Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2016/994

Improving Authenticated Dynamic Dictionaries, with Applications to Cryptocurrencies

Leonid Reyzin and Dmitry Meshkov and Alexander Chepurnoy and Sasha Ivanov

Abstract: We improve the design and implementation of two-party and three-party authenticated dynamic dictionaries and apply these dictionaries to cryptocurrency ledgers.

A public ledger (blockchain) in a cryptocurrency needs to be easily verifiable. However, maintaining a data structure of all account balances, in order to verify whether a transaction is valid, can be quite burdensome: a verifier who does not have the large amount of RAM required for the data structure will perform slowly because of the need to continually access secondary storage. We demonstrate experimentally that authenticated dynamic dictionaries can considerably reduce verifier load. On the other hand, per-transaction proofs generated by authenticated dictionaries increase the size of the blockchain, which motivates us to find a solution with most compact proofs.

Our improvements to the design of authenticated dictionaries reduce proof size and speed up verification by 1.4-2.5 times, making them better suited for the cryptocurrency application. We further show that proofs for multiple transactions in a single block can compressed together, reducing their total length by approximately an additional factor of 2.

We simulate blockchain verification, and show that our verifier can be about 20 times faster than a disk-bound verifier under a realistic transaction load.

Category / Keywords: implementation / authenticated data structures, Merkle trees, blockchains

Original Publication (with minor differences): Financial Cryptography 2017

Date: received 14 Oct 2016, last revised 2 Apr 2017

Contact author: reyzin at bu edu

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Note: Added more details on deletions and on guaranteed verifier efficiency.

Version: 20170402:081918 (All versions of this report)

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