Paper 2022/1428

TrustBoost: Boosting Trust among Interoperable Blockchains

Xuechao Wang, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Peiyao Sheng, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Sreeram Kannan, University of Washington
Kartik Nayak, Duke University
Pramod Viswanath, Princeton University

Currently there exist many blockchains with weak trust guarantees, limiting applications and participation. Existing solutions to boost the trust using a stronger blockchain, e.g., via checkpointing, requires the weaker blockchain to give up sovereignty. In this paper we propose a family of protocols in which multiple blockchains interact to create a combined ledger with boosted trust. We show that even if several of the interacting blockchains cease to provide security guarantees, the combined ledger continues to be secure – our TrustBoost protocols achieve the optimal threshold of tolerating the insecure blockchains. Furthermore, the protocol simply operates via smart contracts and require no change to the underlying consensus protocols of the participating blockchains, a form of “consensus on top of consensus”. The protocols are lightweight and can be used on specific (e.g., high value) transactions; we demonstrate the practicality by implementing and deploying TrustBoost as cross-chain smart contracts in the Cosmos ecosystem using approximately 3,000 lines of Rust code, made available as open source. Our evaluation shows that using 10 Cosmos chains in a local testnet, TrustBoost has a gas cost of roughly $2 with a latency of 2 minutes per request, which is in line with the cost on a high security chain such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.

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Publication info
Blockchains Cross-chain Smart contracts
Contact author(s)
xuechao2 @ illinois edu
psheng2 @ illinois edu
ksreeram @ ece uw edu
kartik @ cs duke edu
pramodv @ princeton edu
2022-10-24: approved
2022-10-20: received
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      author = {Xuechao Wang and Peiyao Sheng and Sreeram Kannan and Kartik Nayak and Pramod Viswanath},
      title = {TrustBoost: Boosting Trust among Interoperable Blockchains},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2022/1428},
      year = {2022},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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