Paper 2022/1171

No More Attacks on Proof-of-Stake Ethereum?

Francesco D'Amato, Ethereum Foundation
Joachim Neu, Stanford University
Ertem Nusret Tas, Stanford University
David Tse, Stanford University

The latest message driven (LMD) greedy heaviest observed sub-tree (GHOST) consensus protocol is a critical component of future proof-of-stake (PoS) Ethereum. In its current form, the protocol is brittle and intricate to reason about, as evidenced by recent attacks, patching attempts, and Görli testnet reorgs. We present Goldfish, which can be seen as a considerably simplified variant of the current protocol, and prove that it is secure and reorg resilient in synchronous networks with dynamic participation, assuming a majority of the nodes (called validators) follows the protocol honestly. Furthermore, we show that subsampling validators can improve the communication efficiency of Goldfish, and that Goldfish is composable with finality gadgets and accountability gadgets. The aforementioned properties make Goldfish a credible candidate for a future protocol upgrade of PoS Ethereum, as well as a versatile pedagogical example. Akin to traditional propose-and-vote-style consensus protocols, Goldfish is organized into slots, at the beginning of which a leader proposes a block containing new transactions, and subsequently members of a committee take a vote towards block confirmation. But instead of using quorums, Goldfish is powered by a new mechanism that carefully synchronizes the inclusion and exclusion of votes in honest validators' views.

Available format(s)
Cryptographic protocols
Publication info
Ethereum blockchain proof-of-stake consensus
Contact author(s)
francesco damato @ ethereum org
jneu @ stanford edu
nusret @ stanford edu
dntse @ stanford edu
2022-09-09: approved
2022-09-07: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Francesco D'Amato and Joachim Neu and Ertem Nusret Tas and David Tse},
      title = {No More Attacks on Proof-of-Stake Ethereum?},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2022/1171},
      year = {2022},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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