What Is Casper (CSPR)?

What Is Casper (CSPR)?

Created 5mo ago, last updated 5mo ago

Casper touts itself as an enterprise-grade, energy-efficient blockchain platform.

What Is Casper (CSPR)?

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Blockchain technology is always on the brink of its next breakthrough. However, from the perspective of developers who actually decide if, when and how to use a particular blockchain, certain key features are missing from most layer 1 chains. This has hindered the widespread adoption of blockchain in application environments and enterprises.
With a view of solving this gap in the industry, the team at CasperLabs set out to create a new blockchain that has all the features that developers expect to see in a traditional technology stack. This team will also provide projects and businesses of all sizes (both private and public) a secure, decentralized and scalable blockchain enabling their critical processes to be more secure, efficient and robust on-chain.
The Casper Network is a public, decentralized and energy-efficient proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain. It is the first live implementation of the CBC-Casper consensus protocol, providing the decentralization, security and scalability that is needed in order to drive adoption.
CasperLabs started in late 2018, invested over a year in research alone to support the formal proofs for the Highway Protocol, and then wrote its blockchain codebase over an 18-month period. Casper entered testnet in March 2020 and launched its mainnet in March 2021. CSPR is Casper’s native network token, which is used to power and secure the network, as well as reward validators.

How Does Casper Work?

With Casper's correct-by-construction (CBC) construct, consensus-building peer nodes (validators) generate and pass messages in order to try and reach a consensus on the newly created blocks. A block proposer selects a set of pending transactions and includes the hashes of the transactions in a block: this is a proto-block. Consensus executes and the block is finalized.

Once finalized, the validator nodes execute all the transactions in the block and update their internal state. Validators then send a finality signature indicating that they have completed executing the block, added the block to the linear chain and updated their internal state.

Since the launch of Casper’s mainnet in March of 2021, the network has been upgraded with five  releases. The team continues to provide feature upgrades in response to requests from the community and Casper Association. Future releases include “fast synchronization” in release 1.5 — which enables new nodes to join the network without replaying blocks from Genesis.

In 2022, the Casper Ecosystem will be upgraded to support Casper 2.0 — an ambitious release that intends to provide several scalability features including (but not limited to) Highway 3.0, host-side DeFi features as well as contracts that can stake the network and pay for smart contract execution.

The Casper ecosystem always prioritizes security and robustness above all else, and its roadmap is a reflection of this.

The tokenomics of CSPR can be broken down as follows:

Since launching mainnet on Mar. 31, 2021, Casper has seen notable growth and decentralization, with its total circulating supply of 4.1+ billion tokens. Despite more tokens than ever being in circulation, the number of tokens staked on the network is the highest, topping 8 billion (including unlocked but not circulating CSPR) — a strong sign that the community is holding CSPR and securing the network via staking.

What Makes Casper Unique?

Casper is a public, business-centric PoS blockchain, with several unique features. The Casper Network is purpose-built to plug into existing technology infrastructure and systems. The Casper technology has interfaces and APIs that enable it to work seamlessly with tools that are commonly used in business today. This has already attracted multiple enterprises and Web3 teams to develop partnerships with Casper.

Specific capabilities of the network include:

  • Security first: Casper is a fully permissionless/decentralized, scalable blockchain designed for real-world speed and security with very low and sustainable energy usage.
  • Minimal risk/easy to use: Casper integrates into existing development processes and toolsets, reducing friction and training time.
  • Flexibility: Casper provides upgradeable contracts and multiple network deployments, allowing enterprises to respond to market changes and customer needs.
  • Low cost: Their public software platform is developed with transparency and sustainable pricing.
  • Future-proof: Modular architecture enables the Casper technology to be upgraded to add new features and implement new technologies in the future.

Casper looks to distinguish itself from the competition through its emphasis on enterprise-grade design in combination with its providing of professional service solutions for enterprises. CasperLabs is the for-profit business that first started working on the Casper blockchain codebase in October 2018 and facilitated the Casper Testnet throughout 2020-21 until its mainnet launch.

In addition to the engineers at CasperLabs who work on introducing new features into the open-source codebase for the Casper blockchain, CasperLabs is running a fully staffed enterprise consultancy business providing support and services for its enterprise clients building on Casper to assist enterprises in the adoption of blockchain technology on the Casper network.

The team of CasperLabs has decades of experience in large enterprises, so it has substantial knowledge about enterprise needs and processes to implement new technologies in large ecosystems. The professional services and consulting arm isn’t separate from the core development arm so enterprises get access to the team who built the network. There are already several companies building on Casper and migrating from other chains due to its unique focus on solving integration into application environments, a major enterprise pain point for blockchain adoption.

How Does Casper Compare With the Competition?

As the first provably live and safe version of CBC Casper ever built, Casper is arguably the only fully decentralized, highly secure and scalable PoS blockchain.

That said, the Casper Network is a layer one chain and several layer one blockchains could be considered competition. Here’s how it measures up:

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