Paper 2018/302

Rethinking Large-Scale Consensus

Rafael Pass and Elaine Shi

Abstract

In this position paper, we initiate a systematic treatment of reaching consensus in a permissionless network. We prove several simple but hopefully insightful lower bounds that demonstrate exactly why reaching consensus in a permissionless setting is fundamentally more difficult than the classical, permissioned setting. We then present a simplified proof of Nakamoto's blockchain which we recommend for pedagogical purposes. Finally, we survey recent results including how to avoid well-known painpoints in permissionless consensus, and how to apply core ideas behind blockchains to solve consensus in the classical, permissioned setting and meanwhile achieve new properties that are not attained by classical approaches.

Metadata
Available format(s)
PDF
Category
Cryptographic protocols
Publication info
Published elsewhere. MINOR revision.CSF 2017, invited paper
Keywords
blockchainconsensus
Contact author(s)
runting @ gmail com
History
2020-11-12: last of 4 revisions
2018-04-03: received
See all versions
Short URL
https://ia.cr/2018/302
License
Creative Commons Attribution
CC BY

BibTeX

@misc{cryptoeprint:2018/302,
      author = {Rafael Pass and Elaine Shi},
      title = {Rethinking Large-Scale Consensus},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2018/302},
      year = {2018},
      note = {\url{https://eprint.iacr.org/2018/302}},
      url = {https://eprint.iacr.org/2018/302}
}
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