Factom Network Structure

Factom Network Structure

How is the Factom blockchain structured?

Factom uses a unique consensus algorithm, which resembles the Raft algorithm. Factom achieves consensus via an elected leader that is selected at random from the pool of leaders. A node in Factom is either a federated leader, an auditor, or a follower.

What is the difference between a federated node vs. audit node?

Federated nodes are the only ones who can write entries into Factom. They also send receipt messages to the nodes that send them entries to publish. All other nodes in the system are reviewing this process and pushing messages up to the Federated leaders to publish.  Federated nodes also regularly inform the followers of their existence by sending a heartbeat message across the network. Each follower is listening for these messages.  If no message is received from a leader, then followers change their status to a candidate and start a new leader election.

The Federated nodes divide the publishing duties across all Federated nodes on the network. Once an entry has been sent to a Federated node to be published,  it sends a receipt message across the network, syncing the system.

The role that official audit nodes play is to observe and occasionally replace federated node when they go down. If a Federated node goes down or tries to sensor entrees that are going into the network, the algorithm pushes them out and push up an audit server to take its place as a Federated node.