Publication Date

Spring 2023

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Thomas Austin

Second Advisor

Chris Pollett

Third Advisor

Katerina Potika


Blockchain consensus, Proof-of-Stake (PoS), Proof-of-work (PoW), Algorand, Verifiable Random Functions (VRFs), Byzantine Agreement, SpartanGold.


Consensus protocols are critical for any blockchain technology, and Proof-of- Stake (PoS) protocols have gained popularity due to their advantages over Proof-of- Work (PoW) protocols in terms of scalability and efficiency. However, existing PoS mechanisms, such as delegated and bonded PoS, suffer from security and usability issues. Pure PoS (PPoS) protocols provide a stronger decentralization and offer a potential solution to these problems. Algorand, a well-known cryptocurrency, employs a PPoS protocol that utilizes a new Byzantine Agreement (BA) mechanism for consensus and Verifiable Random Functions (VRFs) to securely scale the protocol to accommodate many participants, making it possible to handle a growing number of clients with ease. In this research, we explore, implement, and document all the essential steps of the algorithm for any given round that leads to publishing a block, and we evaluate the performance and stability of Algorand using various numbers of users, their stakes, and network settings. To simulate the protocol, we extend the Spar- tanGold blockchain framework, which currently uses a PoW protocol, and convert it into a PoS model. Our results show that the PPoS protocol developed by Algorand is highly scalable, achieving consensus quickly and efficiently, even in the presence of malicious users or network partitions and offers higher security and Byzantine fault tolerance compared to traditional PoW and other PoS-based protocols.