The Honey Badger of BFT Protocols

Andrew Miller, Yu Xia, Kyle Croman, Elaine Shi, Dawn Song

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


The surprising success of cryptocurrencies has led to a surge of interest in deploying large scale, highly robust, Byzantine fault tolerant (BFT) protocols for mission-critical applications, such as financial transactions. Although the conventional wisdom is to build atop a (weakly) synchronous protocol such as PBFT (or a variation thereof), such protocols rely critically on network timing assumptions, and only guarantee liveness when the network behaves as expected. We argue these protocols are ill-suited for this deployment scenario. We present an alternative, HoneyBadgerBFT, the first practical asynchronous BFT protocol, which guarantees liveness without making any timing assumptions. We base our solution on a novel atomic broadcast protocol that achieves optimal asymptotic efficiency. We present an implementation and experimental results to show our system can achieve throughput of tens of thousands of transactions per second, and scales to over a hundred nodes on a wide area network. We even conduct BFT experiments over Tor, without needing to tune any parameters. Unlike the alternatives, HoneyBadgerBFT simply does not care about the underlying network.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCCS '16
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2016 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450341394
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-4139-4
StatePublished - Oct 24 2016
Eventthe 2016 ACM SIGSAC Conference - Vienna, Austria
Duration: Oct 24 2016Oct 28 2016

Publication series

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


Conferencethe 2016 ACM SIGSAC Conference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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