Wikipedia says:

It is useful to distinguish three prevailing styles of gossip protocol:

  • Dissemination protocols (or rumor-mongering protocols).
    • Event dissemination protocols
    • Background data dissemination protocols
  • Anti-entropy protocols
  • Protocols that compute aggregates.

Every single class of Gossip Protocol has its own effects on a network. For a better understanding of IOTA, I'd like to understand which Gossip Protocol is used in IOTA.


Be aware that such classification is mainly a theoretical exercise. In practice, a concrete implementation of a gossip like protocol may have properties/features/characteristics coming from different families.

The gossip in IOTA is mainly in the family of Background data dissemination protocols were any new transaction is immediately broadcast to all neighbors.

It also have characteristics of the anti-entropy family in the sense that when a node detect that a transaction is missing (i.e. the branch or trunk of a new transaction): the node will ask for the missing tx to it's neighbors.

  • The wallet execute attachToTangle by doing the necessary PoW. The outcome will initiate iota_broadcastTransactions to neighbours. Others like relay/forward, reattach, rebroadcast instances also disseminate messages to neighbours. Apart from these, are there any other instances nodes need to disseminate messages to neighbours? – Casey Yeow Nov 9 '18 at 6:42

Although IOTA does peer-to-peer data sharing with a type of gossip protocol, it is really better described as a permissioned p2p network.

The reason for this distinction is that in a gossip based protocol, clients can come and go as they please and the network is mainly self-constructing as peers bootstrap and share their peers with the rest of the network.

With IOTA, the network is guarded by mutual tethering and nodes are limited in the numbers and identity of peers that are added.

When the IRI is opened to a non-discriminatory peering protocol, then it can correctly be called a 'gossip based protocol'. Until then it is probably better described as a private network with permissioned peer-to-peer behavior.

  • Anyone can connect to the network with mutual tethering. Have you tried that in practice? – Come-from-Beyond Nov 18 '18 at 14:56
  • I'm afraid the reality will show that your interpretation is wrong. Just try to connect your node to the network to see that. – Come-from-Beyond Nov 19 '18 at 9:32

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