In CfB's recent blog post on Economic Clustering and IOTA, he looks at a possible future of IOTA and envisions two different types of IOTA clusters:
- Cluster 0: A a set of Full Nodes that are interchanging all transactions (just as today in the main net). Transaction are secured by means of a "decentralized coordinator".
- Further clusters: A set of Full Nodes in a spatially limited area, e.g. a town, with each Full Node processing all transactions from the town and from neighboring clusters (spatially seen), i.e. neighborhood towns. A few of these clusters, but definitely not all, may have a link to Cluster 0. Given this structure, IOTAs can be interchanged within spatially limited areas (= economic clusters), however, they cannot be interchanged between clusters that are separated by having multiple clusters in-between.
Based on this, I have three questions regarding the implementation of CfB's vision on Economic Clustering:
- Functionality of distributed coordinator in Cluster 0: Would the "distributed coordinator" in Cluster 0 exist of multiple instances of basically the same Coo we are having today (in terms of its task when looking at the Coo as black box) which are run by different companies that are mutually trusting each other (as they can track what the other Coos are doing)?
- Need of coordinator(s) in other clusters: In Cluster 0, IOTA transactions will be secured as of today in the main net (just by using the "distributed coordinator" instead of the central one we are having today). In the other clusters, IOTAs could be generated out of thin air, e.g. in exchange for real money, as long as people trust the issuing company. For example, a electric vehicle charging station operator could provide the service of charging electric vehicles in a certain cluster (i.e. a certain spatially limited area), and therefore issue its own IOTAs (which could be seen as a form of colored tokens) in exchange for EUR. Outside of this cluster, these IOTAs will not be worth anything as the issuing party is only guaranteeing a counter value within the cluster. Given the nature of the Tangle, we still would need a coordinator for this cluster, is this true?
- Benefit of the Tangle when relying on coordinators: In both cases, we still need one or multiple coordinators (which we may call a "decentralized coordinator"). However, also when using a decentralized coordinator, we rely on some centralized instances. Given this fact, what are the benefit of using a DAG/the Tangle? Why not having a database table for managing all transactions and hence providing a balance per address? This database table could also be operated by different companies and each company could still say "yes, I approve that the transaction is valid" resulting in the same result: a balance per address, accepted by multiple companies. As we are not getting rid of the coordinators that are operated by some (few) central instances, what exactly are the major pros and cons of relying on the DAG structure?