PrisM: Deconstructing the blockchain to approach physical limits

Vivek Bagaria, Sreeram Kannan, David Tse, Giulia Fanti, Pramod Viswanath

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

Abstract

The concept of a blockchain was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto to maintain a distributed ledger. In addition to its security, important performance measures of a blockchain protocol are its transaction throughput and confirmation latency. In a decentralized setting, these measures are limited by two underlying physical network attributes: communication capacity and speed-of-light propagation delay. In this work we introduce Prism, a new proof-of-work blockchain protocol, which can achieve 1) security against up to 50% adversarial hashing power; 2) optimal throughput up to the capacity C of the network; 3) confirmation latency for honest transactions proportional to the propagation delay D, with confirmation error probability exponentially small in the bandwidth-delay product CD; 4) eventual total ordering of all transactions. Our approach to the design of this protocol is based on deconstructing Nakamoto's blockchain into its basic functionalities and systematically scaling up these functionalities to approach their physical limits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCCS 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages585-602
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367479
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 6 2019
Event26th ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2019 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Nov 11 2019Nov 15 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
ISSN (Print)1543-7221

Conference

Conference26th ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2019
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period11/11/1911/15/19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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