Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2016/680

Fair Client Puzzles from the Bitcoin Blockchain

Colin Boyd and Christopher Carr

Abstract: Client puzzles have been proposed as a mechanism for proving legitimate intentions by providing ``proofs of work'', which can be applied to discourage malicious usage of resources. A typical problem of puzzle constructions is the difference in expected solving time on different computing platforms. We call puzzles which can be solved independently of client computing resources \emph{fair client puzzles}.

We propose a construction for client puzzles requiring widely distributed computational effort for their solution. These puzzles can be solved using the mining process of Bitcoin, or similar cryptocurrencies. Adapting existing definitions, we show that our puzzle construction satisfies formal requirements of client puzzles under reasonable assumptions. We describe a way of transforming our client puzzles for use in denial of service scenarios and demonstrate a practical construction.

Category / Keywords: applications / Bitcoin, Client Puzzles, Denial of Service Resistance, Distributed Computation, Proofs of Work

Original Publication (with minor differences): ACISP 2016

Date: received 5 Jul 2016

Contact author: chris carr at item ntnu no

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Version: 20160706:055515 (All versions of this report)

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