We have recently looked at the “Snow” consensus protocols. They were introduced in a whitepaper by a team that later went on to found Ava Labs and pioneered the Avalanche blockchain infrastructure. The corresponding research paper is presented at SIROCCO 2024 and appears in the proceedings; a complete version can be found in a technical report.

We provide an analysis of how the randomized process of the Snow family of protocols plays out. In particular we give a probabilistic quantification how the Snow consensus protocols behave over time, depending on the sample size of the nodes. Using these insights, we confirm that the Snow protocols converge to a state where almost all nodes are in agreement very quickly, while tolerating a limited number of malicious nodes. Conversely, we show that increasing the size of the samples has a rather limited impact on this performance.

Continue by reading the overview post on the IC3 blog or the longer post on Crypto@Bern blog, with Part 1: Overview, Part 2: Slush, and Part 3: Snowflake, Snowball and Blizzard.