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DLT Adoption: Internet Computer’s P2P Layer Introduces QUIC for State Sync

Internet Computer, a blockchain-based computing platform, has introduced a new peer-to-peer (P2P) layer for state sync on its network. This new layer utilizes the QUIC transport protocol, offering improved performance, security, and flexibility for future enhancements.

Previously, the Internet Computer relied on a legacy P2P layer using TCP for state sync. However, the new P2P layer specifically designed for state sync streamlines the code and allows for the introduction of new features and enhanced networking capabilities. The adoption of QUIC transport protocol, which can multiplex multiple streams, further optimizes the system.

In response to the community’s proposal, the Internet Computer’s governing DAO, the NNS, has rolled out the new P2P layer for state sync across all subnets. However, for the time being, the state sync is only using the new P2P layer in smaller subsets of subnets.

The peer-to-peer protocol of the Internet Computer is responsible for message delivery within subnets of nodes. Each subnet operates its own P2P network, enabling nodes to send messages to each other. Components such as the Internet Computer Consensus protocol and the state sync protocol utilize this P2P layer for message exchange between peers within the same subnet.

The state sync protocol enables nodes to synchronize the replicated state of the subnet without re-executing all the blocks in the subnet blockchain. Instead, nodes can download the required state and verify its authenticity using the state sync protocol. The protocol works by creating checkpoints, hashing the state, and including the hash in catch-up packages (CUPs), ensuring agreement and availability of the state for syncing.

The Internet Computer developers are also working on revamping the P2P layer for other clients in order to utilize the new transport component. This will multiplex messages from all clients on the same QUIC connection, replacing the TCP transport. This revamp will prioritize different clients’ traffic dynamically, with the aim of optimizing state sync and ensuring the consensus protocol progresses efficiently.

The revamped P2P layer for consensus is being implemented to improve scalability, performance, and reliability for both the P2P and Consensus layers.

For more detailed technical information on this update, refer to the linked document.

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