South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency ‘ICON’ unveils a new novel consensus algorithm ‘LFT2’

Cryptocurrencies are powered by distributed systems that depend on consensus algorithms to verify all transactions in a trustless manner. Bitcoin and Ethereum, two of the most popular cryptocurrencies today, use Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus, which has been criticized for its slowness and high energy consumption. Various types of Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT) consensus have been popular amongst newer cryptocurrencies such as EOS (Pipelined) and Cosmos (Tendermint). LFT2 has proven performance improvements over PBFT in the areas of scalability and network bandwidth without compromising two fundamental requirements – safety and liveness. 

In simplest terms, PBFT-based algorithms require a large number of message exchanges to reach consensus for one block. LFT2 has reduced the message traffic that is needed for the PBFT-based consensus algorithms from 3 to 2 steps without compromising safety and liveness. By reducing the network load, voting can be done faster, improving overall throughput and reducing network latency.

LFT2 has been audited by the KAIST University research team that discovered problems with Federated Byzantine Agreement (FBA) consensus algorithm used by Stellar, a top 15 cryptocurrency, in a 2019 published report Is Stellar As Secure As You Think?. For LFT2, KAIST University team wrote, “We analyze a consensus algorithm called LFT2, which is used by a blockchain system, ICON. We prove that LFT2 satisfies safety and liveness, where a certain assumption is required to prove liveness.” The full audit report is published on

“We’re proud of our accomplishments with LFT2. This alone clearly shows why ICON is the top Korean project. But, we still have a lot of work ahead of us,” said Min Kim, ICON Foundation Council Member and Founder of the ICON Project. “ICON was once dubbed the ‘Korean Ethereum’. We’ve come a long way since then. LFT2 is hard evidence that ICON and Korea now have the technical prowess to innovate head-to-head with global blockchain projects like Ethereum.”

Founded in August 2017, ICON is the largest and most well-known cryptocurrency project from South Korea. ICON aims to build a hybrid blockchain network that bridges autonomous online communities and real-world private enterprises. ICON is currently the 8th most utilized blockchain and fully decentralized with 120 validators from around the world. LFT2 is scheduled to be implemented later this year.

For more information:
Official Blog Post
LFT2 White Paper
‘Analysis on LFT2’ Audit Report by KAIST University Team
LFT2 Code 

Ricky Dodds
ICON Foundation
[email protected]

SOURCE ICON Foundation

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