Debunking / Elaborating Ouroborus Slowness

I appreciate different coins have different goals and different properties, and those properties are evolving, however I’m wondering if someone can debunk or verify the basics behind quoted timings in a recent article [1]. Now, I’m not at all interested in tic for tat, history, ego, who is an ass and who isn’t, or personal grudges or comparing to BTC (which is definitely not suited to commerce transactions nowadays), just how much truth is there behind these timings, at these magnitudes for examples you couldn’t use Ouroboros to pay for coffee - unless you want to annoy the waiting line behind you (the old lady looking for change annoyance) or sit around in the coffee shop for several minutes or hours, or coffee on trust/credit.

Block Interval:
Ouroboros: 20 seconds
Irreversible Confirmation:
Ouroboros: > 5 hours

Will Ouroborus be able to support micro payments in fast-paced in/out brick and mortar retail - the newspaper on the way to work, the bus ticket, the grab a coffee and go, the breakfast burger etc… I’d have to guess threshold would 3 seconds for authorization and maybe another 3 seconds for confirmations (whilst printing receipt etc…) if we’re gonna do better than contactless MC/Visa in these scenarios - I want checkouts to get faster not slower after all (queue rage). But maybe Cardano isn’t targetting these markets?

Please leave politics out of responses. Thanks


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Thanks for posting this. I read that article and I have similar questions.

I’d also like to know what the response is to the stated conclusion from that review:

"Cardano’s Ouroboros algorithm is not mathematically secure due to bad assumptions regarding the relationship between stake and individual-judgment being distributed by the pareto principle. Furthemore, their algorithm is not “new” but a less secure slower variation of the DPOS algorithm I originally introduced in April 2014. The authors of the paper failed to cite relevant prior art or to justify why their deviations from existing art are an improvement.

A blockchain consensus algorithm claiming to value peer review needs to consider who they consider their peers and all such reviews should be public. In the blockchain space, our peers are other blockchain technology companies. From this we can see that DPOS (and variations thereof) is one of the fastest growing consensus algorithms in terms of the number of unique projects choosing it.

I am going to go a step further and claim that much of the academic research and proofs performed by Cardano’s team only bolsters the support and justification of many core DPOS concepts, even if their approach is suboptimal compared to designs of EOS, BitShares, and Steem."

Already been discussed. See “Peer Review” post in beginners category.

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See "Peer review" by Dan Larimer - FUD? as mentioned by @Merlot

If he has something to show the algo isn’t secure, then he’s welcome to write a proof of concept to demonstrate his point. In the absence of that, all he says amounts to hot air.


The one thing I’m interested in, at this moment in time, is transaction time and time to irreversibility as highlighted by the scenarios I mentioned. The linked post and links within seem to focus on security, TPS, and origins of the work.

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You do realise, there are handful of people in the whole world that can give a meaningful opinion on the topic.
I am CS, my 2cents om the matter. All PoS tokens are unproven and something completely new, unlike PoW that has 10 years track record. Another thing, to cire fixed theoretical numbers at this time makes 0 sense to me, it seems more a personal EGO trip. It does not make sense because all those params cited will change, for all of the forementioned coins including ada. An this is just params not the core protocols. As far as peer review goes, where is the first journal of crypto tokens !? Exactly, we are in the very first second of the creation of the universe :smiley:


I think I get what your saying, I guess then I’m more asking if there anything in the early design/implementation that would suggest that 2-3second block gen and confirmation will not feasible for ADA now or in the future. I think eventually there will be multiple stable coins that win the game for different purposes, e.g Monero is hell bent on anonymization and they’ll probably corner that market pretty well, where might ADA not do so well there.

If it’s too early to say then fair enough… I can wait

I dare say one or more will emerge at some point, but

Absolutely not: “about 110 journals, 60 Conferences, 30 workshops are presently dedicated exclusively to cryptography”

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This is about cryptography in general, crypto tokens are just a small part of it, still no specialised PoW PoS dPoS journals?

First, there is alot misconception about confirmations. It is up to you, the retailer, to set that number to adequate level of trust. For example, if I am coffee seller I can go away with 1 confirmation, it will be in 1ms ( yes 1 millisecond) because I am also running a full node in my garage that I trust its not compromised. I can hand you the coffee the moment you broadcast your TX and I check your balance on my node ( 1confirmation). On the other hand, if I am selling my car/house I will wait 1000 confirmations till hanging the keys. This is valid for any blockchain currency BTW.


I am not sure where you got the greater than 5 hrs from. I think we are only recommending a few minutes to the exchanges and that was an over estimate.

TPS is artificially set low right now. With the focus on Ouroboros Praos , we will probably not set the TPS rate higher on the current implementation.

They are putting the finishing touches on the response doc.


When you publish these types of responses, put them in some wiki-able format, so you can go back and edit them in case something else is not clear rather than having a PDF response that you have to re-create, push out, etc.

I studied CS too and I too am not about to put the time into proving to myself the proofs in Ouroboros are correct. That said, if someone like Charles or one of the other academics who work on this can run through a simple use case of what happens during an entire transaction/run, many people would intuitively grasp the logic without all the formalisms.

Most people who are interested in this, particularly business types, aren’t going to become experts in discrete math so that they can read and understand the whitepapers, so it is truly incumbent upon IOHK to create a palatable presentation for most people to understand. I had a boss at a really, really large online retailer who said unless you can explain it to me on one page of paper, it doesn’t count…

Ok, so maybe one page of paper is asking too much, but IOHK could certainly create a presentation that is within an intuitive grasp of most tech/currency minded people and go from there…

Now there might be people who’d like to study through something like this:, to get the basics of discrete math down, but if you did this, you might as well major in computer science… Since this is a no-go for 99% of whomever is reading this plus the world… something more palatable would be GREATLY appreciated.


I imagine there will be a card which contains fiat which can be re-charged from your ada wallet. Essentially a monzo card fuelled by ada.

That’s what i would have done anyway

These “cards” are all bridging solutions though that only further support old school MC/Visa and all banking non-sense of KYC/AML, and geo-restrictions, that limit them and only put them into the hands of those already qualified for debit cards (and probably hold multiple of them). In additions the fees are often much higher than liquidating on an exchange or even coinbase and withdrawing to your bank or revolut etc… On top of that your cards viability is at the mercy of arbitrary decisions by the backing network for example

I am actually surprised Cardano Foundation announced making partnerships for a debit card, it something that should be left to private enterprise given the potential problems and commercial nature of fees etc, a foundation should stay well clear, to me at this very early stage it seemed distasteful to the credibility of the project and couldn’t help wonder if the announcement was some form of fuel for the rocket to the moon.

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"Spend Ada just as you would any other currency, by using a Cardano debit card. Once you have applied for and obtained your card, you will be able to send Ada from your Daedalus wallet to load your Cardano debit card. The funds will automatically be converted into the local currency of your choice, for example Yen or Yuan. You can use the debit card to pay merchants as you normally would, whether it be with online retailers or in bricks and mortar stores.

The chip and pin Cardano debit card will be linked to an app, which you can use to keep track of how much Ada is on your card and the transactions that you have made. Full details about how to get your Cardano debit card will be provided here soon."

Even though it’s pie in the sky at this stage this is exactly the kind of product a foundation should not be endorsing, this will backfire badly look at all the recent revoked crypto cards, I can’t figure out if it’s a stunt to pump or stupidity or just mere oversight in governance. I lost a lot of faith in Cardano governance after seeing this on the roadmap. To be clear I’m not downplaying the use of debit card as a bridge, I think it’s a great idea, it’s just odd as a shitcoin marketing scheme for a foundation in this early stage to linking to a debit card with all sorts of commercial consideration. My opinion. Anyone remember Paycoin?

Anyway we seem to have gone off-topic :slight_smile:

I think it’s a no brainer, once cardano becomes massive we’ll be turning crypto into fiat anyway, this would just make that effortless.

It’s an honest play. Of course it will be an optimal extra, purists could hold out that shops everywhere will accept Rai blocks.

They might go a bit hungry though.

The crypto cards that got revoked were all by a company called Wavecrest. They are a bank who was non compliant and visa shut them down.

Companies like Monaco and now TenX can become their own banks and issue their own cards. This is the way to go as you are not dependent on a 3rd party company to issue your cards. There is no reason anyone cannot do this, it just takes a lot of resources and time setting up the bank and following compliance rules for each area you serve.

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