Will Ouroborous work if a non trivial stake (say 5%) is delegated to validators on the moon? What about mars? How about one of the moons of Jupiter?

If not, why not? If yes, how does the consensus algorithm adapt to messaging delays because of large distances?

If 5% on the moon works, will 20%? What about 50%? If 5% doesn't work, what about 1%? Or 0.1%?

Are there well known theoretical limits of extraplanetary (ie: beyond earth) consensus?


The network protocol functions depend only on the propagation time of blocks with its peers. The physical location of the block producing node have an effect on the propagation delay. Likely propagation delay based on round trip time with locations mentioned in the questions are

  • Moon - 3000ms
  • Mars - 40 minutes.
  • Jupiter - 1 Hour and 50 minutes.

The recommended propagation delay for block producing node is less than 200 ms for the blocks to be accepted in the chain. Time synchronization with peers with such large dead time is not possible online. The above is a shallow reason. Deep theoretical reason may come from an expert in Ouroborous.

  • Amazing answer, thank you! Any chance you can link to a source claiming the 200ms propagation delay requirement? Jul 29 at 17:03

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