- The IOTA Community has been invited to give feedback
- The Coo acts as a checkpoint on the Tangle network
- Removing the Coordinator will help to improve Tangle
Dubbed znet, the world’s first iteration of the Coordinator-less testnet has already been running for a few weeks. IOTA now opens it up for the community to participate in its trial run and send their feedback.
The announcement comes via a March 5, 2019, blog post that has invited the IOTA community members to participate in the discussion on Discord besides checking out the live visualization of the znet Tangle and send their feedback.
Members have been encouraged to use the CLIRI Github repo to report any issues and code by running CLIRI nodes to join the network.
A Checkpoint on the Tangle
According to the announcement, the Coo-less IRI (CLIRI), which is a fork of the IRI, has had all the Coo-related components removed to create a testing ground to run a Coordinator –less IOTA network to understand any difficulties a Coordinator-less MainNet could face. This is being done to protect the Tangle in its initial phase attacks.
The Coordinator (Coo) is a unique node that’s operated by the IOTA Foundation. The Coo regularly publishes zero-value transactions that act as a checkpoint on the Tangle. The transactions, known as “milestones”, define the direction, on which Tangle is being driven. Transactions can only be confirmed by the coordinator either directly or indirectly via a “milestone.”
Sharp Criticism in Cryptoshpere
The use of the Coordinator has been sharply criticized in cryptosphere because the IOTA foundation has the final say on the network’s status quo. While the Foundation can’t retroactively invalidate transactions, it retains the freedom to de-fact freeze deposits of participants in the system should the coordinator fail to take their transaction into account when publishing milestones. Worse still, any malicious attack on the coordinator could easily paralyze the entire Tangle ecosystem.
The Coo, it has been said, also inhibits scalability of the IOTA blockchain, which is supposed to be the greatest strength of the protocol. All the criticism on the Coordinator is based on centralization and this is the problem that IOTA is solving by removing the Coordinator. The foundation said a few days ago in its blog:
“The short answer is that the coordinator can and will be removed if our research team is convinced that we sufficiently understand the coordinator-free Tangle. “
Test Different Approaches
By Launching the Coordinator-less Testnet, the IOTA Foundation hopes to test different theoretic approaches as it plans to make IOTA a long-term centralized IoT platform devoid of scaling problems. IOTA is planning to eliminate centralization from its network using the Coo-less approach and the Zero-Value Testnet (znet) gives community members a chance to send their contribution.