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Proceedings ArticleDOI

A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains

24 Oct 2016-pp 17-30

TL;DR: ELASTICO is the first candidate for a secure sharding protocol with presence of byzantine adversaries, and scalability experiments on Amazon EC2 with up to $1, 600$ nodes confirm ELASTICO's theoretical scaling properties.
Abstract: Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and 250 similar alt-coins, embody at their core a blockchain protocol --- a mechanism for a distributed network of computational nodes to periodically agree on a set of new transactions. Designing a secure blockchain protocol relies on an open challenge in security, that of designing a highly-scalable agreement protocol open to manipulation by byzantine or arbitrarily malicious nodes. Bitcoin's blockchain agreement protocol exhibits security, but does not scale: it processes 3--7 transactions per second at present, irrespective of the available computation capacity at hand. In this paper, we propose a new distributed agreement protocol for permission-less blockchains called ELASTICO. ELASTICO scales transaction rates almost linearly with available computation for mining: the more the computation power in the network, the higher the number of transaction blocks selected per unit time. ELASTICO is efficient in its network messages and tolerates byzantine adversaries of up to one-fourth of the total computational power. Technically, ELASTICO uniformly partitions or parallelizes the mining network (securely) into smaller committees, each of which processes a disjoint set of transactions (or "shards"). While sharding is common in non-byzantine settings, ELASTICO is the first candidate for a secure sharding protocol with presence of byzantine adversaries. Our scalability experiments on Amazon EC2 with up to $1, 600$ nodes confirm ELASTICO's theoretical scaling properties.
Topics: Scalability (52%), Transactions per second (51%)
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
Jiawen Kang1, Rong Yu1, Xumin Huang1, Sabita Maharjan2  +2 moreInstitutions (3)
TL;DR: Numerical results indicate that the double auction mechanism can achieve social welfare maximization while protecting privacy of the PHEVs and security analysis shows that the proposed PETCON improves transaction security and privacy protection.
Abstract: We propose a localized peer-to-peer (P2P) electricity trading model for locally buying and selling electricity among plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in smart grids Unlike traditional schemes, which transport electricity over long distances and through complex electricity transportation meshes, our proposed model achieves demand response by providing incentives to discharging PHEVs to balance local electricity demand out of their own self-interests However, since transaction security and privacy protection issues present serious challenges, we explore a promising consortium blockchain technology to improve transaction security without reliance on a trusted third party A localized P 2P E lectricity T rading system with CO nsortium blockchai N (PETCON) method is proposed to illustrate detailed operations of localized P2P electricity trading Moreover, the electricity pricing and the amount of traded electricity among PHEVs are solved by an iterative double auction mechanism to maximize social welfare in this electricity trading Security analysis shows that our proposed PETCON improves transaction security and privacy protection Numerical results based on a real map of Texas indicate that the double auction mechanism can achieve social welfare maximization while protecting privacy of the PHEVs

612 citations


Cites background from "A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open..."

  • ...Once the authorized LAGs formation is complete and remains almost constant, the total time needed for reaching consensus of one new block is about 1 minute regardless of the network size [13]....

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Journal ArticleDOI
Tien Tuan Anh Dinh1, Rui Liu1, Meihui Zhang, Gang Chen2  +2 moreInstitutions (2)
TL;DR: This paper conducts a comprehensive evaluation of three major blockchain systems based on BLOCKBENCH, namely Ethereum, Parity, and Hyperledger Fabric, and discusses several research directions for bringing blockchain performance closer to the realm of databases.
Abstract: Blockchain technologies are gaining massive momentum in the last few years. Blockchains are distributed ledgers that enable parties who do not fully trust each other to maintain a set of global states. The parties agree on the existence, values, and histories of the states. As the technology landscape is expanding rapidly, it is both important and challenging to have a firm grasp of what the core technologies have to offer, especially with respect to their data processing capabilities. In this paper, we first survey the state of the art, focusing on private blockchains (in which parties are authenticated). We analyze both in-production and research systems in four dimensions: distributed ledger, cryptography, consensus protocol, and smart contract. We then present BLOCKBENCH, a benchmarking framework for understanding performance of private blockchains against data processing workloads. We conduct a comprehensive evaluation of three major blockchain systems based on BLOCKBENCH, namely Ethereum, Parity, and Hyperledger Fabric. The results demonstrate several trade-offs in the design space, as well as big performance gaps between blockchain and database systems. Drawing from design principles of database systems, we discuss several research directions for bringing blockchain performance closer to the realm of databases.

585 citations


Cites background from "A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open..."

  • ...Other examples are Elastico [26] and Algorand [27] which improve PoW by randomly sampling a small set of nodes at each round....

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  • ...Byzcoin [61] and Elastico [26] propose novel, two-phase protocols that combine PoW and PBFT....

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  • ...Recent work [26] has demonstrated the feasibility of sharding the consensus protocol, making important steps towards partitioning the entire blockchain....

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  • ...Similar to Byzcoin and Elastico, Dfinity [43] and Algorand [27] select at each round a random set of nodes that can propose blocks....

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  • ...Threshold Relay Public Dfinity [43] proposes threshold relay in which nodes form random group based on a public verifiable random function (Byzcoin [61] and Elastico [26] adopt similar approaches)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Although the feature of blockchain technologies may bring us more reliable and convenient services, the security issues and challenges behind this innovative technique is also an important topic that the authors need to concern.
Abstract: Blockchain technologies is one of the most popular issue in recent years, it has already changed people's lifestyle in some area due to its great influence on many business or industry, and what it can do will still continue cause impact in many places Although the feature of blockchain technologies may bring us more reliable and convenient services, the security issues and challenges behind this innovative technique is also an important topic that we need to concern

583 citations


Cites background from "A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open..."

  • ...There still have many use case of blockchain technologies, like protection of Intellectual property, traceability in supply chain, identity certification, insurance, international payments, IOT, patient’s privacy in medical treatment or prediction market [14, 20]....

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Journal ArticleDOI
Zhetao Li1, Jiawen Kang, Rong Yu, Dongdong Ye  +2 moreInstitutions (3)
TL;DR: This work exploits the consortium blockchain technology to propose a secure energy trading system named energy blockchain, which can be widely used in general scenarios of P2P energy trading getting rid of a trusted intermediary and a credit-based payment scheme to support fast and frequent energy trading.
Abstract: In industrial Internet of things (IIoT), peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading ubiquitously takes place in various scenarios, e.g., microgrids, energy harvesting networks, and vehicle-to-grid networks. However, there are common security and privacy challenges caused by untrusted and nontransparent energy markets in these scenarios. To address the security challenges, we exploit the consortium blockchain technology to propose a secure energy trading system named energy blockchain. This energy blockchain can be widely used in general scenarios of P2P energy trading getting rid of a trusted intermediary. Besides, to reduce the transaction limitation resulted from transaction confirmation delays on the energy blockchain, we propose a credit-based payment scheme to support fast and frequent energy trading. An optimal pricing strategy using Stackelberg game for credit-based loans is also proposed. Security analysis and numerical results based on a real dataset illustrate that the proposed energy blockchain and credit-based payment scheme are secure and efficient in IIoT.

562 citations


Cites background from "A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open..."

  • ...The total time needed for reaching consensus of a new block is stable regardless of the network size, when the authorized EAGs formation is complete and remains as a constant [18]....

    [...]


Proceedings ArticleDOI
Tien Tuan Anh Dinh1, Ji Wang1, Gang Chen2, Rui Liu1  +2 moreInstitutions (2)
09 May 2017-
Abstract: Blockchain technologies are taking the world by storm. Public blockchains, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, enable secure peer-to-peer applications like crypto-currency or smart contracts. Their security and performance are well studied. This paper concerns recent private blockchain systems designed with stronger security (trust) assumption and performance requirement. These systems target and aim to disrupt applications which have so far been implemented on top of database systems, for example banking, finance and trading applications. Multiple platforms for private blockchains are being actively developed and fine tuned. However, there is a clear lack of a systematic framework with which different systems can be analyzed and compared against each other. Such a framework can be used to assess blockchains' viability as another distributed data processing platform, while helping developers to identify bottlenecks and accordingly improve their platforms. In this paper, we first describe BLOCKBENCH, the first evaluation framework for analyzing private blockchains. It serves as a fair means of comparison for different platforms and enables deeper understanding of different system design choices. Any private blockchain can be integrated to BLOCKBENCH via simple APIs and benchmarked against workloads that are based on real and synthetic smart contracts. BLOCKBENCH measures overall and component-wise performance in terms of throughput, latency, scalability and fault-tolerance. Next, we use BLOCKBENCH to conduct comprehensive evaluation of three major private blockchains: Ethereum, Parity and Hyperledger Fabric. The results demonstrate that these systems are still far from displacing current database systems in traditional data processing workloads. Furthermore, there are gaps in performance among the three systems which are attributed to the design choices at different layers of the blockchain's software stack. We have released BLOCKBENCH for public use.

522 citations


References
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Book ChapterDOI
Abstract: Reliable computer systems must handle malfunctioning components that give conflicting information to different parts of the system. This situation can be expressed abstractly in terms of a group of generals of the Byzantine army camped with their troops around an enemy city. Communicating only by messenger, the generals must agree upon a common battle plan. However, one or more of them may be traitors who will try to confuse the others. The problem is to find an algorithm to ensure that the loyal generals will reach agreement. It is shown that, using only oral messages, this problem is solvable if and only if more than two-thirds of the generals are loyal; so a single traitor can confound two loyal generals. With unforgeable written messages, the problem is solvable for any number of generals and possible traitors. Applications of the solutions to reliable computer systems are then discussed.

4,834 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: I have long felt that, because it was posed as a cute problem about philosophers seated around a table, Dijkstra’s dining philosopher’s problem received much more attention than it deserves. (For example, it has probably received more attention in the theory community than the readers/writers problem, which illustrates the same principles and has much more practical importance.) I believed that the problem introduced in [41] was very important and deserved the attention of computer scientists. The popularity of the dining philosophers problem taught me that the best way to attract attention to a problem is to present it in terms of a story. There is a problem in distributed computing that is sometimes called the Chinese Generals Problem, in which two generals have to come to a common agreement on whether to attack or retreat, but can communicate only by sending messengers who might never arrive. I stole the idea of the generals and posed the problem in terms of a group of generals, some of whom may be traitors, who have to reach a common decision. I wanted to assign the generals a nationality that would not offend any readers. At the time, Albania was a completely closed society, and I felt it unlikely that there would be any Albanians around to object, so the original title of this paper was The Albanian Generals Problem. Jack Goldberg was smart enough to realize that there were Albanians in the world outside Albania, and Albania might not always be a black hole, so he suggested that I find another name. The obviously more appropriate Byzantine generals then occurred to me. The main reason for writing this paper was to assign the new name to the problem. But a new paper needed new results as well. I came up with a simpler way to describe the general 3n+1-processor algorithm. (Shostak’s 4-processor algorithm was subtle but easy to understand; Pease’s generalization was a remarkable tour de force.) We also added a generalization to networks that were not completely connected. (I don’t remember whose work that was.) I also added some discussion of practical implementation details.

4,468 citations


Book ChapterDOI
John R. Douceur1Institutions (1)
07 Mar 2002-
TL;DR: It is shown that, without a logically centralized authority, Sybil attacks are always possible except under extreme and unrealistic assumptions of resource parity and coordination among entities.
Abstract: Large-scale peer-to-peer systems face security threats from faulty or hostile remote computing elements. To resist these threats, many such systems employ redundancy. However, if a single faulty entity can present multiple identities, it can control a substantial fraction of the system, thereby undermining this redundancy. One approach to preventing these "Sybil attacks" is to have a trusted agency certify identities. This paper shows that, without a logically centralized authority, Sybil attacks are always possible except under extreme and unrealistic assumptions of resource parity and coordination among entities.

4,461 citations


"A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open..." refers background in this paper

  • ...In the worst case, we can assume that each committee has 3c/2 members, of which at most 1/3 of them are malicious....

    [...]


Book
01 Jan 1996-
TL;DR: This book familiarizes readers with important problems, algorithms, and impossibility results in the area, and teaches readers how to reason carefully about distributed algorithms-to model them formally, devise precise specifications for their required behavior, prove their correctness, and evaluate their performance with realistic measures.
Abstract: In Distributed Algorithms, Nancy Lynch provides a blueprint for designing, implementing, and analyzing distributed algorithms. She directs her book at a wide audience, including students, programmers, system designers, and researchers. Distributed Algorithms contains the most significant algorithms and impossibility results in the area, all in a simple automata-theoretic setting. The algorithms are proved correct, and their complexity is analyzed according to precisely defined complexity measures. The problems covered include resource allocation, communication, consensus among distributed processes, data consistency, deadlock detection, leader election, global snapshots, and many others. The material is organized according to the system model-first by the timing model and then by the interprocess communication mechanism. The material on system models is isolated in separate chapters for easy reference. The presentation is completely rigorous, yet is intuitive enough for immediate comprehension. This book familiarizes readers with important problems, algorithms, and impossibility results in the area: readers can then recognize the problems when they arise in practice, apply the algorithms to solve them, and use the impossibility results to determine whether problems are unsolvable. The book also provides readers with the basic mathematical tools for designing new algorithms and proving new impossibility results. In addition, it teaches readers how to reason carefully about distributed algorithms-to model them formally, devise precise specifications for their required behavior, prove their correctness, and evaluate their performance with realistic measures. Table of Contents 1 Introduction 2 Modelling I; Synchronous Network Model 3 Leader Election in a Synchronous Ring 4 Algorithms in General Synchronous Networks 5 Distributed Consensus with Link Failures 6 Distributed Consensus with Process Failures 7 More Consensus Problems 8 Modelling II: Asynchronous System Model 9 Modelling III: Asynchronous Shared Memory Model 10 Mutual Exclusion 11 Resource Allocation 12 Consensus 13 Atomic Objects 14 Modelling IV: Asynchronous Network Model 15 Basic Asynchronous Network Algorithms 16 Synchronizers 17 Shared Memory versus Networks 18 Logical Time 19 Global Snapshots and Stable Properties 20 Network Resource Allocation 21 Asynchronous Networks with Process Failures 22 Data Link Protocols 23 Partially Synchronous System Models 24 Mutual Exclusion with Partial Synchrony 25 Consensus with Partial Synchrony

4,335 citations


Proceedings ArticleDOI
Miguel Castro1, Barbara Liskov1Institutions (1)
22 Feb 1999-
TL;DR: A new replication algorithm that is able to tolerate Byzantine faults that works in asynchronous environments like the Internet and incorporates several important optimizations that improve the response time of previous algorithms by more than an order of magnitude.
Abstract: This paper describes a new replication algorithm that is able to tolerate Byzantine faults. We believe that Byzantinefault-tolerant algorithms will be increasingly important in the future because malicious attacks and software errors are increasingly common and can cause faulty nodes to exhibit arbitrary behavior. Whereas previous algorithms assumed a synchronous system or were too slow to be used in practice, the algorithm described in this paper is practical: it works in asynchronous environments like the Internet and incorporates several important optimizations that improve the response time of previous algorithms by more than an order of magnitude. We implemented a Byzantine-fault-tolerant NFS service using our algorithm and measured its performance. The results show that our service is only 3% slower than a standard unreplicated NFS.

2,919 citations


"A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open..." refers background or methods in this paper

  • ...Here we provide an intuition why this works....

    [...]

  • ...The second goal is to compare ELASTICO to other related consensus protocols including Bitcoin [1], Bitcoin-NG [9] and PBFT [13]....

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  • ...Our scalability experiments on Amazon EC2 with up to 1, 600 nodes confirm ELASTICO’s theoretical scaling properties....

    [...]

  • ...At its core, ELASTICO scales up the agreement throughput near linearly with the computational power of the network and tolerates byzantine adversaries which controls up to one-forth computation capacity, in the partially synchronous network....

    [...]


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Performance
Metrics
No. of citations received by the Paper in previous years
YearCitations
20223
2021154
2020204
2019188
201895
201732