Barracuda: The power of ℓ-polling in Proof-of-Stake Blockchains

Giulia Fanti, Jiantao Jiao, Ashok Makkuva, Sewoong Oh, Ranvir Rana, Pramod Viswanath

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

A blockchain is a database of sequential events that is maintained by a distributed group of nodes. A key consensus problem in blockchains is that of determining the next block (data element) in the sequence. Many blockchains address this by electing a new node to propose each new block. The new block is (typically) appended to the tip of the proposer’s local blockchain, and subsequently broadcast to the rest of the network. Without network delay (or adversarial behavior), this procedure would give a perfect chain, since each proposer would have the same view of the blockchain. A major challenge in practice is forking. Due to network delays, a proposer may not yet have the most recent block, and may therefore create a side chain that branches from the middle of the main chain. Forking reduces throughput, since only one a single main chain can survive, and all other blocks are discarded. We propose a new P2P protocol for blockchains called Barracuda, in which each proposer, prior to proposing a block, polls ℓ other nodes for their local blocktree information. Under a stochastic network model, we prove that this lightweight primitive improves throughput as if the entire network were a factor of ℓ faster. We provide guidelines on how to implement Barracuda in practice, guaranteeing robustness against several real-world factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMobihoc 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 20th ACM International Symposium on Mobile Ad Hoc Networking and Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages351-360
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367646
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2 2019
Event20th ACM International Symposium on Mobile Ad Hoc Networking and Computing, MobiHoc 2019 - Catania, Italy
Duration: Jul 2 2019Jul 5 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Symposium on Mobile Ad Hoc Networking and Computing (MobiHoc)

Conference

Conference20th ACM International Symposium on Mobile Ad Hoc Networking and Computing, MobiHoc 2019
CountryItaly
CityCatania
Period7/2/197/5/19

Keywords

  • Stochastic networks, blockchains

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software

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  • Cite this

    Fanti, G., Jiao, J., Makkuva, A., Oh, S., Rana, R., & Viswanath, P. (2019). Barracuda: The power of ℓ-polling in Proof-of-Stake Blockchains. In Mobihoc 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 20th ACM International Symposium on Mobile Ad Hoc Networking and Computing (pp. 351-360). (Proceedings of the International Symposium on Mobile Ad Hoc Networking and Computing (MobiHoc)). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3323679.3326533