Our Technology

Technological Breakthroughs Dislodge Entrenched Beliefs.

Many long-held beliefs are often unchallenged and not true; they are simply a resignation to the status quo. At Algorand Technologies we take nothing for granted. You won’t find us defaulting to artificial limitations. Instead we develop technological breakthroughs that free our industry from traditional thinking, accelerating innovation for the benefit of everyone. 

Below are just a few examples that were developed for the Algorand public chain. These technological breakthroughs can also be applied to permissioned chains, and achieve faster speeds and greater performance with the right hardware and connections.


Smart contracts are rightly considered a key feature of modern blockchains. However, one drawback is that they require developers to express complicated logic, often in new programming languages, in a novel execution context. As a result, there have been far too many examples of smart contract bugs leading to financial loss. Algorand has full support for completely customized smart contracts when they are required, but also offers several innovations that can be used to express complicated logic without utilizing error-prone programming.

Algorand alleviates the challenges of writing smart contracts for straight-forward tasks. This is due to its ability to satisfy many smart contract needs “in protocol” through the provision of a collection of primitives that cover a host of use cases without the need to write new software. These features are executed:

  • at the consensus level, the most secure level in any blockchain, and 
  • with the same cost and speed of ordinary payments.

In essence, Algorand’s protocol-level functionality harnesses the platform’s powerful speed, scalability, finality, and security, while ensuring minimal cost and error-free execution.

Example: Atomic Swaps

Let us provide a single, but crucial example.

Since time immemorial, asset swaps have been the bread and butter of trade. I have an asset that you want, and you have an asset (e.g., money) that I want. Who wants to go first and give the other party their assets? Likely nobody. This is why for thousands of years trusted mediators have been employed to enable such transactions. Traditional blockchains disintermediate asset swaps, but rely on bespoke smart contracts. Only at the end of all these steps are the assets successfully swapped. But what happens if a bug is triggered in the middle? Could one party end up with both assets? 

Algorand takes a different approach. Algorand supports assets and transaction groups at the protocol level. For example, on Algorand, asset swaps, whether involving two or more parties, can be executed in an atomic (i.e., indivisible) manner. That is, all assets involved are swapped simultaneously in the same transaction group. This approach provides at least two crucial advantages: 

  1. It eradicates counterparty risk. This is so because it is impossible in a single transaction that one party can receive its assets without all other parties receiving their intended assets too. Today, counterparty risk causes billions of dollars to be unnecessarily locked-up. By contrast, an Algorand atomic swap does not require locking up any money, is executed in roughly three seconds, and costs only a fraction of a cent. 
  2. It eradicates any possible “midstream” mishaps. This is so because the swap occurs in a single transactional group. Thus any possible interruption of service can only occur before this group, or after it, but never “in the middle”.

Key Differentiators

Algorand’s public blockchain enjoys many remarkable properties. 

  • Scalability: Can execute up to 10,000 transactions per second
  • Speed and instant finality: Blocks finalized in under 3.3 seconds
  • No ambiguity: A network design that prevents contradictory ownership records
  • Reliability: Zero downtime since launch in 2019
  • Security: Inherent protection against protocol and network attacks
  • Affordability: Transaction costs at a fraction of a cent 
  • Sustainability: Energy efficient and carbon negative
  • Smarter Programmability: Atomic groups, Algorand Standard Assets, Rekeying, and other primitives reduce the attack surface of smart contracts
  • Cryptographic Innovation: Fast Byzantine Agreement, Verifiable Random Functions, Post-Quantum Security through State Proofs etc.

You can expect even more from our technology in a permissioned chain.