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question about Tezos’ consensus mechanism.

Each block, 32 psuedo-random bakers have the right to endorse a block. What prevents a number of these bakers from being owned by the same entity that proposed the current block?

For example, what if Foundation Baker 1 proposes a block, then Foundation Bakers 2-8 are selected to endorse. In a hypothetical situation, if the foundation ran more bakers, couldn’t they both propose and endorse their own block?

I feel like I could be missing something, but curious your thoughts

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  • Not an expert but I think nothing prevents this. In a hypothetical scenario where one entity controls the full stake (all tez), then they would always be guaranteed to bake their own blocks. Similarly, the more stake you have, the likelier you are to bake your own block. Consider a mechanism for disallowing an entity to bake their own blocks: it would need to associate a block with the issuing entity. The entity would trivially circumvent this by acting from multiple addresses. – arvidj Dec 18 '19 at 9:37
  • However, an entity that controls a large stake is dissuaded from cheating since all actions are registered on the blockchain. If their cheating is detected, the tez would lose value (as no one wants to participate in a network run by a cartel). Having a large stake, the entity would be largely penalized. – arvidj Dec 18 '19 at 9:39
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I suggest you to read this article: All you ever wanted to ask about Tezos — Illustrated:

On cycle n-7 once every 32 blocks will contain a nonce hash. Indeed the corresponding bakers will have to generate a number, hash it and include that hash in the block header. By the end of the cycle we will then have 128 blocks (4096/32) containing a nonce hash. As a result, those 128 bakers will have to reveal their hash in the next cycle (n-6).

On cycle n-6 the bakers of cycle n-7 who have generated a random number will have to send a reveal operation under penalty of forfeiting the rewards and fees. Bakers of cycle n-6 are incentivize to add those revelations operation they will earn an extra 1/8ꜩ. Moreover the revelations are free operations which do not compete with transactions for block space. At the end of cycle n-6 we can generate the seed which is a 256 bit number made by hashing the revelations together.

Once computed, this new seed is stored and used during cycle n.

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