What is Algorand Network? Features, benefits & all you should know

With smart contracts getting introduced by the Ethereum blockchain shortly after Bitcoin and the concept of cryptocurrencies were launched, the world got excited about learning what this blockchain technology had to offer. Unfortunately, the smart contracts that most of these crypto offered had some shortcomings, one of which was scalability. The scalability problems of smart contracts made it unable to satisfy the needs of real-world applications. This hindrance called for the design and launch of the Algorand Network in 2017, which had technology that solved all the problems faced by many other smart contract networks. So what Is Algorand Network and how does it work? From its unique consensus mechanism to its extremely fast processing of transactions, let’s delve into the features, benefits, and drawbacks of the Algorand network.

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Understanding the Algorand network

So what is Algorand and what is the Algorand network? ALGO, short for Algorand, is a cryptocurrency and blockchain-based platform that was designed to develop a very secure and scalable network that can be used to process transactions and execute smart contracts. Founded in 2017 by Silvio Micali, this platform handles the problems of speed, security, and decentralization encountered by numerous cryptocurrencies. 

Essentially, Algorand uses a distinctive consensus algorithm known as the Pure Proof of Stake (PPoS) to offer quick, low-cost transactions to users. Also, it is developed to handle minor delays, which makes it a scalable platform capable of processing multiple transactions simultaneously. 

Just like many other kinds of cryptocurrencies, Algorand is decentralized. This means that no single entity has complete control and management over the network, which safeguards it against cyber attacks and any form of manipulation.

Lastly, the platform is capable of executing smart contracts, which enables developers to automate and implement complex agreements and transactions on the network.

How does Algorand work?

Essentially, the Algorand network employs the Pure Proof of Stake (PPoS) consensus algorithm to execute fast transactions. This simply means that participants of the network are chosen based on their staking (holding ALGO tokens which helps to secure the network) to both verify and validate the network’s transactions. This process happens via the appointment of different validators who are responsible for verifying transactions on the Algroand network.

Also, smart contracts can be executed on the Algorand network, which allows developers to automate and implement complex agreements and other kinds of transactions. All of these make Algorand a very versatile platform for building applications in different industries. Industries like insurance, finance, and supply chain management greatly benefit from the Algroand network.

What are the core features of the Algorand platform?

Helium (HNT)

The core features of the Algroand network include:

1. Smart contracts

The circulation of smart contracts is very expensive, and the current technology is not scalable enough to satisfy the needs of real-world applications. Hence, these obstacles must be removed for smart contracts to become more widely adopted around the world. Fortunately, these hurdles m are eradicated by Algorand’s smart contracts (ASC1). 

The ASC1 is a trusted, seamless blockchain solution with verified performance. Algrorand’s smart contracts (ASC1) are not just faster, more scalable, and less expensive, but they are also generally functionally advanced. This enables the sophisticated processing of complicated applications. 

2. Algorand Standard Assets (ASA)

On the Algorand blockchain network, Algorand Standard Assets (ASA) offer a unique standardized, Layer-1 mechanism. This mechanism is used for depicting any kind of asset on the network. Even assets that are non-fungible, fungible, restricted fungible, or even restricted non-fungible may be incorporated in this category. 

3. Enabled by the ASA (Algorand Standard Assets)

The authorized name for assets found on the Algroand network is ASA (Algorand Standard Assets). This network’s protocol supports the production of on-chain assets, which profit from the exact same speed, security, compatibility, and ease of use as the Algo network w.

The ALGO token

The ALGO token performs numerous roles within the Algorand ecosystem. Its first function is as a staking token, thereby allowing the network’s participants to contribute to consensus algorithms and be assigned to validate transactions. Also, ALGO functions as a mode of payment in the Algorand ecosystem, just like money. As a mode of payment, it helps to implement the execution of smart contracts and other kinds of. In addition, the token serves as a reward to Algorand network validators as well as other network participants.

Lastly, ALGO token plays an important part in the decision-making process of the whole Algorand ecosystem. Holders of these tokens are allowed to partake in the decision-making processes and suggested changes to the network can be voted on.

What are the fees for the Algorand network?

Generally, fees in the Algorand Network are estimated based on the size of the transaction you initiate. Also, as a user, you can decide to increase a transaction fee to help prioritize your acceptance into a block when the network traffic is very high and blocks on the chain are consistently full. There are no gas fees on the Algorand network. The minimum fee for one transaction is just 1,000 microAlgos or 0.001 Algos.

What is the technology behind ALGO?

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Algorand has a handful of unique technological features that separate it from other blockchain platforms. Here are some of the important features:

1. Pure Proof of Stake (PPOS)

An important part of the fundamental technology of the Algorand network is the Pure Proof of Stake (PPoS) consensus algorithm. Essentially, this algorithm makes use of users’ Algo tokens to boost their authority in the network, which eventually increases their likelihood of assigning the next blocks for the Algoand blockchain. This allows the network to sustain a higher transaction rate compared to other kinds of blockchains using the Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm.

2. Multi-Asset Functionality

Algorand operates using a distinctive multi-asset functionality that supports different kinds of assets like cryptocurrencies, stocks, as well as other securities. This feature permits companies and organizations to develop and use their assets or tokens on the Algorand platform.

3. Algorithmically Synchronized Randomness (ASR)

Another crucial part of the technology behind the Algorand network is Algorithmically Synchronized Randomness (ASR). Essentially, the ASR guarantees a random designation of network validators for each block on the Algroand blockchain. This results in a higher grade of decentralization and security on the platform and makes it difficult for hackers or attackers to influence transaction validation.

Lastly, the Algorand network is specially designed for seamless integration with existing ecosystems, utilizing a very explicit development environment. This makes it much simpler and quicker for developers to make use of Algorand.

What is the Algorand Ecosystem Made of? 

The Algorand ecosystem is made up of components. Some of these components include:

  • The Algorand Protocol: This is the underlying technical platform upon which the Algorand blockchain network is built.
  • Algorand Token (ALGO): ALGO token forms the foundation of Algorand’s token economy and performs different functions.
  • The Algorand Community: These are participants in the Algorand blockchain network. They may include developers, validators, users, and anyone contributing to the Algorand network and ecosystem.
  • Decentralized Applications (DApps): These are apps developed on the Algorand protocol with different functions. Some of their functions may include financial services, identity management, and supply chain. 
  • Partners and Investors: Partners and investors are people who are also involved in the Algorand ecosystem, including institutions, companies, as well as venture capital funds.

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What are the benefits of Algorand?

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Algorand is an innovative blockchain platform that provides numerous advantages to both individuals and organizations. Some of the key benefits of the Algorand network include:

  • Efficiency: This means that the network is very suitable for high-volume applications.
  • Security: Algorand makes use of a Byzantine Fault Tolerance consensus algorithm, which ensures data integrity on their blockchain.
  • Cost Savings: Algorand’s consensus algorithm is specifically designed to be very cost-effective.
  • User-Friendly: The Algorand network is developed with a very intuitive user interface.
  • Low Transaction Costs: The Algorand network is cheaper than many other blockchains, which makes it more attractive to both users and developers.

What are the drawbacks of the Algorand network? 

No blockchain network is 100% perfect, so Algorand also has its own drawbacks. Some of its drawbacks include: 

  • The fundamental technology behind Algorand may be very complicated for non-technical users.
  • Due to its unique Proof of Stake system, Algorand has a greater dependency on stakers than other Proof of Work-based platforms.
  • People have to buy the Algo tokens before they will be allowed to participate in the network. This can be an obstacle for new users.

How Does Algorand’s consensus mechanism work?

One of the exceptional features of the Algorand platform is its distinctive consensus mechanism. Let’s give a breakdown of this consensus mechanism, so you can understand how Algorand acquires its scalability and very high transaction speed.

1. Pure Proof-of-Stake

Algorand uses a distinctive consensus mechanism known as pure proof-of-stake (PPoS). Unlike other cryptocurrencies, this network’s consensus mechanism guarantees that all participants involved have an equal chance of getting chosen to suggest and validate blocks on the network, thereby promoting equality and security in the network.

Hence, this unique mechanism permits Algorand to attain decentralization without giving up scalability or security. It’s specifically designed to be immune to attacks and offer quick and definitive transactions. This enables it to deal with large-scale applications and very high-speed transactions.

2. Transaction speed and scalability

A major benefit of the Algorand platform is its very high transaction speed and high scalability. Essentially, Algorand’s consensus mechanism guarantees fast and definitive transaction verifications, with block confirmation times of less than 5 seconds and high scalability to help process and execute thousands of transactions per second.

In reality, the Algorand blockchain can deal with more than 1,000 transactions per second (TPS) and has a latency of less than five seconds. This makes it one of the fastest, most seamless, and most scalable blockchain networks currently in existence. Additionally, the platform attains finality within roughly 4.4 seconds per block and is capable of processing more than 1,200 transactions per second (ps). 

All of these features make Algorand very suitable for different kinds of applications, including financial transactions apps, supply chain management apps, and even decentralized exchanges. 

Price and supply of Algo

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Since Algo is a cryptocurrency, its price generally experiences fluctuations based on market conditions. However, as of December 2023, the price of Algo is $0.23, according to CoinMarketCap. 

As for the supply of the ALGO token, it is fixed and immutable, after it was established at the establishment of the Algorand blockchain. This complete transparency offered by the network allows users to check how many Algo tokens are in circulation at any given time.

Real-world applications/use cases of Algorand

Algorand’s unique technology and features have been the backbone of numerous real-world applications, which makes it far more than just a hypothetical idea in the world of blockchain technology. 

1. Tokenization of assets

Algorand’s blockchain is specifically designed to sustain the tokenization of different assets. This enables the design of digital illustrations of real-life assets like financial instruments, real estate, as well as intellectual property rights. This unique feature causes increased accessibility and very high liquidity to traditionally illiquid markets. Also, it guarantees secure and transparent transactions.

2. Development of decentralized applications

Algorand’s Pure Proof-of-Stake (PPoS) consensus protocol also supports low transaction costs, fast finality, and very high throughput. This makes the network very suitable for different applications, including supply chain, financial services as well as decentralized finance (DeFi).

Moreover, with Algorand offering smart contract functionality on its network, developers can develop decentralized applications (dApps) directly on the Algo platform. This makes it possible to develop a wide range of applications, from creating lending platforms to building decentralized exchanges on Algorand.

Who is the Founder of Algorand?

The founder of the Algorand network is Silvio Micali. Micali is an Italian computer scientist and a reputable professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is well known for his innovative research and vast contributions to both cryptography and distributed computing. Micali is a celebrated industry expert and is regarded as one of the most influential persons in the world of cryptography.

Trade with Algorand network on Bitmama
Trade with Algorand network on Bitmama

As the demand for very secure and efficient cryptocurrencies continues to increase, the role of unique platforms like Algorand in molding the future of decentralization cannot be overestimated. This distinctive blockchain network has provided a solution to a lot of hindrances existing in other crypto networks. Also, since Algorand is designed to offer low transaction costs, it is generally more attractive to crypto users and developers around the world. Now that we’ve discussed what Algorand Network is, its features, benefits, and drawbacks, you should note that just like other cryptocurrencies, the future of this network is uncertain. When it comes to the crypto market, nothing’s guaranteed because of its high volatility. So understand that any investment made in cryptocurrencies is risky. Nonetheless, the real-life use cases of this network boast immense potential. 

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Dec 25, 2023

10 mins read

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