Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2017/307

Practical Synchronous Byzantine Consensus

Ling Ren and Kartik Nayak and Ittai Abraham and Srinivas Devadas

Abstract: We present new protocols for Byzantine state machine replication and Byzantine agreement in the synchronous and authenticated setting. The celebrated PBFT state machine replication protocol tolerates $f$ Byzantine faults in an asynchronous setting using $3f+1$ replicas, and has since been studied or deployed by numerous works. In this work, we improve the Byzantine fault tolerance to $n=2f+1$ by utilizing the synchrony assumption. The key challenge is to ensure a quorum intersection at one \emph{honest} replica. Our solution is to rely on the synchrony assumption to form a \emph{post-commit} quorum of size $2f+1$, which intersects at $f+1$ replicas with any \emph{pre-commit} quorums of size $f+1$. Our protocol also solves synchronous authenticated Byzantine agreement in fewer rounds than the best existing solution (Katz and Koo, 2006). A challenge in this direction is to handle non-simultaneous termination, which we solve by introducing a notion of \emph{virtual} participation after termination. Our protocols may be applied to build practical synchronous Byzantine fault tolerant systems and improve cryptographic protocols such as secure multiparty computation and cryptocurrencies when synchrony can be assumed.

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Date: received 7 Apr 2017

Contact author: renling at mit edu

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Version: 20170410:135613 (All versions of this report)

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