Asynchronous Operations in Blockchain

Asynchronous are events that do not happen at the same time or at the same speed.

What is asynchronous?

In computer science, asynchronous refers to the occurrence of events that are independent of the actual program. Events in an asynchronous system synchronize actions (changes in the system) rather than a universal clock signal. The reliability of asynchronous systems does not depend on extraneous signals or messages.

Asynchronous systems are usually built with a modular design. In such networks, each module can operate autonomously, but still communicate with others. Eventually, these interconnected components are combined to create a functioning solution/system.

Asynchronous communication can be used to produce a process in which data arrives sequentially rather than in a continuous stream. Popular examples are online forums or email where people send messages at different times.

Asynchronous or semi-synchronous blockchain networks are widely used in the cryptocurrency industry. This is because networks do not give nodes feedback on the state of the data they transmit. In doing so, nodes may have different opinions about the overall impact of the network. Transaction throughput is increased because nodes do not have to wait in line while their messages are processed by other nodes.

The purpose of semi-synchronous networks is to prevent any splits in the global state of the network. This can break the unanimity of the nodes. Such networks prioritize reliability and availability. Promoting availability will help all transactions execute without delay. However, if the network prefers to emphasize consistency, some transactions may not be executed or may be delayed until all previous transactions have been confirmed.

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