What does Canonical mean?
Accepted as authoritative. In some mathematics, canonical is more strictly defined as a unique way of representing an object without any arbitrary choices.
There are many terms used in blockchain that are problematic because the field does not use them in a consistent way. Canonical is one of these. We discuss its common definition and then define it more strictly, as used in Geeq’s Technical Paper.
The primary economic value of a blockchain is to provide a dependable data set that is acceptable to all parties who wish to coordinate on some, but not all, dimensions with each other and do not wish to trust a third party.
A necessary condition for a blockchain database to be useful is that all parties accept the same data as canonical (authoritative). Otherwise, there would not be a mutually understood information set upon which the parties could act.
Removing uncertainty about which information has, is, and will be generated properly by a decentralized system is the key to removing dependence on centralized authorities.
The Problem with Most Blockchain Technologies.
The essential problem with other blockchain technologies is that those protocols permit different results, which injects a very real element of uncertainty. What if there has to be an appeal to humans and they decide to “rollback” the blockchain? Users of such blockchains have not insulated themselves from the decisions of authorities. They have only achieved a few more degrees of separation from a different kind of intermediary.
The Meaning of a Canonical Blockchain Using Proof of Honesty.
Using Geeq’s Proof of Honesty, the rules for your decentralized blockchain are satisfied in exactly one way. Furthermore, these rules are completely consistent across time. In other words, a Geeq canonical blockchain is defined in the more mathematical sense: it is unique.
Used in a Sentence
For maximum economic value, a decentralized blockchain technology should produce a uniquely canonical and identifiable blockchain that is dependably neutral, stable in the protocol rules, and removes the risk of being exposed to the decisions of an external authority.
Last Updated: February 25, 2023
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