2. Based mostly on the primary criterion, the second criterion defines the equity and trustless function of CF state channel, or just “being safe”. State channels are truthful to all individuals. State modification attributable to every operation should be viewable and verifiable to all individuals. Based mostly on the primary criterion, anybody can instantly synchronize the state modification on-chain. Subsequently, for state channel individuals, CF state channels are as safe as blockchain;

3. The third criterion defines the consistency and finality of CF state channel. Operations and channelized state throughout the channel should be constant to all individuals and should be immediately finalized. This will make sure the traceability and irreversibility of the state channel for all individuals.

From the above, we will see that CF state channels absolutely possess the prevailing blockchain properties, akin to consistency, irreversibility, safety, and finality. Utilizing CF state channels as an off-chain scaling method won’t compromise the safety of blockchain functions.

Within the subsequent articles, we’ll dive into the CF state channel protocol and check out its utility boundary.

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