Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2013/796

Proofs of Space

Stefan Dziembowski and Sebastian Faust and Vladimir Kolmogorov and Krzysztof Pietrzak

Abstract: Proofs of work (PoW) have been suggested by Dwork and Naor (Crypto'92) as protection to a shared resource. The basic idea is to ask the service requestor to dedicate some non-trivial amount of computational work to every request. The original applications included prevention of spam and protection against denial of service attacks. More recently, PoWs have been used to prevent double spending in the Bitcoin digital currency system.

In this work, we put forward an alternative concept for PoWs -- so-called \emph{proofs of space} (PoS), where a service requestor must dedicate a significant amount of disk space as opposed to computation. We construct secure PoS schemes in the random oracle model (with one additional mild assumption required for the proof to go through), using graphs with high ``pebbling complexity'' and Merkle hash-trees. We discuss some applications, including follow-up work where a decentralized digital currency scheme called Spacecoin is constructed that uses PoS (instead of wasteful PoW like in Bitcoin) to prevent double spending.

The main technical contribution of this work is the construction of (directed, loop-free) graphs on $N$ vertices with in-degree $O(\log\log N)$ such that even if one places $\Theta(N)$ pebbles on the nodes of the graph, there's a constant fraction of nodes that needs $\Theta(N)$ steps to be pebbled (where in every step one can put a pebble on a node if all its parents have a pebble).

Category / Keywords: Foundations / Bitcoin, Spacecoin, Proofs of Work, Pebbling

Original Publication (with minor differences): IACR-CRYPTO-2015

Date: received 28 Nov 2013, last revised 24 Jun 2015

Contact author: krzpie at gmail com

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Version: 20150624:192349 (All versions of this report)

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