A tipset refers to a collection of non-empty blocks that make up the blockchain of a storage system such as Filecoin.
What is a Tipset?
A blockchain is simply a type of database that stores information differently in chunks known as blocks. A block contains a compiled set of individual data and will be added (chained) to existing blocks when it reaches its maximum capacity and satisfies the underlying pre-defined consensus mechanism. Filecoin, however, uses tipsets to store data on a blockchain.
Filecoin’s storage system is such that blocks that share identical heights, parents, and epoch ( a specified time frame in which the system randomly elects storage miners to create blocks) are collected as Tipsets. The system is such that the collection of blocks contained in a tipset can be mined by various participants (storage miners) on the network, which bolsters the network’s throughput in its entirety.
The tipsets approach of organizing a blockchain also bolsters security given that its consensus mechanism evaluates a tipset’s weight as opposed to the length of the chain – consequently preventing a single node from intentionally hindering the creation of a valid block.
As with the Ethereum blockchain, Filecoin’s blockchain also rewards miners that do not mine on the heaviest tipset, which further encourages the decentralization of the system.