Exploring the Blockchain to its fullest is still a mark yet to achieve and here emerged another variation called the “Tangle“.

What is Tangle?

Tangle, also known as Directed Acyclic Graph(DAG) is a type of data structure that has a unidirectional motion and does not loop back to where it started(explained in detail, below). It is also a distributed ledger, like blockchain, that works on the principle of decentralization. 

IOTA is a cryptocurrency which is not built on the blockchain. ‘Tangle’ is a new concept brought by IOTA engineers, which is expected to be a distributed ledger with low cost and high scalability, specially designed for the Internet of Things(IoT).


How does Tangle work?

To understand the working of tangle, we’ll first see how the DAG works. As explained by Alon on the Iota blog, A directed graph is a collection of vertices (squares), which are connected to each other by edges (arrows). This is an example of a directed graph:

The Tangle is also a kind of directed acyclic graph that holds n number of transactions as its data. In the above graph, each transaction represents a vertex. Whenever a new transaction enters the tangle, it has to randomly choose two previous unapproved transactions and approve them which adds two new arrows called edges to the graph.

Here, transaction number 5 chooses and approves the unapproved transactions number 2 and 3. Such unapproved transactions are known as ‘tips’, which in the present example, is transaction number 6 – the gray square. All transactions carry the information about transactions that have happened between different parties.

This procedure of randomly choosing the two previous tips to approve is a key factor in the IOTA’s new innovation. 


How is Tangle different from Blockchain? – Tangle Vs Blockchain

Presently, IOTA focuses on two main differences between the Tangle and the Blockchain:

1. Based on Consensus

In Blockchain, a consensus is achieved through an exceptionally complex system where the nodes are hustling each other and the objective is to include the following block on the Blockchain and win the reward in the form of transaction charges. This prompts a quicker centralization of the Blockchain.

In the tangle, be that as it may, every single node can make a transaction and by that additionally takes an interest in the consensus. By doing so, the system remains completely decentralized and no transaction charges have to be paid.

2. Based on the Type of Data Structure

Blockchain’s structure is organized as a successive chain of blocks where the new blocks get added to the existing chain at certain intervals of time after the calculations have been done to select a particular block out of the many blocks to be added to the chain. This process grows slower when more and more members get involved and make transactions resulting in delayed approvals and considerable transaction charges. 

Whereas, Tangle is based on the DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) data structure where the transactions are being approved in parallel fashion and with the development of tangle, when more and more transactions take place, it grows to become more secure and quick as every new transaction that enters the tangle also engages in the approval procedure of the previously unapproved transactions, resulting in no transaction charges.


So, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that if the promises made by Tangle are really achieved, once it’s full-fledged implementation is done then surely Tangle would be the next revolution in the tech world. However, the facts and facets would be clearer once more and more people get involved and try this new innovation by IOTA.