POA Network is an open source public Ethereum side chain utilizing a Proof of Authority consensus mechanism that enables organization to launch their own network outside of Ethereum, so as to avoid fees and network congestion.
POA Network is an open source public Ethereum side chain utilizing a Proof of Authority consensus mechanism. The value of the POA Network is that any organization may launch their own network outside of Ethereum, so as to avoid fees and network congestion, yet can transfer tokens between their native chain and the Ethereum blockchain, so that holders are more connected to the larger Ethereum ecosystem. The project intends to achieve blockchain interoperability and scalability by building interledger bridge technology long term, while the native POA Network blockchain serves as a general purpose blockchain that allows for Dapp development, or launching unique networks that may draw from POA network’s toolkit supporting POA consensus but feature different block validators. The project imagines that cross-chain bridge technology will pave the way for atomic swaps, assets migrations, outsourcing calculations to the most price and speed competitive networks and other new types of interactions. CTO and co-founder Igor Barinov previously co-founded Blocknotary.
The network’s POA consensus mechanism uniquely requires block validators to sign a legal agreement with the network making hard fork decisions legally binding, provide their name, home address, consent to a criminal background check, and be an official U.S. notary. So, to be approved and participate in the consensus process, validators must stake their identity and, by extension, their reputation. Faster block time, compared to Ethereum, is a key benefit of the POA consensus mechanism. POA Network also aims to enable interoperability with the Ethereum blockchain via its open-source POA Bridge technology and has so far launched a POA20 bridge in May 2018, that allows POA tokens to flow between POA and Ethereum, and a Binance Chain bridge in September 2019, that offers interoperability between any Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-based blockchain and Binance Chain.
At the same time, POA’s development team is working on a new asynchronous consensus protocol, called Honey Badger BFT or HBBFT that will supposedly strengthen the security of the POA network.
POA, the network’s native token, is used to execute smart contracts and aims to make the process faster and less costly compared to Ethereum. For dApps to function on the network, dApp developers must integrate POA tokens into their applications. Additionally, the network mints POA-20 tokens that are ERC-20 compatible as a path to proving that the cross-chain bridge they have created is a viable solution for addressing cross-chain interoperability. While not necessary, users can choose to convert their native POA tokens into the equivalent amount of POA20 tokens (and vice versa) by utilizing Metamask along with the network’s bridge dApp, POA Bridge. Transferring native POA into POA20 tokens does not increase or otherwise affect the circulating supply of POA native tokens. The original POA token is locked upon transfer, and POA20 are minted to the user. When POA20 are transferred back into POA, they are burned while POA are unlocked.
POA Network launched a testnet in August 2017 with a set of 12 initial validators and the mainnet launched in December 2017.