Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2021/742

Conclave: A Collective Stake Pool Protocol

Dimitris Karakostas and Aggelos Kiayias and Mario Larangeira

Abstract: Proof-of-Stake (PoS) distributed ledgers are the most common alternative to Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work (PoW) paradigm, replacing the hardware dependency with stake, i.e., assets that a party controls. Similar to PoW’s mining pools, PoS’s stake pools, i.e., collaborative entities comprising of multiple stakeholders, allow a party to earn rewards more regularly, compared to participating on an individual basis. However, stake pools tend to increase centralization, since they are typically managed by a single party that acts on behalf of the pool’s members. In this work we propose Conclave, a formal design of a Collective Stake Pool, i.e., a decentralized pool with no single point of authority. We formalize Conclave as an ideal functionality and implement it as a distributed protocol, based on standard cryptographic primitives. Among Conclave’s building blocks is a weighted threshold signature scheme (WTSS); to that end, we define a WTSS ideal functionality — which might be of independent interest — and propose two constructions based on threshold ECDSA, which enable (1) fast trustless setup and (2) identifiable aborts.

Category / Keywords: cryptographic protocols / Blockchain, Proof-of-Stake, Stake Pools, Universal Composability

Date: received 3 Jun 2021

Contact author: dimitris karakostas at ed ac uk, akiayias at inf ed ac uk, mario at c titech ac jp

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20210603:140434 (All versions of this report)

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