New to SONs? Start Here

What are Peerplays Sidechain Operating Nodes (SONs)? How do they work? What problems do they solve? Here’s everything you need to know.

Bitcoin and Ethereum are slow and expensive to use.

Currently, Bitcoin can only process 4.6 transactions per second. And the average confirmation time for a BTC payment is about 10 minutes. For context, Visa does around 1,700 transactions per second on average. On the other hand, Ethereum fees are extremely expensive and through the roof. Scalability is a serious issue for both networks.

Is there any way out of these problems though? Sidechains may provide a solution. 

If you’re new to Sidechains, then this is the perfect place to start.

What are Sidechain Operating Nodes?


In order to improve the performance of Bitcoin and Ethereum, a unique mechanism is required. Sidechains can help move tokens, perform transactions faster and cheaper.

Sidechains are a decentralized way to seamlessly transfer value between multiple blockchains. And SONs are the nodes that make this Sidechain operate. 

Sidechain Operating Nodes (SONs) mean a lot to the blockchain world. SONs provide a way for blockchains to interact with each other. Those nodes are in harmony with each other like in a handshake. So they ease the process of transferring tokens from Peerplays blockchain to and from another blockchain.

Sidechains solve a problem known as Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC). This problem takes place when blockchains have different protocol types (also called consensus mechanisms, like Proof of Work, Proof of Stake, Delegated Proof of Stake, etc.)

Peerplays SONs are decentralized, trustless, and elective.

How do SONs Work?


Hinted through their names, these Sidechains run alongside a root or “parent chain.” When you transfer funds, they’re locked on the parent chain and then released onto their respective sidechain. You can then move them around at will until you decide to return them back to their original chain.

Anyone can enable a Sidechain Operating Node. However, that is not enough to run a SON. You must be an ‘active participant’ in the Peerplays community and receive votes in order to qualify to become a SON. Since Peerplays blockchain is Gamified Proof of Stake, this incentivizes voting for those who run SONs.

Once a SON finds that a particular transaction is signed by 2/3rd of other SONs, that SON will post the transaction to the Peerplays blockchain. Upon receiving the transaction, the SON will verify the transaction details with the appropriate blockchain. If the data on the source blockchain sidechain seems to be intact, the SON will sign the transaction and publish it. This helps prevent any SON from malicious transactions.

Why are SONs important?

SONs help blockchains scale and develop more quickly. Blockchains like Bitcoin or Ethereum have to validate every new transaction on their own. But SONS only have to periodically refresh information from the root chain with updates about transactions. Which means massive scalability without sacrificing security or decentralization!

The problem with blockchains out there that offer inter-blockchain communications like Cosmos and Polkadot. Is that they only ‘talk’ with other blockchains that are just like them. This doesn’t really solve the problem of blockchains interacting with one another. It creates a situation where a ‘foreign’ blockchain must switch over to another blockchain that’s able to communicate with a blockchain that’s ‘compatible’ with Polkadot or Cosmos. 

That’s why Peerplays SONs technology is an innovative, elegant solution.

How do SONs impact me?

You can think of SONs as a two-way street. The value of two blockchain tokens is going back and forth safely and smoothly.

To paint a picture, let’s imagine you’re sending your bitcoin from an address to a sidechain. This bitcoin is then represented on the other side of the new blockchain. You are then able to move this represented bitcoin without touching your original bitcoin. 

This offers scalability for bitcoin. For example, let’s say another blockchain can perform 50,000 transactions per second. Now Imagine being able to operate your bitcoin at that speed. This opens up endless possibilities about the applications Bitcoin could be used in. 

It could really be the answer for worldwide adoption.

SON Fees & Performance Requirements

SONs get paid out from a daily reward pool for signing transactions and the weight of voting. Both the transactions they approve and reject are counted in. Bitcoin transactions in Peerplays blockchain get validated to ensure they originated from the SONs.

When a SON changes, their private key on the bitcoin address gets replaced with the private keys of the new incoming SON.

The performance of SONs is also tracked. Their errors, uptime, missed blocks, and similar errors provide historical performance data for voters. Witnesses have the power to freeze a SON or blacklist them if necessary.

Peerplays SONs

Bitcoin and Ethereum are slow, expensive to use, and not scalable enough for mass adoption and usability. They can’t support high transaction throughput. 

SONs provide an alternative way for blockchains to communicate with each other, which opens up new possibilities in terms of scalability and interoperability. 

Peerplays SONs are decentralized, trustless, and elective. The side chains are as secure as they can get. They can keep the scalability trilemma at bay (security, decentralization, and scalability).

Public open decentralized blockchains are the way to go forward. We here at Peerplays are committed to making sure whatever we create is not centralized and can’t be manipulated.

If you’re interested in hearing more about this new paradigm shift for blockchain technologies and more about Peerplays, follow our News and Articles.

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