Paper 2022/1571

Practical Settlement Bounds for Longest-Chain Consensus

Peter Gaži, IOG
Ling Ren, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Alexander Russell, University of Connecticut, IOG

Nakamoto's longest-chain consensus paradigm now powers the bulk of the world's cryptocurrencies and distributed finance infrastructure. An emblematic property of longest-chain consensus is that it provides probabilistic settlement guarantees that strengthen over time. This makes the exact relationship between settlement error and settlement latency a critical aspect of the protocol that both users and system designers must understand to make informed decisions. A recent line of work has finally provided a satisfactory rigorous accounting of this relationship for proof-of-work longest-chain protocols, but those techniques do not appear to carry over to the proof-of-stake setting. This article develops explicit, rigorous settlement bounds for proof-of-stake longest-chain protocols, placing them on equal footing with their proof-of-work counterparts. Our techniques apply with some adaptations also to the proof-of-work setting where they provide improvements to the state-of-the-art settlement bounds for proof-of-work protocols.

Available format(s)
Cryptographic protocols
Publication info
Bitcoin longest chain consensus proof of work proof of stake
Contact author(s)
peter gazi @ iohk io
renling @ illinois edu
alexander russell @ uconn edu
2022-11-14: approved
2022-11-11: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Peter Gaži and Ling Ren and Alexander Russell},
      title = {Practical Settlement Bounds for Longest-Chain Consensus},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2022/1571},
      year = {2022},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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