Massa in 2023: An Overview

Massa Labs
5 min readFeb 11, 2023

What’s happened so far, what’s happening now and what’s coming around the corner

What’s changed in the blockchain space during the past year? Short answer: not much! Currently, all popular Layer 1 blockchains still suffer from the so-called blockchain trilemma and an increasing lack of decentralization. At the beginning of 2023, we are witnessing numerous examples of regression in the space where blockchains become more and more centralized. Before last year’s Merge, Ethereum was arguably the most decentralized and secure network out there. But it had some major scaling issues. That’s why we’re now seeing tons of Layer 2 scaling solutions, all trying to fix the problem. Post-merge, Ethereum reduced its energy consumption drastically but it also became much more centralized. Other chains, such as Solana, have better scalability and decent security but at what cost? At the cost of centralization. It is obvious we need a Layer 1 blockchain that solves this development obstacle once and for all, without throwing decentralization under the bus. This is where Massa comes in.

As a new Layer 1 blockchain that achieves the holy trinity of security, decentralization and scalability. This would be an important, industry-first event. The fact is, all of the big blockchains have yet to solve this trilemma. Some need scaling solutions and lack security while others are too centralized. Massa manages to provide the solution via the utilization of autonomous smart contracts, blockclique architecture and transaction sharding. Today, the project is ready to onboard the next billion users into Web3, offering them a secure, scalable, accessible and easy-to-use environment.

The Nakamoto coefficient test

When it comes to network decentralization, the Nakamoto coefficient is one of the best criteria and it’s where Massa truly shines. The Nakamoto coefficient represents the minimum number of people (not validators but real persons) needed to disrupt the system. Since numerous entities hold a huge number of validators, the Nakamoto coefficient of Bitcoin and many other coins is around 3 or 4 depending on the hash rate of the biggest mining pools, while Ethereum’s was only 3 as of April 2022 (before the Merge which is considered to have impacted it even more negatively). In order to corrupt a network, an attacker usually needs to gain a simple majority of 51% but some blockchains require a higher percentage. However, the number of nodes isn’t the only factor that determines the Nakamoto coefficient. Other elements, such as node distribution around the globe, active developers, as well as the number of clients and owners also play a key role.

While many of the top 10 Layer 1 networks have rather poor Nakamoto scores (for example, Cardano has 24 and Avalanche has 25), Massa’s results go over 1000, which sets a new record for the most decentralized blockchain in the world of Web3 (aside from Bitcoin). The Massa network has over 6000 nodes running on its testnet and that number is set to grow higher after the official launch. This is superior to the number of validators on other popular chains (Avalanche with 1209 validators and Cardano with 3200)

“If a blockchain isn’t decentralized, then it’s no better than a database on AWS”.

Sébastien Forestier, CEO of Massa

But how does Massa achieve such impressive levels of decentralization? It’s all thanks to its unique combination of features:

  • Autonomous smart contracts

They execute autonomously, reducing the need for third-party service integration and automation altogether, which in turn decreases costs and improves efficiency.

  • Blockclique architecture

This brand-new architecture utilizes transaction sharding in a multithreaded block graph and allows parallel blocks with compatible transactions, preventing double-spend. It’s the key to achieving high speed and security while maintaining decentralization.

  • Proof-of-Stake consensus

Massa adopts the PoS mechanism for its energy efficiency, adding Sybil resistance to effectively counter Sybil attacks.

  • Next-level decentralization

The Nakamoto coefficient is used to determine the minimum number of validators needed to create a disruption. Massa’s coefficient easily surpasses that of rival PoS blockchains.

There is, however, an extra element that comes into play as well. Yes, we’re talking about accessibility.

It all comes down to accessibility

There’s just no two ways about it — to drive the adoption of blockchain technology further, blockchains need to be accessible to all prospective participants. At their core, public blockchains should ideally stand for security, transparency, self-governance and decentralization. However, very few blockchains actually live up to these core tenets. Sooner or later, power tends to accumulate within a handful of individuals. Those individuals can then directly impact the future development and application of blockchain networks.

One way to prevent this from happening is to build with foresight and engage as many members of the community as possible. The most effective way to achieve this is by lowering the requirements to run a validator node on the network, democratizing the governance of the blockchain and constantly striving for the highest degree of decentralization. The higher the number of participants, the safer the network.

Sitting at the forefront of a new breed of Layer 1 public blockchains built by the people for the people, Massa enables the average user to create his or her very own node with just a few tokens. There is no expensive hardware needed. Users can run a node directly from their personal computer and turn it into a validator. Massa offers the world real decentralization without sacrificing scalability or security to achieve it. With over 6000 validator nodes running on the beta mainnet, Massa already offers a level of decentralization much higher than any of its Layer 1 competitors. Blockchain developers and users can finally rest assured that the ecosystem they’re building upon will remain independent and unaffected by a closed group of individuals.

Indeed, the team behind Massa has single-handedly solved the blockchain trilemma and has presented the world with a blockchain that’s simultaneously secure, scalable and decentralized. A true precedent in the blockchain space. It’s no wonder that Massa’s ecosystem projects has recently increased to 16+ project and its community numbers have been growing at such an exponential pace:

Plus, thanks to the tireless support of our community members, Massa currently has 6000+ nodes up and running. 2023 is already looking very promising indeed.

Over the next few weeks, we will be updating you on all the ground-breaking projects building on Massa. Some really exciting things are currently happening, so be sure to watch this space and follow Massa’s unstoppable growth straight from the source!

About Massa:

Massa is a high-performance blockchain designed to be truly decentralized from the start. Massa testnet was released in July 2021, providing an easy way for anyone to test our protocol, and has been constantly improving since then.

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Massa Labs

massa.net | Massa is a truly decentralized blockchain controlled by thousands of people. With our multithreaded technology, we’re set for mass adoption.