Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2022/076

Babylon: Reusing Bitcoin Mining to Enhance Proof-of-Stake Security

Ertem Nusret Tas and David Tse and Fisher Yu and Sreeram Kannan

Abstract: Bitcoin is the most secure blockchain in the world, supported by the immense hash power of its Proof-of-Work miners, but consumes huge amount of energy. Proof-of-Stake chains are energy-efficient, have fast finality and accountability, but face several fundamental security issues: susceptibility to non-slashable long-range safety attacks, non-slashable transaction censorship and stalling attacks and difficulty to bootstrap new PoS chains from low token valuation. We propose Babylon, a blockchain platform which combines the best of both worlds by reusing the immense Bitcoin hash power to enhance the security of PoS chains. Babylon provides a data-available timestamping service, securing PoS chains by allowing them to timestamp data-available block checkpoints, fraud proofs and censored transactions on Babylon. Babylon miners merge mine with Bitcoin and thus the platform has zero additional energy cost. The security of a Babylon-enhanced PoS protocol is formalized by a cryptoeconomic security theorem which shows slashable safety and liveness guarantees.

Category / Keywords: applications / Blockchains

Date: received 20 Jan 2022, last revised 20 Jan 2022

Contact author: nusret at stanford edu

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20220120:155917 (All versions of this report)

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