In this series of articles we try to examine different elements listed on the eCash Roadmap. Today’s element is a foundational piece of technology that will not be directly noticed by normal users but all the pieces must fall in place to achieve eCash’s goals of being sound money and achieving the status of wealth redefined.
This next piece of the puzzle has to do with the security and the reliability of the communications between nodes. Today’s internet stands on the shoulders of an old protocol called TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) which governs all interactions among peers on the web. While TCP is perfectly fine for some operations, it falls short when it comes to what eCash aims to do.
Enter QUIC. QUIC is a protocol designed to improve what TCP has established by adding more features akin to what modern apps require. First developed by Google and announced in 2013 to bring better performance to the internet, a specification proposed to the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) in 2015. There a working group redesigned and improved into the new QUIC protocol which the IETF standardized earlier this year
But how does QUIC work?
QUIC is built upon UDP (User Datagram Protocol) and uses a series of parallelized connections to improve the reliability and the speed of a determined connection between a server and a client. This makes it extremely useful when dealing with heavy data and time-sensitive jobs, such as block transporting and chain synchronization.
According to estimations made by Google in 2017, QUIC can improve the loading speed of search queries by 8% on PC and 4% on mobile and reduce YouTube buffering times by up to 18% on computers and 15% on phones.
Specific Benefits Of QUIC In eCash:
While QUIC is undoubtedly an upgrade over TCP, and for transporting information quickly from a server to a client and vice-versa, the real advantage lies in the privacy and security it provides. Specifically for eCash, there are three important things that QUIC improves:
First, QUIC encrypts all data by default. This helps messages avoid what are called MITM (man in the middle) attacks. Secondly, all QUIC messages will be already authenticated by both server and client. And lastly, it allows for asynchronous transmission of messages due to its parallelization capabilities. messages need to be sent from one node to another in a sequential manner. This means important messages (such as the discovery of a new block) don’t have to wait for low-priority ones to be sent.
QUIC and Avalanche
QUIC can be seen as a must for the implementation of all things Avalanche in eCash. This is because it provides a secure path for servers to communicate among themselves. The messages in Avalanche can be created easily, and the introduction of fakes could cause some kind of confusion in the network. This is why eCash establishes QUIC as a prerequisite for Avalanche, making it possible to establish encrypted channels among nodes.
So, QUIC makes the roads that will guide the Avalanche implementation in eCash.