Kaspa on Rust: Alpha Update. A Major Technical Pruning Upgrade | by Nathaniel Crowningshield | Coinmonks | May, 2023
A Major Technical Pruning Upgrade
In the rapidly advancing world of digital currencies, every development counts. A significant upgrade in the Kaspa network is making waves due to its potential to enhance transaction speed, reduce hardware demands, and offer exciting prospects for developers.
Developer Michael Sutton has introduced a new Rusty Kaspa feature known as “on-the-fly Header Pruning.” Although the term might seem highly technical, the essence of it is quite forthright: it’s about making the Kaspa network faster, more efficient, and even more attractive to both developers and users.
In the past 2-3 weeks I've been completely all-in in this "esoteric" task of implementing on-the-fly header-pruning for $kas on #rustlang. Now I know this sounds geeky as hell and unimportant, but I'm here today to explain why I see this as our last barrier before higher >> pic.twitter.com/VH1vyc4lgv
— Michael Sutton (@MichaelSuttonIL) May 23, 2023
‘Pruning’ is a process similar to a gardener trimming away dead branches to keep a tree healthy. In the context of digital currencies and blockchain technology, pruning refers to the automatic deletion of outdated or excessive data. What’s innovative about Kaspa’s recent update is that this pruning happens ‘on-the-fly.’ This means the process is continuous and automatic, without any need to pause or restart the system.
Previously, the Kaspa system featured pruning, but it was somewhat cumbersome, requiring manual intervention and regular maintenance. However, with this new automatic procedure, the network can stay streamlined and compact, take up less computer space (around 4–6GB in current mainnet settings and transaction throughput), and operate without unnecessary interruptions.
In the digital world of the Kaspa network, the higher the BPS, the faster transactions get processed. Pruning is crucial in this context because it ensures increased speed doesn’t compromise efficiency. In addition, removing extraneous data allows the system to run more smoothly, enabling faster transaction processing.
For developers, this is a tremendous boon. It offers the potential to build more robust and efficient applications atop the Kaspa network, ensuring the underlying system is designed to swiftly handle a high volume of transactions. The optimized performance could be a game-changer for applications that require rapid, secure, and efficient transaction processing.
Additionally, this technical upgrade effectively lowers the hardware barriers for running a node in the Kaspa network. With the reduced database size and quick network syncs, individuals or organisations don’t need highly advanced or expensive hardware to run a node. This aids in maintaining the decentralisation of the network, a fundamental tenet of blockchain technology.
Implementing this upgrade, however, wasn’t a straightforward task. The team faced the complex challenge of ensuring the network’s ‘connectivity’ — the capacity of one data block to reach another — wasn’t disrupted while pruning unnecessary data. After exploring various methodologies, the team found inspiration in a 1989 research paper that offered an elegant solution.
The new algorithm permits the pruning process and the routine acceptance of new data blocks to occur simultaneously, eliminating potential delays. Consequently, Kaspa network users won’t experience any ‘pauses’ or slowdowns when the system clears out its data.
This development is a substantial step forward for the Kaspa network. It facilitates higher transaction speeds, makes the network more efficient, and significantly reduces the hardware requirements for running a node. For developers, it opens up new possibilities for building advanced applications, fostering a more dynamic and innovative ecosystem. This upgrade exemplifies the exciting future of the Kaspa network and its commitment to continuously enhancing its platform.
Twitter Thread — I still recommend reading this thread, as it’s very insightful and not overly technical.
Tip: When diving into crypto technology, remember that efficient data management, like Kaspa’s ‘on-the-fly Header Pruning,’ is crucial to achieving optimal transaction speeds; understanding how these systems work can be a significant advantage in leveraging the blockDAG to its full potential.
Find me on the Kaspa discord — Bubblegum Lightning
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